Directed by: John C. Donkin
Distributed by: Disney+
Written by Patrick Hao
“Ice Age” was never the pinnacle of animation. But for a while, the franchise was one of the most wildly successful films that rivaled any Disney animation film in the box office. That is why it feels particularly funny that in Disney’s purchase of 20th Century Fox, they also acquired its animation arm which includes Blue Sky and “Ice Age.” Blue Sky, unfortunately, was closed down, and Disney+ released “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild.”
The film begins with a helpful recap of the four “Ice Age” movies that came before it. The two possums, Crash and Eddie (Vincent Tong and Aaron Harris) who are the adoptive brothers of the wooly mammoth Ellie (Dominique Jennings) are looking to independence. Escaping the Herd, they find the Lost World of prehistoric animals along with Buck Wild (Simon Pegg), another possum. They must stop a triceratops named Orson (Utkarsh Ambudkar) from trying to get rid of all mammals and returning the ecosystem to the dinosaurs.
Although the original films’ characters of Manny, Sid, Diego, and Ellie do appear and are major parts, they are written to have a much lesser role with the original celebrity voice cast of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Queen Latifah. Maybe it is because the film did not have time or the money for the stars. Certainly, the film looks cheap and rushed. Rather than having the sheen of a CGI animated film series that has made over $4 billion in the box office, the film looks more like a storyboard CGI pre-render. It harkens back to the days of Disney Toons when Disney would release cheaply made sequels to the Disney Animated Renaissance films of the 1990s straight to home video with cast members doing vocal impressions of the much more famous stars that appeared in the theatrically released version.
There is not much to say about this film. It was clearly developed to just exist. Its whole purpose is to be put in front of children with no discerning taste so they could be distracted or an hour and a half so that their parents could do chores. The original “Ice Age” franchise was not of the highest quality. But, at least they were movies, “The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild” is simply content.
The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild Trailer