Ice Age: Continental Drift – The landscape is changing drastically, creating an increasingly dangerous world to live in and when Manny, Sid and Diego are separated from Ellie and Peaches, both groups face terrible peril. The boys come across a villainous pirate, Captain Gutt, and his terrible crew while the girls flee the land that crumbles around them, can the herd ever be reunited and if it is, will there be world left to live in?

Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) – Director: Steve Martino, Michael Thurmeier

Is Ice Age: Continental Drift appropriate for kids?

By Source, Fair use,

Rating: U

Running Length: 88 mins

Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary

Genre: Animated, Comedy, Action/Adventure


Ice Age is a franchise that just keeps on going! The fourth movie ‘Continental Drift’ follows the gang as they face danger in the guise of shifting continents. Set adrift on an iceberg, Manny, Sid, Diego and (and Sid’s senile Granny), try to return to Manny’s beloved family but come across the dastardly pirate, Captain Gutt, who has no trouble in threatening violence for the slightest reason. Ellie and Peaches meanwhile flee the changing landscape as it disappears behind them. As ever, Scrat continues his valiant attempt to secure an acorn.

What binds the story together is the rapport between the main characters. The buddy relationship of Manny, Sid and Diego is allowed to flourish with them being separated from the others, their friendship and banter being what audiences fell in love with at the very beginning of the series. Ellie and Peaches have less to do, with Peaches having a typical teenage identity crisis but their scenes are fewer and therefore are a welcome distraction from the other, more intense action that is happening elsewhere.

‘Ice Age’ has struggled to maintain the interest of audiences following the hype of the first movie but ‘Continental Drift’ shows that it continues to be as fun as ever and by sticking to

its formula of a strong family unit that faces various struggles it has a core that everyone can relate to.


There is a lot of slapstick comedy throughout the movie, particularly with the character of Scrat who is constantly searching for his always-out-of-reach acorn. Although he tenaciously seeks his prize, there are many falls, bumps and bashes along the way, most of which are funny. However some kids may find his suffering a little upsetting although he is never badly injured and always comes out of his tangles intact.

Peaches has a teenage crush on a male mammoth called Ethan. One character says ‘he’s not cute, he’s hot!’. This is an innocent, romantic love interest but the sassy attitude could be a bit too in your face for some parents.

Sid’s family turn up and promptly abandon him again, along with his Granny without a second thought for his feelings. One character says ‘Sid will be crushed’ but his family don’t care at all; Sid is disappointed but does not become overly emotional about what has happened.

There are several intense scenes when the land splits apart, sometimes under the feet of established characters. When Manny, Sid and Diego and separated from Ellie and Peaches, the action is intense for around a minute culminating in all the characters being deeply upset.

While floating on their iceberg, a huge crab attacks Manny and co, however it becomes terrified and squeals as a large tidal wave comes towards them. After it crashes over them, one its legs floats alone in the water, indicating that the crab has been killed by the wave. While this is comedic, kids may be upset by this, especially as the crab had a short moment of being sympathetic.

The pirates are aggressive and relentless, some are more innocent but most have a never-ending bloodlust. When explaining why he has taken the name ‘Gutt’ the captain dangles Sid upside down, pokes him in the stomach and draws his finger down to his throat. They attempt to make Sid and Granny walk the plank, a pod of aggressive Narwhals (led by Captain Gutt) await them below. However, Manny, Diego and Sid rarely become afraid of them and therefore the fear factor is minimised. Later in the movie, the pirates are seen enslaving a group of small, rodents, they are whipped and threatened while being tied up and forced to work.

In a scene that could be imitable by kids, Scrat holds a boulder and jumps into the sea in order to sink quickly.

Manny and co come across some sirens which initially take the form of the individual’s heart’s desire but then reveal themselves to be sharp-toothed, aggressive fish. This is a funny scene but as it is night, the lighting is dark and the sirens wish to kill and eat their prey, some moments could be frightening for young kids.


With so many movies in the franchise which barely change things around and instead simply add characters to the core group which doesn’t always work, it is easy to see why the popularity of ‘Ice Age’ has waned since its beginning. However, the comedy is as slick as ever and ‘Continental Drift’ showcases what it was that made audiences love it in the early days. With some violent dialogue from the pirates, we feel ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift’ is appropriate for kids aged 5 and over.

  • Violence: 2/5 (the pirates are quite violent and regularly make threats which seem likely to be fulfilled as well as threatening different characters with blades)
  • Emotional Distress: 1/5 (the separation of Manny from his family is quite upsetting but is not lingered upon and becomes a source of determination rather than emotional distress)
  • Fear Factor: 2/5 (the pirates are quite scary and seem capable of extreme violence. The sirens may also be a bit frightening)
  • Sexual Content: 1/5 (a teen romantic love interest, one character is described as ‘hot’)
  • Dialogue: 2/5 (the pirates use quite expressive language, such as ‘I’ll have a tiger’s skin hanging from my wall’, ‘your innards become your outtards’, ‘take the saber down or you die trying’ and when holding Manny’s family hostage, ‘you destroyed everything I had now I’m returning the favour’)
  • Other Notes: Deals with themes of family, friendship, the end of your current life, abandonment, love, fitting in, tenacity, the destruction of home and standing up to evil.

Words by Laura Record

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