The characters from "Ice Age" are back and this time around they have dinosaurs for company. Not just that, they enter Dino-land for an adventure that is far better than what one saw in the first two instalments, courtesy a new character called Buck, who perks up the story.
To add to that, the film is presented in 3D, something which gives an edge to this animation flick that keeps viewers of all age groups happy.
"Ice Age 3" entertains, and how! The scenes are even more lovable this time around, one liners have that punchy humour to them and characters are much more identifiable. Even for those who may have missed the earlier instalments of "Ice Age", it`s a no pain situation. This is because the writers draw up their character sketches well and present them all over again without making audiences restless.
So we have the members of the `mammals` gang, the mammoth couple, getting ready for the delivery of their first baby. They have their friendly tiger for company who gets into a little depression that he is `losing his edge` and may lose his friends once they move on to parenthood.
It`s a different matter though that he gets into form once he heads out with his friends to search for Sid, who has been transported to Dino-land, courtesy his sudden love for parenthood that has made him look after three baby dinosaurs.
The fun only continues with the arrival of Buck who is their guide, guru and philosopher, all rolled into one. He has a sole `Dino tooth` as a weapon that he earned as a saviour, courtesy his near death experience in a fierce battle with a dinosaur a few years back.
Fun and action move at a great pace and are enhanced with some cool 3D animation that brings in a unique movie-watching experience. Volcanoes erupt, rock slides happen, dinosaurs strike, bridges collapse, trolleys snap and laughing gas makes them all uncontrollable even as Buck entertains them all through his high-on-action flashback.
In this almost perfectly packaged entertainer, what lets the film down a little is an extended end. Just when you thought that the film was over, "Ice Age" goes on to continue for some more time.
This is done in an attempt to ensure that the story of each and every character comes to a logical conclusion. However, it becomes a little boring and unnecessary.
Leaving aside this minor blemish, there is something else worth pondering over. Ten minutes into the film and you end up telling yourself that all said and done, Indian animation has a long way to go before it matches up to its Hollywood counterparts.
The problem is not just with the quality of animation but also the fact that we have seldom come up with a storyline that is imaginative, expressive and entertaining enough to cater to all segments of audiences.
Yes, we do have an occasional "Hanuman" but ever since then, we have only come up with countless rehashes of mythological tales like "Bal Ganesha" and "Dashavatar". Also, when we have tried combining animation with live action like in "My Friend Ganesha" and "Maruti Mera Dosst", the results have been clearly sub-par.
No wonder, audiences continue to love the likes of "Shrek", "Ice Age" and many more and the trend will continue until we get the storyline right. Till then, we would love to go back to the sequel, which is pretty much on the cards as clearly indicated in the way "Ice Age 3" ends.