Movies:Movie Reviews:The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild
Photo: ©2022 Disney Enterprises, Inc. All rights reserved

Director(s): John C. Donkin

Writer(s): Jim Hecht, Ray DeLaurentis and Will Schifrin

Cast: Simon Pegg, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Justina Machado, Vincent Tong and Aaron Harris

Reviewed by: Ian Evans on

Release Date(s)

Jan 28, 2022 - Disney+

In my imagination, I see Simon Pegg arriving at the recording sessions for The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild. He realizes he’s the only returning voice actor and turns to run, but the doors have been barricaded behind him. To me that’s the only plausible explanation for his involvement in this relatively lifeless sixth entry in the Ice Age franchise.

This adventure focuses on Crash and Eddie, the two dim-witted, fun-loving possum brothers to Ellie, their adopted mammoth sister. Voiced this time around by Aaron Harris and Vincent Tong, the guys are tired of all the rules and responsibilities they feel the herd imposes on them and decided to set out on their own and have some fun. They stumble once more into the Lost World, where dinosaurs still interact with mammals, and have their hides quickly saved by their old friend Buck Wild (Simon Pegg), an eye patch-wearing weasel with a reckless streak and a thin grasp on reality. Though they wanted a bachelor life of fun, they soon find themselves working with Buck to battle an authoritarian big-brained dinosaur named Orson (Utkarsh Ambudkar). Aided by Buck’s old zorilla compatriot, Zee (Justine Machado), the movie let’s us see if Crash and Eddie can transition from sidekicks to superheroes and save the idyllic Lost World from tyranny.

Though the story from writers Jim Hecht, Ray DeLaurentis and Will Schifrin touches upon the themes of the strong trying to dominate the weak, family and friendship, and independence and growth, it’s the execution that seems halfhearted. Sure, Manny, Ellie, Sid and Diego make brief appearances, but their characters seem like pale imitations this time around and it’s not just due to the missing voice talents of Ray Romano, Queen Latifah, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary. They just feel lacklustre. I know I’m not the target audience but even switching to “enjoy with the kids mode” I found very few laughs, smiles or even charms. Even the animation was lacking, with backgrounds lacking great detail and the sort of speedy character rendering you’d expect from the computer animation on most children’s TV shows.

Admittedly, the Ice Age franchise has never been at the story-telling and animation level of a Pixar film, but The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild really feels like the thaw is setting in.