Time: 81 mins.
Academy Award nomination for Best Animated Film.
SYNOPSIS: Heading south to avoid the bad case of global frostbite, a group of migrating misfit creatures embark on a hilarious quest to reunite a human baby with his tribe.
BOTTOM LINE: Unusual characters and a distinct visual style rescues this quaintly plotted kids flick from box office extinction. Romano, Leary and Leguizamo provide high humor in what are fairly trite scenarios of friendship, betrayal and redemption. They bring their expert comic timing and distinct voices to their characters of Manfred the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the sabertooth tiger, who band together to return an infant human to its tribe. They are, of course, all outcasts from their various herds some by choice, others due to their behavior. Though he saved both the lives of Sid and the baby, Manny claims he wants nothing more than to be left alone.
Sid is thrilled to have found a protector and friend. Diego's reasons for joining the group are far from above board; however, he quickly learns his new compatriots are not only smarter than they look, but upstanding creatures as well. The story comes to a head when Diego must decide between helping his own kind and betraying his new best friends. The plot holds few surprises, but the unique setting in prehistoric times gives it enough of a twist to hold one's attention. The comedy straddles the line between cleverness and silliness quite well, engaging both kids and adults alike. The animation is both simple and vibrant. A film worth seeking out for those tired of traditional animated fare.