The whole family will warm to this Ice Age



00:43 GMT, 13 July 2012

Ice Age 4; Continental Drift (U)
Verdict: Another big hit

Here is the mixture as before, except Scrat the prehistoric squirrel is revealed as the guilty party responsible for continental drift.

That’s the nearest thing they’ve got to a clever idea, by the way.

Discerning adults will know what to expect. Number four in the series is formulaic and feels factory-made rather than a labour of love.

All the same, it’s happy, wholesome and colourful — all welcome in a kids’ film.

Ice Age 4: They are back for another big hit with families

Ice Age 4: They are back for another big hit with families

The usual characters — Manny the grouchy mammoth (Ray Romano), Diego the soft-hearted sabre-tooth tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the idiotic sloth (John Leguizamo) — are cast adrift on an iceberg, with Sid’s senile but resourceful granny and — voiced by Jennifer Lopez — a feline love interest for Diego.

They encounter big waves, bad pirates and treacherous sirens before reuniting with Manny’s family.

These are not the funniest or most interesting characters, but there’s enough humour and danger to make this the second-best of the series, after the initial Ice Age.

It will keep most children aged from five to 11 thoroughly entertained.