The latest installment in the “Ice Age” franchise adds roaring dinosaurs to the animal matrix of the earlier films. Fuzzy mammals with their quirky ways and bulging eyes remain front and center in the plot. But they are drawn by chance into a lost world below the ice sheet where the giant reptiles still reign. Escaping safely back to the surface becomes the mission of the tiny heroes.
The sparkling animation is first-rate. But the tension and danger presented by a giant T. rex chasing small furry mammals may be too much for children younger than 5. There are chuckles and good humor sprinkled throughout. But the comic banter and pratfalls seem tired and uninspired compared to the best examples of the genre.
There are moments that promise more real comedy than the lightweight screenplay is able to deliver. You can spot the points where the dialogue pauses, expecting laughter from the audience that doesn’t always come. Overall, this is a family-oriented diversion that will entertain many but disappoint some. Waiting for the video may be the best option.