Ice Age: Collision Course (PG.)
Directed by Mike Thurmeier, Galen T. Chu. Featuring Ray Romano, Queen Latifa, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Jessie J and Simon Pegg. 94 mins
The extraordinary and slightly inexplicable success of the Despicable Me/ Minions films means that Ice Age is no longer the most successful animation series that you've never heard of. Collision Course is the fifth adventure of a group of characters that have generated close to $3 billion dollars in cinemas, and heaps more in subsidiary revenue for Fox - thus doing their bit to ensure Rupert Murdoch has enough money to continue to subvert and infantalise the democratic process around the world – without making any great impact on the general consciousness.
These tales are like frantic inverted goldfish bowls – they whiz around for 90 minutes, keep you busy enough to distract from the inherent shallowness of proceedings and then within 5 days you've forgotten everything about it. That is unless you are a parent stuck in the crosshairs of the marketing department and have been pester powered into a knowledge of who the mammoth family is, and what is going on with the tiger and the Sloth and the rest of them.
The setting is prehistoric and so are most of the comedy set ups. Dad forgets wedding anniversary; dad doesn't want his daughter to leave home and doesn't like his prospective son-in-law. Like the previous films, it's usually better when they don't speak. The highlight of most Ice Age films is the frenetic slapstick opening sequence with the squirrel, Scrat, chasing after an acorn and this time it is made part of the main narrative as his efforts start up a chain reaction that causes an asteroid to head towards Earth and threaten to destroy the planet. The animation is surprisingly good, there are some laughs and overall it's OK; just a bit less ok than previous ones.