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Thursday, July 12, 2012
'Ice Age 4: Continental Drift' -- Part I
Ahoy, chilly mateys! The "Ice Age" crew is returning with a fourth serving of animated animal antics — and, this time, there will be pirates.

On July 13, the phenomenally successful "Ice Age" franchise, which has grossed close to US$2 billion (approximately NT$60 billion) worldwide, nearly equaling Pixar's beloved "Toy Story" series, will return to movie theaters in Taiwan with its latest installment, "Ice Age 4: Continental Drift."

In "Continental Drift," Manny the pessimistic wooly mammoth (voiced again by Ray Romano), Sid the silly sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the surly saber-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) are once more propelled into a new adventure after a cataclysmic event is set off by Scrat the squirrel's eternal quest for his acorn.

Earth's land masses are breaking apart, "causing the creation of the continents as they are known today," said co-director Steve Martino, who proudly admits to relying on his daughter's eighth-grade earth-science handbook as a resource while filming.

The shifting ocean currents, he said, "send our heroes on an epic journey at sea" while they cling to an ice raft. The rift that changes the planet reflects the one going on in family-guy Manny's life, as teen daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer, who appeared in the movie "A Joyful Noise") deals with growing pains while pining for classmate Ethan (rap music star Drake). Martino noted, "It's like Homer's 'Odyssey,' as Manny struggles against the current and tries to get back home."

In pursuit is a villainous gang on a frozen vessel led by Capt. Gutt, voiced by Peter Dinklage of "Game of Thrones" fame. "We had to find an ancient ape big enough to cause problems for Manny," co-director Mike Thurmeier said of Gutt, who moves like an orangutan. "We looked on the Internet and learned there was evidence of one in Asia."

Causing problems for Diego is Jennifer Lopez's Shira, a sultry female tiger who starts off as a pirate but later decides to help our heroes. Meanwhile, Sid has his hands full after being reunited with his Granny, voiced by Wanda Sykes. "Like a lot of old people, Granny is set in her ways," said Sykes. "She skips all the niceties and tells you exactly what she thinks. She is a little out of touch and hard of hearing, but she's very funny."

These actors have definitely put their all into this long-awaited fourth film in the "Ice Age" series. Like the others before it, this adventure is bound to be a huge success and lure both kids and adults toward its very "cool" excitement. Get ready to witness the famous trio meet up with pirates and handle more world-changing catastrophes!

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