MOVIE: Ice Age: Collision Course
DIRECTED BY: Mike Thurmeier and Galen T. Chu
WRITTEN BY: Michael J. Wilson, Micheal Berg, and Yoni Brenner (Story by Aubrey Soloman).
STARRING: Ray Romano (Manny), John Leguizamo (Sid), Denis Leary (Diego), Queen Latifah (Ellie), Sean Williams Scott and Josh Peck (Crash and Eddie), Simon Pegg (Buck), with Jennifer Lopez (Shira) and Neil DeGrasse Tyson as Neil deBuck Tyson.
MUSIC BY: John Debney
CINEMATOGRAPHY: Renalto Falcao
STUDIO: 20th Century Fox
PRODUCTION COMPANY: Blue Sky Studios
PRODUCTION BUDGET: $105 million
BASED ON: No preexisting properties. Fifth film in an animated franchise.
WHAT’S IT ABOUT?:
Collision Course continues the prehistoric misadventures of Manny, Sid, Diego, and their exendsive cast of companions as they try to stop an impending astroid from destroying the planet. With the help of Scrat, of course.
A BRIEF HISTORY:
The concept for Collision Course was, like the previous film, inspired by the Ice Museum scene from the first movie. In that scene, a spaceship is seen encased in ice. That particular moment served as inspiration for the latest installment.
IMPORTANT STUFF TO KNOW:
The characters were hand-drawn on animation software, often in the form of colored, animated clips of the characters doing specific actions. The characters were then sent over to be hand-sculpted with clay and scanned into CGI software.
A Birdman-inspired sequence (the movie, not the cartoon), which involved Buck saving a Dinosaur egg from a trio of Dromaeosaurs, was the most challenging sequence for Blue Sky Studios as it involved a lengthy, continuous shot that runs uninterrupted for two minutes. Therefore, it was the first scene put into production and the last scenes to be completed due to difficulty. How difficult? The animators would produce three to four seconds worth of footage a week.
Even though Blue Sky is based in New York, the recording sessions took place in LA (since most of the actors live there). As such, the directors would take turns traveling to LA to precide over the sessions.
Jesse Tyler Ferguson (of Modern Family fame) make his voice acting debut with this film. Reportedly, Ferguson blew his vocal chords out on his first day of recording because he yelled a lot, causing him to take a few days off.
Well, the most I can say is that there’s somebody out there who likes these films. Besides, you don’t get to a fifth installment unless there’s something about the franchise the clicks with some people.
Also, if anything, the technical work detailed above should make this movie worth sitting all the way through.
This is the fifth film in the series, and the trailer (unfortunately) make it clear that the creative team has stopped caring about all the things that would make for a good animated feature, or even watchable entertainment.
To top it off, the film will have to wade through a crowded Summer box office this weekend. Stiff competition with The Secret Life of Pets and Ghostbusters over family audiences is likely to happen. Not to mention, Star Trek Beyond will definitely suck most of the air out of the room.
Recent tracking shows the film opening this weekend at a projected $30-$35 million, the lowest debut for the franchise thus far. Like I said up top, competition from other films (animated AND live-action) is seemingly putting a dent in the numbers.
At this moment in time, the film’s only saving grace (financially) is the overseas markets. Fox made a very smart business decision in giving the film an international rollout two week prior to today. As a result, the top grosses from a total of 51 markets have resulted in an overseas gross of $134.9 million. That’s good news for all involved, especially if the film does this well in the long term.
WHAT THE CRITICS ARE SAYING:
Could it get any worse than Continental Drift? The answer (as far as the critics are concerned) is a resounding yes.
The film currently has a 12% Rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the critical consensus stating: “Unoriginal and unfunny, Ice Age: Collision Course offers further proof that not even the healthiest box office receipts can keep a franchise from slouching towards creative extinction.”
For perspective, Collision Course is the worst-reviewed film in the franchise so far, and Blue Sky Studios’ worst-reviewed film yet.
It it worse than Norm of the North? no, not even close. But Collision Course is shaping up to be, by all accounts, the worst of the franchise by far and a sad reminder that Blue Sky Studios is not only in need of a new franchise (or franchises, as it were), but it is sorely in need of a new direction and a house style that can separate it from the other major animation studios.
If this article has you interested in seeing Ice Age: Collision Course, buy your tickets here on Fandango.
Thank you for reading this installment of What You Should Know!