By the previous installment of the extended family of Pleistocene refugees, this series had been getting rather stale and impossibly silly. But this fifth installment seems to have found its footing again, with sharper humor and wide-ranging visual entertainment. Director Thurmeier and writer Wilson appear to have their groove back.
There is also a big shift in story focus, with our Mammoth and saber-tooth friends taking more of a back seat to a couple of what had been ancillary characters. The first was no big surprise: our acorn-loving comic relief has quite a chunk and integral role in the fate of the main characters and, in fact, the near universe. But it is really the return of Buck, played by Simon Pegg (Star Trek Beyond), that steals and saves the film. Pegg’s wide ranging abilities and crazy character elevate the humor and freshen it up from the main core of Woolly travails.
The voice work all around is solid. It isn’t all inspired, but it all serves the needs of the movie and keep it going. The humor is wide-ranging and will entertain all ages. I’m glad I didn’t give up on the series… it isn’t brilliant, but it was definitely an entertaining 90 minutes with a couple specific larger and fun surprises that I’d even be willing to watch again.