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Disney+ Review: The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild

January 28, 2022

By John Corrado

★★ (out of 4)

Despite unceremoniously shutting down Blue Sky Studios last year following their acquisition of 20th Century Fox, Disney continues the company’s signature prehistoric franchise with The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, an in-house spinoff that is being released straight to Disney Plus.

The sixth film in the Ice Age series, this new adventure functions more as an off-shoot, focusing on side characters. The film was animated by Vancouver’s Bardel Entertainment, and while it’s not exactly terrible as a piece of streaming entertainment for kids, it also feels thoroughly like a quickly made cash grab.

The story involves hyperactive possum brothers Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris), who want more independence and are tired of following the rules of their mammoth sister Ellie (Dominique Jennings, standing in for Queen Latifah). They decide to move out on their own, but end up stumbling back into the Lost World, where they re-encounter the adventurous and slightly nutty weasel Buck Wild (Simon Pegg, reprising his role).

Much of the film tries to copy the popular third entry in the series, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, with Crash and Eddie teaming up with Buck to stop Orson (Utkarsh Ambudkar), a triceratops who believes that only the smartest animals should reign supreme and wants to rule over the Lost World. We learn that this urge to rule comes from Orson’s insecurity over the large brain that has grown out the back of his head and given him the ability to talk.

Aside from Pegg, whose return is the main selling point of the film, none of the other actors reprise their roles and have been replaced by soundalikes. The original trio of Manny, Sid and Diego briefly return, but their celebrity voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Dennis Leary do not, with Sean Kenin, Jake Green and Skyler Stone taking over the roles instead.

The film opens with a pretty good recap of the first few films done using cave drawings that do stir some nostalgia for the series that started just over twenty years ago, and we get a fairly sweet flashback to how Ellie and the two possums became siblings. But, for the most part, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is a forgettable entry into a series that has already gone on longer than it really needed to. It plays like one of those straight-to-DVD sequels produced solely to make a quick buck.

The simple story feels somewhat stretched thin even at a scant 81 minutes, offering fine but generic messages about teamwork and believing in yourself. That looney squirrel-rat Scrat, whose futile quest for his acorn was a bright spot of the other films, doesn’t even make an appearance here. It will entertain young kids, sure, but The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild feels like something that was made by Disney purely to capitalize on pre-existing IP that they now own.

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is now streaming exclusively on Disney+.

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