Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs

ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS ­(Carlos Saldanha). 94 minutes. Now playing. For venues and times, see Movies. Rating: NN

The original Ice Age told its modest story with some visual zing, and Ice Age: The Meltdown nudged the story along by giving Manny the mammoth a girlfriend. Chapter three, Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, has nowhere to go but backward.[rssbreak]

Specifically, back to the Jurassic age, when our heroes discover a lost world of dinosaurs – a Land Before Time, if you will – hiding beneath their glacier home. And when Sid the sloth’s latest well-meaning idiocy finds him trying to raise three T. Rex babies, well, chaos follows.

It’s the same as it ever was, with the pixel jockeys at Blue Sky Studios content to restage the slip-and-slide adventures of their constantly bickering, never-evolving characters, voiced once again by a bored-sounding Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo and Queen Latifah. This episode plays out against a backdrop of oranges and greens instead of blues and whites, and it’s screening in 3-D, so that’s probably novel enough for the wee ones.

The newest wrinkle is a half-mad one-eyed weasel named Buck, energetically voiced by Simon Pegg and blatantly designed to be spun off into his own series of direct-to-DVD adventures.

Yes, a one-eyed weasel. Good luck explaining that one to your toddler.

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