Ice Age 4: Continental Drift

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Not recommended under 7, PG to 10 (Violence; Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
  • a review of Ice Age 4: Continental Drift completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 3 July 2012.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 7 Not recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children aged 7-10 Parental guidance recommended due to violence and scary scenes
Children over the age of 10 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild animated violence and coarse language
Length: 97 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The film opens with Manny the Mammoth (voice of Ray Romano) clashing with his teenage daughter Peaches (voice of Keke Palmer) about breaking rules and her relationships with teenage males. Meanwhile Sid the Sloth (voice of John Leguizamo) has his own problems when he is lumbered with his senile granny (voice of Wanda Sykes).

The situation becomes a whole lot worse when Scrat’s (voice of Chris Wedge) ever relentless pursuit of the elusive cursed acorn causes the breaking apart of continental plates. Manny, Diego the sabre-tooth tiger (voice of Denis Leary) and Sid end upadrift on an ice raft headed out to sea after being separated from Peaches and Ellie (voice of Queen Latifah).

Manny, Diego and Sid are desperate to make their way back to Peaches and Ellie and their quest sees them battle against hypnotic shape-shifting sirens and a band of villainous pirates lead by a menacing baboon called Captain Gutt (voice of Peter Dinklage). Diego becomes romantically entwined with a female sabre-tooth named Shira (voice of Jennifer Lopez), who happens to be a member of Captain Gutt’s crew.


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Cataclysmic events; the Ice Age; familyrelationships; pirates

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

The film contains cartoon action violence and slapstick violence, including:

  • A squirrel is stretched like a rubber band and then flung up into the skybefore falling back to earth and crashing face first into the ground (the squirrel is uninjured).
  • Throughout the film, Sid’s granny repeatedly hits characters over the head with her walking stick.
  • Manny drags a paralysed Sid along the ground by his feet in a comical manner, and then useshim as a bat to hit attacking birds out of the air.
  • Scrat repeatedly crashes into a cliff wall after which he is snatched from the air by a shark that swallows him (Scratis later seen uninjured). 
  • In one scene Manny stomps on a pirate rabbit, squashing it. The rabbit is still alive after being stomped on but looks like a mashed piece of fur slithering across the ground.
  • We see a sea battle between two giant ice rafts (one raft resembling a pirate ship while the second contains Manny and his friends). The pirate ship fires grappling hooks at Manny’s ice raft andthe animal pirates board and overrun Manny’s raft. The pirates use tree trunks as cannons to fire ice cannon balls at Manny’s raft. A giant ball of ice hits Manny in the head, knocking him unconscious. In an intense fight between Manny and Captain Gutt,Gutt attacks Manny with a sword. At one point we see a slow motion image of Gutt’s sword slashing at Manny’s face, the sword narrowly missing his eye.  
  • In one of the film’s more scary violent scenes Captain Gutt holds a knife made from a giant shark’s tooth at Peaches’ throat while Gutt’s pirate crew surround Manny and his friends in a threatening manner.     
  • CaptainGutt wields a whip to threaten his crew and slaves, cracking his whip in a threatening and menacing manner.
  • Sid is threatened by a giant crab with huge snapping claws.
  • The film contains occasional verbal threats of violence. Examples includeCaptain Gutt telling Shira to kill Diego or die trying and Captain Gutt saying “When this ends, I’ll have a tiger shin on my wall.”  In one scene Gutt tells the story of how he got his name which involves him graphically illustrating how to disembowel someone.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • The shifting of the earth’s plates results in frequent earthquakes, landslides, falling mountains of ice and moving mountain ranges that continuously chase and threaten to overrun the escaping band of animals.
  • Manny and his friends are engulfed by a storm and a giant water spout lifts their ice raft up into the air and drops it back into the water.
  • Ice age animal pirates wield scary looking weapons made from a collection of animal bones. In one scene the pirates play drums made from a collection of animal skulls.
  • Captain Gutt is a baboon in the guise of a pirate captain. He has a mouth full of large sharp teeth (some of which are gold) which he displays in a threatening manner. Gutt intimidates, threatens and bullies his victims as well as his crew in general. Some of his crew are also scary in appearance.
  • The sirens first appear in the image of their victim’s loved one, but then change into their true forms - giant creatures with fish-like heads and mouths full of sharp teeth.
  • Granny and Sid fall into the ocean and are swallowed whole by a gigantic whale; we see the pair slide down the whale’s gullet and into its stomach. They walk around waist deep in water inside the whale’s stomach.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • After having a verbal argument with her father, Peaches tells Manny “I wish you weren’t my father”, and we see Peaches crying over the incident.   

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be disturbed by some of the above-mentioned scenes

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film.

Product placement

Nothing of concern in the movie but a considerable amount of associated merchandise.

Sexual references

Ice Age 4 contains occasional low-level sexual references and some low-level crude humour. For example:

  • An elephant seal twists around trying to see his own oversized buttocks and we hear him say “Where is my booty I can’t see it?” to which another character responds “It’s all I can see”. 
  • Diego talks about becoming attracted to Shira, saying that he can’t eat or sleep and that he thinks he is coming down with something. We hear a character say that Diego was in love and that she (Shira) was under his skin.
  • A siren transformed to look like a young virile sloth tries to entice Granny into his arms, saying, “Come to me Granny the more wrinkled the raisin the sweeter the fruit”.
  • A young animal asks an adult mammoth “When you suck water through your trunk does it smell like boogers?”
  • When Granny jumps into the sea a large putrid, toxic, oil slick forms around her with a variety of dead fish, and a dead shark floating to the surface.

Nudity and sexual activity

Ice Age 4 contains some occasional low-level flirting. Examples include:

  • Ethan, a teenage male mammoth is constantly surrounded, adored and swooned over by teenage females.
  • Peaches is infatuated with Ethan and becomes clumsy whenever she encounters him. In one scene, after a series of comic mishaps Peaches ends up knocking Ethan flat on his back and lands on top of him, getting her tusks entangled with his. Later we hear Ethan asking Peaches if she would like to walk with him.      
  • Mild flirting occurs between Diego and Shira including some rough and tumble type play and looking into each other’s eyes. 
  • When Manny and his friends are hypnotised by sirens they all see alluring images of the person they desire the most enticing them - Diego sees Shira, Scrat sees Scratte, Manny see Ellie etc

Use of substances

Sid eats the wrong type of berries and becomes paralysed as a result.

Coarse language

Ice Age 4 contains some name calling and low-level putdowns. Examples include:

  • What a freak, holy crab (sounds like holy crap), screw up, wimp, cry baby, looser, miserable runts, shark bait weevils, pin head, banana breath. 

In a nutshell

Ice Age 4: Continental Drift is an animated adventure comedy aimed at older children and their families. Under sevens may find some of the film too scary. While the film’s story line is a little thin and character development somewhat lacking the film contains some good comic relief and sight gags and will easily entertain its target audience, particularly those who enjoyed the previous Ice Age films.

The main messages from this movie are:

  • Don’t change just to suit others - always be yourself.
  • Over protective parents with good intentions can hold their children back; protection needs to be balanced with risk taking for growth and development.
  • Friends look out for each other.

 Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • friendship
  • bravery
  • persistence