We bring glad tidings to the fans of animated films, especially those eagerly waiting for the release of Ice Age: Continental Drift. While the film is scheduled for global release on July 13, Pakistan and a few other countries will release it on June 29.
“The release date of July 13 was giving us only a week before Ramazan which would have affected the film’s performance at the box office,” Nadeem Mandviwalla from Mandviwalla Entertainment tells The Express Tribune. “So we requested 20th Century Fox to allow us to release the film on June 29.”
The film will get three weeks of screening time before the month of Ramazan, which begins end of July. “Till today, a large chunk of the Pakistani audience continues to depend on pirated DVDs and cable. But early releases are making a huge impact on the business of the films,” says Mandviwalla. “Recently we have seen an increase of nearly 500 per cent in the gross collections of films. Animated and many other films, previously labeled as non-commercial, have become commercially viable because people like coming to technologically sound cineplexes,” he says.
He further elaborates that with the introduction of digital projection in the country, cinemas are able to screen films in 3D. That itself has become a hurdle for piracy, states Mandviwalla. “We have recently observed that animated films do more business than Bollywood films at times.”
What the film-makers have to say
The makers of Ice Age: Continental Drift believe that Ice Age films are a hit because they are primarily family films. “Ice Age has always been about family,” says Lori Forte, who has produced the series and co-written the story of Continental Drift. “No matter what the plot of a sequel be, the crux will always be about family. And about how Manny, Diego, Sid and the now-extended clan have each other’s backs. That kind of story-telling and humour appeals to everyone, everywhere.”
“From the very beginning this was a franchise defined by its heroes – three animals from different species, with different experiences. They are strangers when they meet and family when we leave them,” adds co-screenwriter Jason Fuchs. “Each film explores what it really means to be a family. Is it just something you’re born into? I think all our characters grapple with that question. And I think it’s Diego who has sort of the essential line of the film when he’s asked, kind of dismissively, what’s the difference between a pack and a family? Diego replies, ‘We have each other’s backs’. And that’s what it means to be a family, and that’s the heart of this movie and of this franchise.”
Apart from the diversity the likes of Nicki Minaj bring to the cast of the film, the film-makers are delighted to have “American Idol” judge Jennifer Lopez onboard. “Playing a character in an animated film is about more than just the actor’s voice,” says producer Lori Forte.
“It’s about the attitude, and Jennifer really brings it.” The film also makes use of Lopez’s singing talents, as she joins her fellow pirates (including Peter Dinklage, Nick Frost, Aziz Ansari and Alain Chabat) in a sea shanty, “Master of the Seas”, written by Adam Schlesinger (of Fountains of Wayne). And accompanies Nicki Minaj, Romano, Leary, John Leguizamo and Queen Latifah in the closing song, “We Are” (theme from Ice Age: Continental Drift), written by Ester Dean.
One of the most beloved trios – Ice Age’s Manny, Diego, and Sid – embark upon their greatest adventure after cataclysm sets an entire continent adrift. Separated from the rest of the herd, they use an iceberg as a makeshift ship, which launches them on an epic seafaring quest. Manny and the gang are challenged like never before to become heroes and do the impossible, as they encounter exotic sea creatures, explore a brave new world, and battle ruthless pirates. And Scrat’s reunion with his curséd nut catapults him to places no prehistoric squirrel has gone before.
Published In The Express Tribune, June 28th, 2012.
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