Manny and Ellie, two mammoths in love living in the ice age, are struggling with the angst of their mammoth daughter, Peaches, now a teenager. Unsurprisingly, Manny is over-protective, especially regarding Peaches' crush on a cute popular mammoth in their herd named Ethan. Sid, Manny's dimwitted sloth friend, is stunned when he finds his family still alive, but the happy reunion is a short one, as they clearly only reunited with Sid to saddle him with his cantankerous Granny, who they were sick of having to care for. Earthquakes start to ravage their homeland, and they are forced to migrate, but mid-migration, Manny, Sid, and Diego, their sabretooth friend, are separated from the herd and are left to float out at sea on a chunk of ice. In a good turn of luck, they are found by some sailors, but the luck turns bad when the sailors are revealed to be pirates, led by an ape-like creature, the nefarious Captain Gutt. He tries to make them walk the plank, but they sink the ship, escaping with the crew hot in pursuit. They are joined by Gutt's first mate, Shira, still clinging to some sense of loyalty to her pirate crew, but developing increasingly strong feelings for Diego. Manny and the gang find a way to steal Gutt's other ship, and they sail for a land bridge where they hope to reunite with Ellie, Peaches, and the herd... but with Gutt hot on their tails and the earthquakes making the land bridge increasingly precarious, time is not on their side as they race toward each other.
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Best part of story, including ending:
Four films in, and these characters all have very strong personalities. The action is fast-paced, the animation continues to improve, and the jokes almost all hit.
Best scene in story:
Captain Gutt is a hilarious bad guy, and every action scene with Gutt at the center of it is a joy to behold.
Opinion about the main character:
Manny continues to be overprotective, and while that's been his main conflict two films in a row now, it's a conflict that anyone with a loved one would understand and sympathize with.