By Sonya Magett, EnStarz | Jul 13, 2012 03:27 PM EDT
"Ice Age: Continental Drift" was released nationwide in theaters today.
To promote the film, the studios behind the movie released "The Dark Nut Rises," a trailer that parodies the highly-anticipated Batman movie "The Dark Knight Rises" arriving in theaters July 20.
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Film critics have given positive reviews so far praising the 3D effects and action sequences in the film.
Veteran film critic Roger Ebert, with the Chicago Sun Times wrote: "But give the filmmakers their due: This is one movie that, when it says 3-D, it means 3-D. Almost the entire story seems to have been fashioned to provide excuses for its cute prehistoric characters to zoom toward and away from us and out into space and down to the Earth's core. It's a wonder they find time for dialogue in between being jolted into other dimensions. "
"Visually, there is quite a bit of slipping and sliding and falling and careening in a landscape of jagged rocks, spiky ice floes and state-of-the-art computer-generated water," wrote a critic for The New York Times. "The Blue Sky animation studio's house style is enjoyably antic, with a playful but never sloppy disregard for the laws of physics. An early sequence in which Scrat accidentally causes the breakup of the earth's single landmass sets a high mark for cleverness that the rest of the film sometimes tries to match. Among the busy, chaotic set pieces, a few stand out, notably a haunting and absurd encounter with shape-shifting sirens who lure mariners to their doom."
The movie tells the story of the "Ice Age" characters who separate thanks to a continental drift caused by the earth's shifting plates and their efforts to reunite facing obstacles such as nature and pirates.
The stars who lend their voices to the characters of the fourth installment of the "Ice Age" series is a comprised of Hollywood, television and music stars: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Keke Palmer, Chris Wedge, Peter Dinklage, Jennifer Lopez, Wanda Sykes and rappers Drake and Nicki Minaj.
The first three "Ice Age" films grossed more than $2.1 billion worldwide. This makes" Ice Age" the 12th highest-grossing franchise of all time, and the second highest-grossing animated franchise worldwide behind "Shrek."
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