The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild carries on the franchise's formula by picking up characters and plot lines from earlier films. Opening and closing credits memorably involve cave drawings of the animal cast, but the voiceover narration recapping past events could confuse newcomers with too many names.
This installment has very little character development beyond the Crash and Eddie storyline. The boys are all grown up, and despite typical teenage behavior, they announce they're ready to move out and get their own "bachelor pad." Of course, they immediately stumble into trouble.
Parents might connect in a surprising way with both the boys' eye-roll-worthy shenanigans and also their eventual growth and maturation. They go from announcing "It's time for us to make our own destiny… and maybe even make our own lunch," to discovering their own strengths and demonstrating real empathy for others.
Meanwhile, the surrogate parent figure, big sis Ellie, learns she has no choice but to have faith in the boys' ability to take care of themselves. The new character of Zee offers them a new big sis figure, and it's her role in this film to show them the loving patience that helps build their confidence.
Plenty of positive family lessons sketched in here.
Read the full review at Common Sense Media.