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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade is an Easter special featuring the prehistoric cast from the popular movie franchise. With four feature-length films and a Christmas special under their belts, the creative minds behind these characters have the formula down to a science, and this story is no exception. It has fun with traditions such as egg hunts and April Fools' Day, relating their origins to the characters' experiences in the story. There are also heartwarming moments that celebrate families (and extended families) and show how members pull together when one is in a pickle. Expect some slapstick bumps and falls but no injuries and very mild language ("jerks" and "butt").
What's the story?
In ICE AGE: THE GREAT EGG-SCAPADE, enterprising Sid (John Leguizamo) starts an egg-sitting service for the community's busy parents. Soon business is booming, but when he nods off while on duty, piratical rabbit Squint (Seth Green) swoops in and steals Sid's charges, planning to hold them hostage until Manny (Ray Romano) provides him with a new ship. With the fate of the younglings hanging in the balance, Manny, Sid, and Diego (Denis Leary) set out to find the missing eggs, joined by Squint's kindlier brother, Clint (Blake Anderson).
Is it any good?
That everything you've come to love about the Ice Age herd is on full display in this Easter special actually works against fans here because of the show's time constraints. Twenty-two minutes just isn't enough time to properly appreciate the many personalities in play; most sadly, Skrat is relegated to brief (but hilarious nonetheless) spots as the story opens and closes. The story itself is a fun addition to this endearing franchise, but it leaves you wanting more of this prehistoric crew. On the other hand, if this happens to be your kids' introduction to the cast, know going in that it assumes you know their history, especially with regard to Squint's grudge against Manny.
The Great Egg-Scapade is spirited watch-together fare for spring, and fans of every age will chuckle over how the story spins the origins of traditions such as egg hunts, April Fools' Day, chocolate bunnies, and the Easter Bunny. Predictably, there also are feel-good themes about the warm fuzzies that come from being part of a family (or herd, as the case may be), especially touching when they're expressed by the standoffish teenager, Peaches (Keke Palmer).
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what binds together members of a family. Manny and the others circle the wagons when Sid's in trouble in Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade. When have you seen the same kind of loyalty within your family? How does being part of a family give you a sense of belonging?
How do the Ice Age characters illustrate the importance of judging others on their character, not on their outward appearance? How does doing so encourage compassion and understanding? In a real-world setting, would these animals be friendly toward each other? Why, or why not?
Do you know the real origins of springtime traditions such as egg hunting and April Fools' Day? Are these traditions you celebrate in your house? If not, what does this time of year inspire in you instead?
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