I was a bit apprehensive about seeing Dawn of the Dinosaurs after the dull and unimpressive The Meltdown.
I'm happy to say though, that Dawn of the Dinosaurs is actually really good, joyfully revisiting the chaos and momentum of the original. Obviously it's targeted at younger kids, so lots of the jokes undoubtedly fall flat on their faces with slightly older viewers. Some are decidedly 'cheap' too, unfortunately- which is what brought the film down for me. Still, the gag rate is incredibly high. Some hit, some miss, and when the good laughs do come, they're really damn funny.
As ever with Ice Age, the animation is rather low-fi (not to the horrid extents of Hoodwinked, don't worry), but it's uniquely beautiful. This time around, the animators have really upped their game: We're treated to lots of gorgeous, colour-saturated landscapes and magical set-pieces. What I liked about Dawn of the Dinosaurs was that we literally take a trip into a whole new world.
The voice cast are all excellent, even though certain characters, such as the genius of Sean William Scott, are foolishly pushed aside. One of the film's main attractions is Simon Pegg, voicing the new character, Buck, who adds an energetic sparkle to proceedings.
Overall, if you're feeling reluctant to see the third in this trilogy due to the dire sequel, there's nothing to worry about. I'm glad to say that Dawn of the Dinosaurs is actually in the same league as the original. With enough one-liners and visual gags, it's almost impossible not to be entertained. You'll like it as much as your kids will.