Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaursby ELLA TAYLOR
As with Shrek and countless other overextended studio franchises, the well has run bone-dry with this one. Part Three sends woolly mammoths Manny (Ray Romano), a very pregnant Ellie (Queen Latifah), and the rest of their cobbled-together family of misfits to a lush land below the ice that's fraught with dangers — like a burping purple plant that ingests foreigners — and teeming with the endlessly marketable dinosaurs so carelessly dispatched in the first movie. However spuriously gussied-up with 3-D, this verdant underworld is a playground for animation geeks, but its narrative pull hovers around zero, unless you count the lame post-millennial jokes about helicopter parents and single dads doubling as single moms. Even with the addition of a (Cockney) weasel (Simon Pegg) to steer the herd through the usual slalom ride of hot lava and hostile beasties, there's no breathing life into a formula that ought to have bowed out gracefully while the going was good.