Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck and Chris Wedge reprise their previous roles. They are joined by Keke Palmer who voices a teenaged Peaches, along with Nicki Minaj, Drake, Jennifer Lopez, Josh Gad, Peter Dinklage, Aziz Ansari, Nick Frost, Kunal Nayyar, Rebel Wilson and Wanda Sykes.
While Scrat inadvertently causes the break up of Pangaea, Manny and Ellie are forced to deal with the trials and tribulations of their teenage daughter Peaches, who has trouble fitting in with her peers. Ellie tries to support her daughter, but Manny becomes exceedingly over-protective. Meanwhile, Sid's family returns, but only long enough to drop off the elderly Granny before abandoning them both. Shortly after, a continental break-up separates Manny from The Herd. Trapped on a moving chunk of ice with Sid, Granny, and Diego, Manny has no choice but to ride out the current. Meanwhile, a giant land shift encroaches on Ellie, Peaches, and those remaining on land, causing them to make their way towards a land bridge.
Meanwhile, Scrat, in a subplot, finds an acorn that has a treasure map on it that directs him towards an island. After violent weather pushes them further away from land, Manny's group is captured by a band of pirates sailing on a floating iceberg led by a Gigantopithecus, Captain Gutt, who attempts to press them into his crew. When they refuse, Gutt tries to execute them, leading to their escape, which inadvertently cause the ship and food supplies to sink. Gutt's first mate, a female sabretooth named Shira, joins them after she is left for dead.
The Herd washes ashore on Switchback Cove, which gives a current back to their home. Manny coordinates a plan using a group of hyrax to steal a new iceberg ship that Gutt is planning to use, and they are able to escape using the ship, Shira staying with Gutt. Gutt forms another ship and plans to seek revenge on Manny.
After narrowly escaping a pack of sirens, Manny, Sid, Diego, and Granny return home only to find the land bridge destroyed and that Gutt has beaten them and taken Ellie, Peaches, and the rest of The Herd hostage. A fight issues, as Granny's pet whale, Precious, arrives and fends off Gutt's crew. Manny defeats Gutt in a final duel on an ice floe and reunites with his family and friends. Gutt subsequently encounters a siren that assumes the shape of a female Gigantopithecus, and is eaten alive. With their home destroyed, Precious takes the entire crew, including Shira to a lush island where the hyraxes from earlier have already started rebuilding their civilization.
In the film's epilogue, Scrat discovers the island on the map, known as Scratlantis (a parody of Atlantis), but his uncontrollable urge to hunt acorns in the acorn-rich city inadvertently causes the entire island to sink when he unplugs an acorn drain holder; Scrat is then ejected into a newly created desert landscape, through which he screams as his tears boil from the heat.Ray Romano as Manny, a Woolly Mammoth who is Ellie's husband and Peaches' overprotective father
John Leguizamo as Sid, a lazy, but caring Ground Sloth
Denis Leary as Diego, a Smilodon that is in love with Shira
Seann William Scott as Crash, an opossum, Eddie's brother, and Ellie's close friend and adoptive brother
Josh Peck as Eddie, an opossum, Crash's brother, and Ellie's close friend and adoptive brother
Peter Dinklage as Captain Gutt, a Gigantopithecus. Jeremy Renner was originally announced to voice Gutt
Wanda Sykes as Granny, Sid's 80-year-old grandmother
Jennifer Lopez as Shira, a Smilodon, and Gutt's first mate, until she is separated from her crew and falls in love with Diego
Queen Latifah as Ellie, a Woolly Mammoth who is Manny's wife and Peaches' mother
Josh Gad as Louis, a molehog and Peaches' best friend who has a crush on her
Keke Palmer as Peaches, a teenage Woolly Mammoth and Manny and Ellie's daughter
Nick Frost as Flynn an elephant seal
Aziz Ansari as Squint, a rabbit (Palaeolagus) who is part of Gutt's crew
Drake as Ethan, a mammoth that Peaches has a crush on
Nicki Minaj as Steffie, a mammoth who is Ethan's girlfriend and makes fun of Peaches
Alan Tudyk as Milton, Sid's father and Hunky Siren
Ester Dean as Sloth Siren and Gutt's Siren
Kunal Nayyar as Gupta, a Bengali Badger (Chamitataxus)
Rebel Wilson as Raz, a kangaroo (Procoptodon)
Eddie "Piolín" Sotelo as Uncle Fungus, Sid's uncle
Joy Behar as Eunice, Sid's mother
Alain Chabat as Silas, a Blue-footed booby
Heather Morris as Katie, one of Steffie's best friends
Chris Wedge as Scrat, a sabre-toothed squirrel
Patrick Stewart as Ariscratle, a saber-toothed squirrel from Scratlantis
The first details of the sequel were announced on January 10, 2010, when The New York Times reported that Blue Sky was working on a fourth film and was in negotiations with the voice cast. Fox later confirmed on May 5, 2010, that Ice Age: Continental Drift would be released on July 13, 2012.
Ice Age: Continental Drift is the soundtrack of the film scored by John Powell and was released on July 10, 2012.
Featured in the film was "Chasing the Sun", performed by The Wanted the film's first theme song, and the second theme song "We are (Family)" written by Ester Dean, performed by Keke Palmer. Both songs play during the credits and are not available on the soundtrack. "Chasing The Sun" can be found on The Wanted's 2012 American debut extended play, The Wanted EP, while an alternate version of "We are (Family)" sung only by Keke Palmer is available for download.
In addition to the original score by John Powell, the film also features Beethoven's 9th Symphony. Powell explained his decision: "At the beginning of the film, the creation of the geographical world as we know it seemed just such an immense idea to musically convey, that I gave up entirely and used Beethoven's Ninth Symphony instead. With a bit of obscenely crass re-orchestration and blatantly cheap arranging tricks normally associated with strippers, we got it to fit the action perfectly. But the cost that I must now bear is having to live forever in hiding, since the "Beethoven Society" issued a "fatwa" on me."
Ice Age: Continental Drift had its premiere on June 20, 2012, at the CineEurope film distributors' trade fair in Barcelona. It publicly premiered on June 27, 2012, in Belgium, Egypt, France, Switzerland, and Trinidad, and was released on July 13, 2012, in the USA. The film is accompanied by the short animated film The Longest Daycare featuring Maggie Simpson.
As a promotion for Ice Age: Continental Drift, Fox released two 3-minute short segments from the film, titled Scrat's Continental Crack-up and Scrat's Continental Crack-up: Part 2. The first part premiered as a theatrical release attached to Gulliver's Travels in 2010, and it was released on-line on January 6, 2011, on iTunes Movie Trailers. The second part was released on November 16, 2011, on iTunes, and debuted in theatres with Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked. The first part shows how the Scrat's actions lead to split of the continents, while in the second part, Scrat's underwater pursuit of acorns leads him to a pirate ship.
The film was featured on Tommy Baldwin Racing's #10 car driven by Tomy Drissi for the 2012 NASCAR Sprint Cup Series Toyota/Save Mart 350 held on June 24, 2012.
Ice Age: Continental Drift was released on DVD, Blu-ray, and Blu-ray 3D on December 11, 2012.
Ice Age: Continental Drift earned $161,321,843 in North America, and $715,922,939 in other territories, for a worldwide total of $877,244,782. Its worldwide opening weekend totaled $126.9 million. Worldwide, it is the forty-seventh highest-grossing film of all time, the fifth highest-grossing film of 2012 (also, the highest-grossing animated film of that year), and the second highest-grossing film in the Ice Age series. Overall, it is the eleventh highest-grossing animated film of all time.North America
In North America, the film earned $16.7 million on its opening day and $46.6 million on its opening weekend, which was the second-largest opening weekend in the Ice Age series, only behind The Meltdown ($68 million). The film closed from theaters on February 7, 2013 with $161 million, thus standing as the lowest-grossing film in the series, until Ice Age: Collision Course would gross less than $100 million in 2016.Other territories
Outside North America, it is the twelfth highest-grossing film, the third highest-grossing 2012 film and the second highest-grossing film distributed by Fox. It set an all-time record among animated films, until Disney's Frozen surpassed it. Ice Age 4 had a two-day (Wednesday-Thursday) opening of $11 million from 12 markets. On its opening weekend (through Sunday), it earned first place with $80.3 million from 34 markets, opening #1 in all of them. The film set an opening-day record in Nicaragua and a Thursday-opening record in Guatemala. In Peru, it earned the second highest-grossing opening day and the highest for an animated film. It also set opening-day records for an animated film in Russia and in Sweden and achieved the second highest-grossing opening day for an animated film in France ($4.5 million), Colombia, Argentina and Chile. The film set opening-weekend records for any film in Argentina (first surpassed by Iron Man 3), Colombia, Peru, Central America and Chile, and opening-weekend records for an animated film in Norway, Sweden (surpassed by Frozen), Ecuador and Bolivia. Its largest opening weekends were recorded in Russia and the CIS ($16.9 million), China ($15.7 million), and France and the Maghreb region ($12.8 million). It is the second highest-grossing film in Latin America with at least $181 million, only behind Marvel's The Avengers.
Review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 37% of critics have given the film positive reviews, with a rating average of 5.1/10 based on 131 reviews. The consensus statement reads, "Ice Age: Continental Drift 3D has moments of charm and witty slapstick, but it often seems content to recycle ideas from the previous films." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, calculated a score of 49 based on 29 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews." Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A-" on an A+ to F scale.
Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film two stars out of four and stated: "Watching this film was a cheerless exercise for me. The characters are manic and idiotic, the dialogue is rat-a-tat chatter, the action is entirely at the service of the 3-D, and the movie depends on bright colors, lots of noise and a few songs in between the whiplash moments." Megan Lehmann of The Hollywood Reporter said: "It's familiar, drawn-out shtick, and the humor lacks the subtlety of the first and best Ice Age, but there are some visually inventive high points." Simon Brew, writing for Den of Geek, gave a very positive four-star review, saying that "not only is Ice Age 4 arguably the best in the franchise yet, it's also, a little surprisingly perhaps (given that it's a fourth movie in a franchise, turned around on a strict cycle), turned out to be thoroughly, thoroughly entertaining family blockbuster."
Ice Age Village is a mobile video game, developed by Gameloft, and was released on April 5, 2012 to iPhone, iPad and various Android devices.
Ice Age: Continental Drift – Arctic Games, a video game based on the film, developed by Behaviour Interactive, published by Activision and was released on July 10, 2012 for Wii, Nintendo 3DS, Nintendo DS, and Xbox 360.
A sequel, titled Ice Age: Collision Course, was released on July 22, 2016.