Counter-Racist Film Review: Ice Age Continental Drift
As I haven’t much patience for this, I’ll start at the end: the credits. There, we see not just the names of the celebrity voice-actors, but video footage of them in front of their mics in the studio. By design—obviously—the racial classifications of the cartoon characters are very identifiable by the statistically accurate speech and stereotypical behavior of these cartoon ice-age creatures. Those classifications are maliciously cemented by seeing the actors at the beginning of the credits.
Once you master Counter-Racism 101, you know that talent and effort make a singer, a dancer, an actor, or a rapper but it takes racists (white folks) to make a star. And, they do not do so except as part of their plan for continued domination of black people. The selection of black rappers and a black female comedian to do the voices of the characters are used to promote the film which, of course, is part of the system of racism (white domination). Per the plan of Racist Woman and Racist Man, younger black people nagged their parents, and older relatives to go see this film simply because they’d seen Drake, Nicky Minaj, and Keke Palmer promote the film on Nickelodeon, BET, and MTV. And, the parents, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who’d shell out the currency are enticed into a “family experience” of braintrashing by the same means— looking forward to seeing the work of Queen Latifah, Wanda Sykes, and Jennifer Lopez. By the way, J Lo, in my opinion, is cast as white in this film. No question about that. So, that fact, alone guaranteed grabbing the “Hispanic” sector’s dollar.
DIGRESSION- Many years ago, I was a math teacher at Lynwood High School near Compton. At that time, Lynwood H.S. had a student body composed of about 10% white students with an even split of black and Hispanic students. One day, I was asked to take over a 3rd period chemistry class for an absent teacher. In that class, there were many students I had seen around campus all year including a set of identical twin girls I had always assumed were white. When I called the roll and they answered to Spanish names, I was surprised. As they were milling around the class, I mentioned nonchalantly, “I always thought you girls were white.” They smiled wide and in unison said, “Thank you.” Disgusted, I said as evenly-toned as I could, “It was an observation, not a compliment.” Anywho…
Here’s why you should NOT let your black offspring get anywhere near this movie:
Characters who were supposed to have superior sexual appeal had light-colored eyes and/or manes/coats reinforcing the conception that lighter is equal to more beautiful even in the fictional animal kingdom. This trope is reinforced by the fact that the two characters that are used to hammer it in are celebrities that are known to have some black ancestry but are the voices of white characters: Rapper, Drake, has a white mother and a black father. Drake is the voice of Ethan, the wooly-mammoth embodiment of an Orange County white surfer boy. Jennifer Lopez, of Puerto Rican descent, is a saber-tooth tiger who is given white stripes and blue eyes and is the pinnacle of feminine beauty in this animated film.
Peaches (Keke Palmer, a young black actress) is a female wooly mammoth—that’s right: bigger and wider than an elephant— That, will, of course not seem like a stretch at all given the over-representation in media of black females as fat and outside the bounds of virtuous sexual appeal. Peaches has a mad crush on mammoth Ethan, the white boy. And, why not? Peaches is the offspring of a wooly mammoth father of white character (Ray Romano’s voice) and a black mother, Ellie (Queen Latifah). Reach for the white if you at all can, don’t cha know kids!! Steffie, voiced by Nicki Minaj, hangs in Ethan’s teen entourage and is utterly obnoxious, mouthy, and insulting while the other female mammoths are demure and self-contained. Her most memorable lines are those insulting fellow black female, Peaches.
There are no black males in the animated cast. Black children are reminded by this absence that black males are utterly useless and not even worth thinking about.
The character voiced by Wanda Sykes is a continuation of the grinding down of the image of black grandmothers that became comedic furniture with films like Big Mama’s House and the Madea films. Considering that black children are about 4 times more likely to be raised by black grandmothers than white children and are the most stable support that most black children have, this is the usual know-no-bounds viciousness that is characteristic of white folk.
Loose thread: Something is to be said about the fact that the whole plot, the whole world is driven by a squirrel fetching a nut. I just don’t know exactly what—yet.