Every year, the Sydney Film Festival hosts a handful of premiere red carpet films. This year, Ice Age 5 was one of them.
That’s right - FIVE.
Now if you think that makes you feel old or that you’ve practically grown up with these characters, then you haven’t met Galen Chu. Now a co-director of the franchise, Galen has been working on it since day one, moving up ranks from animator to supervisor animator and finally to co-director.
So how does it feel to have worked on these films for so long?
“It’s like growing up with these characters,” says Chu. “They’re like family or close friends to us at this point. Every time we work with them it feels like we’re revisiting and reacquainting ourselves with good friends. It’s fun seeing them grow up. They’re evolving – especially Scrat. With the sequences we animated for him, the first is very different from this one. Here we’re pushing the physical comedy and trying to be a little edgier.”
One of the ways this series achieves this is by placing Scrat in more unfamiliar territory. Space, in fact.
“Laura Fonte (producer) came up with the initial idea. It was rooted off the first movie”, Chu reveals. “There’s a moment in the first movie where they walk through an ice museum and one of the things they see is a space ship encased in ice. It was always one of those things we thought was an intriguing image; this spaceship, this advantaged technology, juxtaposed against the Ice Age. We always thought that would make a great movie some day – and that’s what set the stage for us to do Collision Course.”
It’s a story similar to its predecessors: the threat of the end of the Earth looming over our Ice Age characters’ heads. To save their lives they must work together to stop it. But to keep this tried and tested tale fresh, Chu and co. had to introduce new worlds, ideas and characters into the mix.
“There’s a new world called Geotopia where our characters head towards,” he says. “It’s a world that’s basically the last big asteroid that landed on the Ice Age world. They go inside it and discover a world made completely out of crystals. It feels like a fresh place for our characters to be in. Scrat being out in the Cosmos and inside of the spaceship pretty much the whole movie is something we’ve never done before and gives us the opportunity to do new things with him, including interacting with technology.”
“We also have new characters: we have Julian, the fiance for Peaches, Brooke whose Sid’s love interest and the llama who is the spiritual leader for Geotopia. I think introducing new characters and new worlds helps fuel the movie.”
Collision Course’s screening at the Sydney Film Festival was a world premiere and, though a little nervous, Chu’s confident about how it’ll be received. “This one feels really fresh”, he says. “I feel like it’s the funniest of them all.”
Get ready to be tickled pink.
Collision Course premiered at the Sydney Film Festival on 19 June 2016 at Event Cinemas George Street. It is released in cinemas nationally 23 June 2016.