Vital Thrills got a chance to chat with the cast and crew of the upcoming Disney+ animated adventure film, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild. The original movie premieres exclusively on Disney+ January 28.
The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild continues the hilarious escapades of the sub-zero heroes as they create more prehistoric pandemonium. Eager for a little independence, the thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie set out to find a place of their own but soon find themselves trapped beneath the ice in a massive cave inhabited by dinosaurs.
They are rescued by the one-eyed, adventure-loving weasel Buck Wild, and together, with the help of some new friends, embark on a mission to save the Lost World from dinosaur domination.
Machado was asked about playing the brand new character of Zee. She said, “Exciting. Just like you said, it was a lot of fun voicing somebody so strong, a social warrior, somebody who’s so rational and has it so together. That was a lot of fun.”
Pegg has wanted to do a Buck film for a while. He said, “I’ve been dropping hints about this for 12 years. Lori, you can attest to this, every time we do it, I’m like, ‘Probably this Buck should have his thing. Maybe…’ The great thing about this is that the ‘Ice Age’ story has so many fabulous characters in it, this is the era of the cinematic universe. I don’t think there is another animation, which is more suited to expansion like this. It’s great.
“There are so many wonderful characters and in a movie you can only spend so much time with each one. So this is a lovely way to give over some time to not only Buck and Crash and Eddie, but also Zee and these new characters, which are welcome additions to this fabulous group.”
Machado said of her character Zee, who is brand new to the Ice Age franchise, “I was so excited to be a part of this franchise, so they could have given me anything and I would’ve done it. My initial reaction was, ‘Yes. Yes. I’ll do it.’ She’s just a lot of fun and it was so much fun going into the studio and working on her.
“It was just pure fun and she’s very funny and, as you can see, all the characters that she’s surrounded by are so great. I mean, one is funnier than the other, so it just was great fun to be a part of this.”
Producer Lori Forte said of the franchise, “Well, I’ve really honestly been living in the ‘Ice Age’ for the last 20 years. I’ve been living with all these saber-toothed tigers and mammoths and possums and weasels for so long. Just the extension, like Simon said, it’s such a great franchise to open it up and to spend time with certain characters that we can’t get to see all the time.
“We came up with Buck for ‘Dawn of the Dinosaurs,’ which was the third ‘Ice Age’ film. And it obviously it’s such a lovable and eccentric and wacky and joyful and adventurous character and Simon brought all of that to life for us. I mean, he is all those things I just mentioned, eccentric and joyful and wacky and lovable and wonderful.
“I think it just really had been a while since we saw him, we brought him back in ‘Ice Age 5’ because Simon kept saying, ‘When are you going to bring me back?’ We came up with a story in the ‘Collision Course’ to bring him back. Now it just was suited when we’re looking to come back and tell a story, another new story in the ‘Ice Age’ world, it felt so natural to go back to the lost world and it’s so natural to come Buck to buck because it’s a character that everybody loves.”
Director John C. Donkin said of the franchise, “Just adding to that, I think that this movie allows us to start to peel back the layers of all that is Buck and actually the introduction of the Zee character gives us a glimpse into some backstory in Buck. There’s some history between the two of them and we start to reveal that through the course of the movie.
“It expands the universe in that way, too, in the sense that we get to dig a little deeper into these
characters. They’re not just wacky because they’re wacky or whatever. They have some history and it brings them who they are today. I think Zee was a great addition to Buck in the way to see that there isn’t this other faceted hint that we’re starting to reveal.”
Forte said of the elements the studio wanted to bring back, “Buck in the Lost World was really the elements that I think… Again, everybody responded so amazingly to the Lost World and it was something we came up with a long time ago when we were researching the first film and we had someone from the Museum of Natural History come and talk to us and said, ‘Whatever you do, when you’re making this film, make sure you don’t put dinosaurs in with mammoths because they never lived it in the same… They were millions of years apart.’
“We actually, did a wink, wink and nod, nod. And did some sequence in the first movie called the Ice Museum where students walking through this museum, we see a T-Rex in ice and we figured, ‘Well, that’s a great way of putting the dinosaurs and the mammoths together.’
“So we did that and then we came up with a mythology that created a whole world underneath our feet, underneath the ground where dinosaurs, maybe they didn’t all go extinct during the asteroid hit, maybe some went underground and actually survived. When we came up with that, we knew… so, when we came up with that, we knew that that was a world that people were going to want to see.
“And obviously with Buck living there far too long, he’d see he has no real relationships. His relationships are with animate objects, because he’s so close to nature, like rocks and tree stumps and a pumpkin as a daughter. So I think there was just so much there to be able to explore.”
Pegg went a little deeper into his character when asked how he prepared for the role in the latest Ice Age. He said, “Well, Buck’s very much in my sort of muscle memory now, because I’ve played him a few times and I was
very excited to hear that we’d be doing this. And I just have to get a lot of sleep before sessions because
they’re always extremely energetic and Buck is just full on all the time. And it’s exhausting as Justina will
“You do a voiceover session and at the end you are always exhausted because you put everything
into your voice. Whereas if you are doing a live action performance, you have your gesticulations and
your expressions to lean on. With this, it all goes through that one facet of your ability to perform and
it’s incredibly fun.
“I do love Buck. I have a very strong affection for him, not least because he was born the same year my
daughter was born. So the first time I played Buck was the year my kid was born and she’s grown up with those movies and with him. And weirdly as this new ‘Ice Age’ installment comes out, my sister just gave birth this week. So there’s a new ‘Ice Age’ baby to take the stories forward. So, it’s nothing but a joy to play Buck because it has all this kind of emotional resonance for me personally in my own family.
Machado also brought us deeper into the character of Zee in The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild. She said, “We developed it together. John and Lori and I developed a whole character together. It’s so hard to play somebody in control and badass. Those are my favorite characters to play and they gave me the liberty to do that.
“And we had to figure it out because since I’m a new character that we certainly we’re trying
to figure out who she was, what she sounded like? What Simon was saying, because you just have your
voice to work with. You can’t use like me, I’m very animated, but you don’t see that. You’re just going to
hear the voice.
“So it was just pure fun because the theme is love and family and chosen family and courage and all of those things, that is such a wonderful… I got this job in the beginning of the pandemic. So it was a really wonderful escape to go into a studio and just play this great character. So I just looked forward to every session and it was pretty organic the way it all came about.”