Sneak peek: 'Ice Age: Continental Drift'

New enemies abound in 'Ice Age: Continental Drift.'  Left to right: Flynn (Nick Frost), Squint (Aziz Ansari), Shira (Jennifer Lopez), Gutt (Peter Dinklage), Silas (Alain Chabat), Raz (Rebel Wilson), and Boris surround intrepid acorn hunter Scrat.

New enemies abound in 'Ice Age: Continental Drift.' Left to right: Flynn (Nick Frost), Squint (Aziz Ansari), Shira (Jennifer Lopez), Gutt (Peter Dinklage), Silas (Alain Chabat), Raz (Rebel Wilson), and Boris surround intrepid acorn hunter Scrat.

20th Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios

Ahoy, chilly mateys! The Ice Age crew is returning with a fourth serving of animated animal antics — and, this time, there will be pirates.

  • A first look at 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' featuring (l to r) Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo), Granny (Wanda Sykes), Shira (Jennifer Lopez) fleeing from some new enemies.

    Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Fox

    A first look at 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' featuring (l to r) Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo), Granny (Wanda Sykes), Shira (Jennifer Lopez) fleeing from some new enemies.

Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Fox

A first look at 'Ice Age: Continental Drift' featuring (l to r) Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary), Sid (John Leguizamo), Granny (Wanda Sykes), Shira (Jennifer Lopez) fleeing from some new enemies.

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That detail and more is revealed in a new trailer premiering this Friday for the phenomenally successful franchise that has grossed close to $2 billion worldwide, nearly equal to the Toy Story series.

However, these aren't the adorably debauched Johnny Depp kind of buccaneers, but the mangy prehistoric variety who are just as likely to exclaim "Brrr!" as they are "Argh!"

In Continental Drift, opening July 13, Manny the morose mammoth (voiced again by Ray Romano), Sid the silly sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the surly saber tooth tiger (Denis Leary) once more are propelled into a new adventure after a cataclysmic event is set off by that squirrelly Scrat's eternal quest for his acorn.

Earth's land masses are breaking apart, "causing the creation of the continents as they are known today," says co-director Steve Martino (Horton Hears a Who!), who proudly admits to relying on his daughter's eighth-grade earth-science handbook as a resource while filming.

The shifting ocean currents, he says, "send our heroes on a epic journey at sea" while they cling to a ice raft. The rift that changes the planet reflects the one going on in family-guy Manny's life, as teen daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer of A Joyful Noise) deals with growing pains while pining for classmate Ethan (rapper Drake). Says Martino: "It's like Homer's Odyssey, as Manny struggles against the current and tries to get back home."

In pursuit is a villainous gang on a frozen vessel led by Capt. Gutt, voiced by Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones fame. "We had to find an ancient ape big enough to cause problems for Manny," says co-director Mike Thurmeier (Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs) of Gutt, who moves like an orangutan. "We hit the Internet and learned there was evidence of one in Asia."

Causing problems for confirmed bachelor Diego is Jennifer Lopez's Shira, a sultry she-tiger who starts off as a pirate but shifts her allegiance to the heroes. Also aboard: Aziz Ansari (Parks and Recreation) as Squint, "a firecracker of a rabbit with a Napoleon complex," Martino says, and British funnyman Nick Frost as Flynn, "a giant elephant seal who is as jiggly as they come."

Meanwhile, Sid has his hands full after being reunited with his Granny, spoken by Wanda Sykes, whose menagerie of cartoon voices includes a skunk in Over theHedge, a cow in Barnyard and a goose in Rio.

"Like a lot of old people, Granny is set in her ways," says Sykes. "She skips all the niceties and tells you exactly what she thinks. She is a little out of touch and hard of hearing, but she brings the funny."

She seconds what Oscar presenter Chris Rock said during the show about doing animation voices: That it is the easiest job in the world. Even though she and Leguizamo were born the same year, 1964, "I don't have to go through any Meryl Streep-Iron Lady (aging) process. You do the part and you are out of there."

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