Sequels thrive on old and new characters keeping things fresh and exciting, while also providing new opportunities to tell stories in the future. The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild does both of those things, as the return of Simon Pegg’s Buck Wild, along with other old favorites, brings back some familiar faces for those with a Disney+ subscription to enjoy. But on top of seeing Buck, Crash and Eddie roaming around the Lost World, there are some new figures that are about to make things a lot more interesting. One of them just happens to be Zee, Justina Machado’s new Ice Age character, who brings a sequel ready unsolved mystery along with her introduction to the family.
A Zorilla that used to run with Buck Wild in a former era of heroism, Zee comes back into the wild-eyed weasel’s life when danger threatens the world that they live in. Showing up mysteriously during the movie’s events, we shortly learn that “Zee” is shorthand for something. The only problem is, we don’t know what, which leads Crash (Vincent Tong) and Eddie (Aaron Harris) to guess her name throughout the film. As I was able to speak with Ms. Machado on behalf of CinemaBlend’s attendance of the press day, I had to ask her if even she was in the dark about this detail of her character. Which leads to this sequel-ready mystery presented in The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild:
With everything from “Zippy” to “Zsa Zsa” thrown into the mix, there’s no shortage of actual names for Zee to go by in the Ice Age future. So already, there’s an established running gag that can be used as much as the franchise stewards at Disney would care to execute. Behind this point of comedic order comes another opportunity, which ties into events that are alluded to within this sixth Ice Age romp.
As shown in various flashbacks, Buck and Zee were once part of a team that squared off against the main villain, Orson, played by another familiar voice new to the Ice Age cast, Free Guy’s Utkarsh Ambudkar. Just as there are plenty of names in either, there’s still quite a bit of room to explore the relationship between these reunited comrades. Keeping the name game that Crash and Eddie play with Zee would be a great callback for a potential sequel, but it’s also a good excuse to give Zee even more room to grow as a character in future Ice Age projects.
Most importantly, Justina Machado’s performance as Zee only reinforces how important it is to introduce intriguing newcomers when expanding a saga. Through the almost two decades as part of the wider galaxy of Blue Sky Studios films, the Ice Age world has held that core belief close to its heart, along with the theme of being able to go anywhere and do anything with the help of your chosen family. Family always tends to come back in scenarios like this, as seen in Buck Wild’s own journey through the history of the franchise. With an adventurous spirit and loyalty to the end, Zee absolutely has to return if a new series or film entry is in the offing.
While you won’t learn Zee’s true name just yet, you can see and hear Justina Machado and Simon Pegg match wits in The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild. The movie is currently streaming, along with the rest of the Ice Age saga, in the Disney+ movies library. Once you’ve caught up with friends old and new, don’t forget there are plenty of 2022 movie releases that are also headed into theaters and streaming platforms near you in the immediate future!
CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.
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