One of the biggest animated success stories made outside of Disney or DreamWorks has been the Ice Age series, with each of the first three films earning more and more at the box office.

The teaser trailer for the fourth film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, landed back at the start of the year, and now the film’s first poster has arrived, courtesy of Focus On Animation.

Continental Drift is co-directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier, the former of which directed 2008’s Horton Hears a Who! and the latter of which co-directed the third film in the series, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. And it’s been co-written by Michael Berg, who co-wrote the first and third films; Jason Fuchs, who makes his writing feature debut; and Mike Reiss, who co-wrote the third film and The Simpsons Movie.

It’s always good bringing back the writers and directors to continue their work with a series’ next instalments, so having some of the writers and directors back is surely a good sign. And of course, the Ice Age films are well known for their terrific cast, and Continental Drift promises a number of big names.

Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Chris Wedge, Queen Latifah, Josh Peck, and Seann William Scott will all be reprising their roles from the previous films, and added to the new instalment are Jeremy Renner, Jennifer Lopez, Nick Frost, Alan Tudyk, Heather Morris, Aziz Ansari, and Nicki Minaj.

I must confess that I’m still yet to see Dawn of the Dinosaurs, but I did love the first two things, and fully anticipate the fourth film being another solid comedy family film success. The third film made almost $900m. from a $90m. budget, so there’s clearly still a huge market for the series.

The poster looks to be American, announcing the release date as 13th July, but we here in the UK can look forward to getting it a week earlier on 6th July next year. That does, however, mean that it will be going up against The Amazing Spider-Man that weekend, which is a bit of a mistake in my opinion, since that will no doubt be a 12A and can thus pull the younger audience as well. But here’s to hoping that they’ll both do great in the cinema. We might see that release date pushed back a week, though not much more, since we’ve also got The Dark Knight Rises coming out at the end of July next year – so much to look forward to next summer! Without further ado, here’s the first poster. As usual, click to enlarge.