Wednesday, 23 September 2020
Ice Age 2
Written by Sandra Fitzpatrick   
Monday, 03 April 2006 17:55

Defying logic and common sense, the animals from Ice Age are back tens of thousands of years later. This time they have to survive global warming in Ice Age: The Meltdown.

The first Ice Age movie introduced us to Manny the Mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano) and his oddball “herd” made up of Diego the saber-tooth tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the sloth (John Leguizamo). It was a surprise hit that was both entertaining and touching as the mixed group banded together to return a human baby to her tribe. The sequel certainly has the entertaining part covered, but it lacks the emotional heart of the original.

Since we last saw them, Manny and his gang have been living in a valley with hundreds of other creatures. Somehow they seem to all live peacefully enough, although I always wonder what a carnivore like Diego lives on when he has befriended his food. I don’t think he’d be a very healthy kitty living on vegetation alone. This is a problem that a lot of cartoon characters face. I picture them attending group sessions of CA (Carnivores Anonymous). But it is a cartoon, so we will put all logic behind us from here on.

The creatures discover that the ice is starting to melt which will cause their valley to flood. In order to survive they have to migrate to the end of the valley where there is a giant boat that will hold them all. I know… I promised not to bring up logic again! Along the way they meet Ellie the mammoth and her two brothers who happen to be possums. Manny is stunned to meet another mammoth and realizes that the two of them can save the species from extinction. The problem is that Ellie doesn’t realize her bulky frame means she is anything but a possum.

There are a lot of things happening in this movie and it moves along at a nice pace without ever being boring. It has the feel of many little episodes strung together with each episode presenting a different challenge. This presents both positive and negative aspects. Because there is so much variety, anyone with a short attention span shouldn’t have any problem sitting still for this movie. On the other hand the characters and main story seem to have taken a back seat.

Some fun new characters are introduced including my favorites the possum brothers. They are wild and furry little acrobats who aren’t afraid of anything unless it has feathers and flies. There are also the mini-sloths - brainless, pastel colored little creatures smaller than Sid who call him “Fire God”. But what exactly is a Fire God, and does Sid really want to be one?

Of course who can forget Scrat, the squirrel who single-mindedly pursues an acorn to the ends of the earth and back. Someone really has it in for this little fellow as he climbs glaciers, fends off piranhas and falls down canyons for the prized nut.

Ice Age: The Meltdown is definitely a solid and entertaining movie. The animation is nice and the characters are still great. My only complaint is that the flood story was only an excuse to watch all the fun things these animals can do. And I guess that really isn’t much of a complaint.

I give Ice Age: The Meltdown 7 out of 10 stars.