In 2002, a modest little animated comedy called Ice Age emerged from Fox Studios newly created
animation department. It was a hit, and the tale about a mammoth, a sabertooth tiger, and an unwanted-yet-lovable
sloth warmed the hearts of many. With its success, the buzz of a sequel seemed inevitable and now, four years
later, Ice Age: The Meltdown continues the story.
From the opening scenes of The Meltdown, Ice Age 2 feels a lot different from its original.
While the first film was built around the tension between the main characters, most of that tension is gone here.
It seemed almost weird to see how much they actually care for each other now, much like a real family would.
This itself was a welcomed change. Also, the film introduces so many new characters and animals that it's almost
overwhelming. But what feels natural about this sequel, is each character is expanded upon without intruding
on the original vision for each character established by Ice Age.
Of all the new characters, the most significant include a female mammoth named Ellie, who believes she's a
possum, and her possum friends Crash & Eddie. While it's nice to meet new characters, their presence stole
some desired screentime from our favorite central characters. Also, the banter between Crash & Eddie (with
the former voiced unimpressively by Seann William Scott) is often either too cheesy or not funny enough to make
their characters worthy of the amount of screentime they get. Queen Latifah, however, does a fine job as
Ellie, serving as an appropriate mate for Manny.
Besides benefiting from some clever jokes here and there, Ice Age: The Meltdown's real charm is
upping the on-screen presence
of most people's favorite character in Ice Age, the prehistoric acorn-hungry squirrel, Scrat. Once
again voiced by the director of the first film, Chris Wedge, Scrat steals each and every scene he appears in, offering up
some of the funniest moments of the movie. While a full-length film about Scrat might run out of steam pretty
early on from an over use of the one-track joke, his antics are perfect little interludes in The
Content is pretty standard for most non-Disney animated efforts these days. But Ice Age 2 uses
situational humor to get three "a" words into the mix along with a play on "dam" (clearly used in a profane way),
and a few uses of "cr*p." With that and some brief innunendo, The Meltdown feels inappropriate at times
-- which is ironic considering it's aimed at children and families. Also, the underwater creatures are very
intense and the little ones are likely to find it too scary to suit them.
Overall, however, I found Ice Age: The Meltdown to be an above average sequel. Things are taken to a
whole new level for the franchise. While it may still be no Shrek or Shrek 2, it's a mostly
recommendable family comedy.
- John DiBiase, (reviewed: 3/31/06)
Parental Guide: Brief Summary of Content
Sex/Nudity: When Manny tries hinting to Ellie
that he's glad he met her so they can save the race of mammoth, she takes it as his only intention for sex. Some
innuendo comes out of this and she storms away mad (while Manny's intentions were nothing but good); When
Ellie's possum friends find out what Manny said, one of them shouts "Pervert!" at him
Vulgarity/Language: 3 "a" words," 2 "cr*p," 1 "d*mn"
Violence: Mostly comedic, but one instance
to note is we see a turtle pulled beneath the water with his shell popping back up empty (insinuating he's
been eaten); Some sea monsters attack the main characters.
** Disclaimer: All reviews are based solely on the opinions of the reviewer. Most
reviews are rated on how the reviewer enjoyed the film overall, not on content. However, if the content
really affects the reviewer's opinion of the film, it will definitely affect the reviewer's rating.