Ice Age 2: The Meltdown - Review
Review by Jack Foley
FOR all of its flaws, 2002’s Ice Age remained a charming animated adventure that marked the closest a big studio had come to rivalling the magic of Pixar.
Its sequel, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, ought to be just as warmly received by children and adults alike.
The film once again follows the fortunes of zany sloth Sid (voiced by John Leguizamo), woolly mammoth Manny (Ray Romano) and saber-toothed tiger Diego (Dennis Leary) as they trek towards safety from the imminent meltdown of the enormous glacial damn that protects their valley as a result of global warming.
Joining them is Ellie (Queen Latifah), a fellow mammoth who thinks she’s a possum, and her two adrenaline-junkie sidekicks Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck), while attempting to keep up is Scrat, the ever-popular squirrel/rat from the original, who still risks life and limb in pursuit of his beloved golden acorn.
The ensuing adventure finds Diego having to come to terms with one his biggest fears, Sid becoming an unlikely role model and Manny finding love in the difficult form of Ellie.
Much of the allure of Ice Age lies in the appeal of its characters, each of whom display plenty of heart.
Director Carlos Saldanha ensures that set pieces never come at the expense of story and even throws in a timely environmental message to help keep viewers globally aware.
Yet the film seldom becomes preachy or melodramatic (despite some obvious religious nods), opting to keep things fresh and exciting wherever possible.
Each of the central characters maintains a likeable presence while their interaction with the newcomers helps to further the simple story in enjoyable fashion.
What’s more, the film looks great with the advances in animation serving to ensure that the creatures’ changing environment is beautifully realised and vividly drawn.
Of the big set pieces, there’s a musical sing-along in the form of Food, Glorious Food from Oliver, as well as an exciting encounter with some predatory prehistoric alligator creatures that should keep the youngest viewers awake.
But the film’s biggest asset remains Scrat, whose extended sequences continue to provide the biggest laughs.
Whether scaling the highest glacier or dipping underwater in search of that elusive nut, this endearing little creature provides Ice Age 2 with some of its most inspired sequences.
Kids will adore his adventures, while adults are just as likely to clap along.
Ice Age 2 is therefore excellent family entertainment that’s guaranteed to melt the hardest heart.
Running time 91mins
2 disc DVD special features: Disc 1: Commentary by director Carlos Saldanha; Commentary by producer Lori Forte and production team; Simpsons sneak peak (2 mins); Garfield 2 DVD trailer (2 mins); Vivendi game preview (1 min); Scrat short ‘No Time For Nuts’ (7 mins 12 secs); One set top game – Factoid Meltdown.
Disc 2: Too numerous to list!