Movie Review by Vivienne Messenger
Starring (voices of): Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary
Director: Carlos Saldanha
ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN, the sequel to the enormously successful 2002 hit ICE AGE, is back. Or should I say Scrat’s back! True to form our acrobatic and comical squirrel (voiced by Chris Wedge) is on his death-defying mission again to secure that acorn for himself… whatever it takes! I’m sure his motto must be: If you don’t succeed try, try and try again. This is borne out relentlessly and his antics are a highlight of the movie keeping it buoyed and upbeat while entertaining the audience throughout.
So with Scrat completely oblivious to anything else he is unaware that because the ice has melted so extensively the glacier above the valley is now in a critical condition. Only an ice dam remains holding the waters back from sweeping through the valley below where our three heroes from ICE AGE- Manny the woolly mammoth (Ray Romano), Diego the sabre-toothed tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo) that annoying but amusing sloth – along with a multitude of other animals are living. Fortunately Manny realises the impending danger and sets in motion a mass evacuation to the other end of the valley where according to the vultures there’s a ‘boat’ waiting for them to take refuge in. Seeing as the vultures can’t wait to feast on any of these animals if an accident befalls them this seems a tad contradictory! Oh well…
With water levels on shallower ground rising fast our trio have to contend with some voracious, recently-thawed marine predators that now lurk in them, some very cheeky and bothersome possums – Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck) who they meet along the way and exploding geysers as they set off on their survival mission in these turbulent times.
However it’s the arrival of Ellie (voiced by Queen Latifah), a female mammoth who thinks she’s a possum that adds a lot of laughs. Orphaned as a baby she latched on to Crash and Eddie and is now an expert at pretending to be dead to outwit predators and equally adept at sleeping upside down hanging from a tree. Rather confusing for Manny who thought he was the sole surviving mammoth, he now takes on the additional task of convincing Ellie she’s a mammoth and not a possum!
The mastery behind the animation can’t be faulted and the attention to detail is superb. Apparently 60 animators worked on this sequel, up from 35 involved on the original ICE AGE and that doesn’t take into account all the other production crew involved including those responsible for the wonderful CGI effects.
This is sure to be a guaranteed hit with youngsters. Adults will enjoy it as well although some of the novelty of ICE AGE will have worn off. So despite this sequel being very watchable and entertaining it seems to lack that extra ingredient that’s needed to give it more impact second time around. Perhaps it was the ‘Food glorious food’ scene that seemed a bit trite and over the top… Hmm – I do love Scrat though who opens and closes the movie very amusingly!