Just as the herd get settled in a valley surrounded by a huge
glacial wall, Manny (Romano), Diego (Leary) and Sid (Leguizamo) discover
that the ice behind has actually melted and the water is about to flood
the valley. So now the herd has to head to the over end of the valley and
try and escape the water but as they start to travel through the herd, Manny
starts to realise that he might actually be the last of the mammoths.
After the success of the first movie, Manny, Diego and Sid
return to the ice tundra but is the sequel cool as ice or dripping wet?
With Pixar and DreamWorks dominating the computer animated
family market, 20th Century Fox entered genre with Blue Sky Studios in 2002
with the original 'Ice Age' and a third major player was born. After the
success of the first film and then 'Robots' an inevitable sequel to their
first hit was always on the cards and the good news it that fans of Manny,
Diego and Sid will not be disappointed.
Continuing on from the end of the first film, we find the
trio have become part of the herd again and have settled in a valley surrounded
by a glacial wall of ice. With all the animals realising that it is getting
warmer, Manny, Diego and Sid make the discovery that surrounding ice has
already melted and only the ice wall is keeping the water at bay until it
starts to crack. Now they have to get to the other end of the valley and
to a boat that the very hungry vulture told them about. This is when the
high jinx and banter starts.
The main emphasis of the story then shifts from the travelling
herd to the fact no one has seen another mammoth and Manny might actually
be the last one. This is when the extinction gags start from the herd and
Sid but this all stops when they run into Ellie. The only problem is that
she might be the only female mammoth left but she thinks she is a possum.
Even though this is a family film, the relationship between Manny and Ellie
is your usual love-hate-love affair that is clearly lifted from the romantic
comedy genre. This takes far too much of the story and makes Sid and Diego
into supporting characters when they should have been the stars.
Diego and Sid's side stories are funny however. Diego has
to face fear for the first time after been scared of nothing for the whole
of his life. Sid becomes a virtual god to the rest of the sloth population
because he can make fire but they take their worship slightly too far. These
are funny but fans will be left wanting to see much more of them.
Returning to bring their voices to the three main characters
are Ray Romano, Denis Leary and John Leguizamo as Manny, Diego and Sid.
They are just as good as ever and continue to have fun with the characters.
Ray Romano's Manny is still the father figure of the group who is struggling
to come to terms with having feeling for Ellie after losing his family all
those years ago. Denis Leary's Diego has settled down a lot since the last
movie and become part of the herd but feeling fear for the first time has
made him realise that he can actually be scared. John Leguizamo still continues
to have fun as Sid. The king of the wisecracks and the one who provides
most of the comedy, Sid is just as still as ever. There are also some new
characters joining the trio on their travels in the shape of three possums,
brothers Crash and Eddie and their sister, the rather mammoth looking Ellie.
These three are voiced by Seann William Scott, Josh Peck and Queen Latifah
and while they are quite fun as characters, they do receive far too much
screen time to the detriment of our three heroes.
The star of the show however is still the sabre toothed squirrel
rat, Scrat. This endless quest to get his hands on that precious acorn is
absolutely hilarious, to the point that you could actually quite happily
watch his adventures and mishaps for the entire film. His sections are like
animated shorts that intercut the film and at times you do start longing
for him to have more screen time, especially when the Manny/Ellie love story
'Ice Age: The Meltdown' is just as much fun as the first
time. While the film does spend far too much time on the Manny and Ellie
story, to the detriment of the other characters, there is still a lot to
enjoy here and is great family entertainment.
PICTURE & SOUND
Presented in Anamorphic Widescreen 1.85:1 with Dolby Digital 5.1, the
movie is presented well, as you'd expect from a computer generated animated
(SINGLE DISC VERSION)
'No Time for Nuts' (6.51 mins)
Watch everyone's favourite sabre toothed squirrel as he travels through
time to try and keep hold of his beloved acorn in this brilliant animated
short. This has all the usual Scrat humour, who is by far the best character
from Ice Age, that you would expect and the madcap storyline is reminiscent
of the classic Looney Toons era.
The man behind the helm of the 'Ice Age' sequel Carlos Saldanha shares
his experiences of making the Meltdown. He talks about reintroducing Manny,
Syd, Diego and of course Scrat and bringing in some new characters into
the franchise. He also talks about how he loves the mini Scrat adventures
and how he is comic relief of the movies. The technical advances since
the first film are also discussed, the director provides a good single
Producer Lori Forte, art director Thomas Cardone, materials supervisor
Michael Eringis, production supervisors James Bresnaham, Galen Tan Chu,
production supervisor Michael Thurmeier, effect supervisor Robert Cavaleri,
light supervisor David Esneault, story supervisor Chris Renaud, lead animator
Aaron J. Hartline, technical animation lead Matthew D. Simmons and senior
light lead Andrew Beddin provide a more technical commentary. This is
a good collective track with all the contributors providing information
about how the film was made in rapid time. The Ice Age Factoid Meltdown
An interactive quiz about the movie. Answer enough questions and you will
help save the animals from the meltdown.
Previews of 'Garfield 2' and 'Ice Age 2: The Meltdown Video Game Promo'
Coming Soon Watch previews of 'Ice Age', 'Chicken Run', 'The Magic Roundabout',
'Robots' and 'Rhubarb and Custard Too'
The single disc version of 'Ice Age: The Melt Down' offers good value
for those fans who don't want to know everything about film production.
The commentary tracks are very good but it is the new Scrat animated short
that is the highlight of this package and a must watch for all Ice Age
Multi-angle animation comparisons
Scrat's breaking story
Scrat news report
Scrat from head to toe
Music video from Lee Ryan
'Meet The Modeler' featurette
'Making A Scene' featurette
6 Student films on the ice age period
Sound effects lab
Crash and Eddie stunts
'Voices Of Ice Age 2' featurette
Ice Age 2 international
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