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Ice Age: The Meltdown

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Ice Age: The Meltdown
Ice Age The Meltdown.jpg
The chill is gone.
Genre: Comedy
Adventure
Romance
Directed By: Carlos Saldanha
Produced By: Lori Forte
Written By: Peter Gaulke
Gerry Swallow
Starring: Ray Romano
John Leguizamo
Denis Leary
Chris Wedge
Seann William Scott
Queen Latifah
Josh Peck
Distributed By: 20th Century Fox
Release Date: March 31, 2006
Runtime: 91 minutes
Country: United States
Language: English
Budget: $80 million
Box Office: $660.9 million
Prequel: Ice Age
Sequel: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs


Ice Age: The Meltdown (also called Ice Age 2: The Meltdown or simply known as Ice Age 2) is a 2006 American computer-animated comedy adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the second movie in the Ice Age series and the sequel to the 2002 film Ice Age. It was directed by Carlos Saldanha co-director of the first film, and written by Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow, and Jim Hecht. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Chris Wedge reprise their roles from the first film, with newcomers Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, and Josh Peck joining the cast. The film was released on March 31, 2006.

Plot

Manny, Sid, and Diego discover that the ice dam protecting the valley they reside in is about to fall and eventually lead to floods. Soon after, they scamper off to find a safer habitat.

Why It's Gonna Live

  1. The animation (while not as great as the ones from the later films) is a pretty big step-up from that of the first film. Although this is justified due to the first film being made at a time where CGI Animation wasn't as developed as it is today, and the sequel was made later where it was starting to get better.
  2. Great voice acting from both the new voice actors (e.g., Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Queen Latifah), and the ones that have reprised their roles from the first film (e.g., Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary).
  3. Very natural and great continuation from the first film. Unlike some of the later installments in the series, this one picks up on where the first film left off in a very natural way that manages to stay faithful to what its predecessor had previously established in terms of story.
  4. In spite of the film having two plots at once (those being Manny and Ellie's romance and the animals trying to escape the land before a flood destroys it), it manages to balance out those two stories amazingly well. Which is simply remarkable.
  5. While Sid does have a lot of smart and wise moments in the first, third and, to a lesser extent, fourth film despite his goofiness, he is portrayed at his smartest here, as he is the one who teaches Diego how to swim, with Diego using Sid's lines as a mantra to have courage to figure out how to swim and save Sid, Crash, and Eddie, as well as the one who shows Manny he needs to let of go of his past and look for his future by forming a new family with Ellie. Additionally, despite how Manny and Diego tend to be jerks to him, Sid is shown to be the best friend both of them could ever think of have, as shown when he and Diego are willing to let Manny go and stay with Ellie, knowing that is what their friend needs to do, even if they all eventually end up together as a big herd. His "Manny, you've come a long way since we met, and I'll take full credit for that, but you need to let go of the past so you can have a future" line is easily the smartest and wisest thing Sid said in the whole franchise, as well as one of his best lines.
  6. Many of the new additions to the cast (also unlike the franchise's last two sequels, even though they still had a few great characters, such as Granny and Shira) like Ellie, Crash, and Eddie, are likable new characters for the series (in spite of the fact that the latter two can be considered annoying at times), as well as Fast Tony, who serves as a hilarious anti-heroic version of Buzz Buzzard from the Woody Woodpecker series.
    • Although Crash and Eddie are very close lookalikes, it is also relatively easy to tell who's who: Crash has a flatter nose and has blue eyes while Eddie has a pointed nose and brown eyes. Eddie also has some hair between his eyes.
  7. Like the first film, it has a lot of funny moments and good humor like the beaver dad's response to the shifting ice wall, Diego getting worked up during the other animals chanting at Sid to jump down the waterfall, Manny meeting Ellie for the first time, and once again, the cutaways involving Scrat trying to get his nut.
  8. Speaking of funny moments, there's also a bunch of memorable, hilarious, and unforgettable dialogue like:
    • "We're gonna LIVE! We're gonna DIE!"
    • "Congratulations, you're now an idiot in two languages."
    • "Hey, why am I the platypus? Make him the platypus!"
    • "WELL, I'M NOT LEAVING! I WAS BORN IN THIS HOLE, AND I'LL DIE IN THIS HOLE!"
    • "Are you making an offer? I mean no! I would not!"
    • "I believe I can fly—!" (slams into a tree)
    • "STORYTIME OVER! THE END!"
  9. Great soundtrack by John Powell, as well as the inclusion of songs like "Food Glorious Food" from the musical and film Oliver! and Aram Khachaturian's Adagio from Spartacus.
  10. The concept of Manny getting a love interest is a pretty good one. The first film established how the loss of his family molded him into the grumpy and anti-social mammoth he was in the present day, but by the end, he was still able to forgive the humans who were responsible for the deaths of his family enough to return their baby, Roshan. And now, he's able to open up to others about the hardships of his past to the point where he manages to find love again in Ellie.
  11. Manny and Ellie's chemistry is also executed pretty well. They don't get along well at first due to their differences with Manny being cynical and serious while Ellie is free-spirited and energetic. But after the two spend more time together and get further looks into each other's pasts, they begin to form a connection. Additionally, Manny denies his feelings for Ellie because his feels like he is replacing his deceased wife and child, as spouses and children are not something you can easily move on, especially if you lost them through death, similar to how Dracula feels an immense about of guilt for wanting to start a relationship with Ericka in Hotel Transylvania 3: Summer Vacation due to him feeling like he's betraying his deceased wife Martha, believing that he cannot find love again due to the fact that people can "only zing once", although Manny's case in much sadder because he lost both his wife and child, while Dracula at least still got his daughter Mavis alive. But when Manny learns that Ellie is trapped in a cave during the flood, he immediately runs off to save her, even though the dam has burst and the floodwaters are racing there as they speak in order to save her, despite the fact that it could cost his own life. By the end, they have more than proven how much they cared for each other when they end up together.
  12. Like the original film, the ending is simply phenomenal: When the flood comes, Manny saves Ellie from drowning as she is caught in a cave (due to falling rocks), while Diego overcomes his fear of water to save Sid, Crash, and Eddie from drowning. Cretaceous and Maelstrom arrive, but due to Manny's quick thinking, they are finished off by a rock which falls on them, killing them both. The other animals are at the mercy of the water currents. Meanwhile, Scrat climbs up the glacier and at the top sticks the acorn he has into the ice. This forms a crack in the glacier, which widens into a fissure, diverting the flood and saving the animals in the valley; Scrat is then washed away. In the final scene, a herd of mammoths show up, proving mammoths aren't extinct (despite the fact that they were, sadly, never followed up on in any of the subsequent sequels, though other mammoths eventually appear in the sequels who may or may not have been among them). But Manny and Ellie decide to remain together anyway, taking Sid, Diego, and the opossum brothers along. Sid encounters the mini-sloths again - they believe Sid stopped the flood and invite him to be their leader. Diego, surprised to see the mini-sloths are real, convinces Sid to stay with the others, admitting that Sid is a vital part of their 'herd'.

Bad Qualities

  1. Sid, while still a likable character, can be a bit more annoying than he was in the first film.
    • Speaking of, the Fire King performance scene is pretty annoying and embarrassing to watch.
    • Similarly, Crash and Eddie can be irritating at times, despite how funny they were, (though also not to the extent as in the later films).
  2. Cretaceous and Maelstrom had the potential to be more threatening and imposing, but they have less than five minutes of screen time. Not even their final confrontation with Manny extends it.
  3. The movies' plots, while good, are still pretty predictable and there can be some filler every now and then.
  4. While the animation is pretty great, sometimes the animation can be VERY uncanny, especially the water animation.
  5. Continuity error: Diego shows a great fear of being in water. In the first Ice Age, Diego shows no fear or hesitancy to enter the river while chasing the baby and his mother.
  6. Plot hole: When the group is about to set off together after they first meet, Manny calls Ellie by name, but the only time it was ever mentioned before that was when she and the possum brothers were talking privately. He should not have heard it. Same problem goes to Surf's Up.
  7. There are some juvenile humour, like the infamous "My stomach hates me..." gag.
  8. Some adult language are used, like the usage of the word "wildass" in one scene.

Reception

Ice Age: The Meltdown received mixed reviews from critics, However it was positively received by audience and fans of the first film, with Rotten Tomatoes giving the film a "rotten" rating, with 56% of reviews positive. The consensus statement reads: "Despite its impressive animation and the hilarious antics of the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown comes up short on the storytelling front." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, calculated a score of 58, placing it at the high end of the site's "mixed or average reviews" category.

Neil Smith, writing for the BBC, gave the film four stars out of five, declaring it as "an improvement on the original", and praising the film's greater focus on Scrat and its environmentalist themes. Caroline Westbrook, writing in Empire magazine, gave the film three stars out of five, declaring that it had "plenty of laughs", but critiquing its plot as badly put together. Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four, stating "the first Ice Age movie more or less exhausted these characters and their world, and the meltdown doesn't add much." Kimberly Jones of the Austin Chronicle gave the film two stars out of five, calling it a "watered-down likeness" of the first film that lacked its "geniality", and critiquing its third act as "too scary".

Box Office

The film exceeded expectations by opening with an $68,033,544 in its first weekend. This was the second biggest opening for a non-summer, non-holiday release, after the $83,848,082 of The Passion of the Christ. But the record for highest grossing weekend for March only lasted a year, due to the $70,885,301 weekend of 300. The film grossed a total of $195,330,621 at United States and Canadian box offices, making it the first film in 2006 to pass the $100 million mark. The film has grossed $660,940,780 worldwide and it is the 66th highest-grossing film of all time. Ice Age: The Meltdown was the highest grossing animated film worldwide of 2006, but lost to Cars for being the highest grossing animated film in North America.

Meledandri, then president of 20th Century Fox Animation, credited the film's successful performance to the studio's strength in global marketing and distribution, the diversity of the crew, and Saldanha's method of using images rather than words to solve creative problems, which helped him realize that the animation of a film is just as important as the story and dialogue, leading him to start Illumination Entertainment with Universal a year later.

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Blue Sky Studios
Ice Age - Robots - Ice Age: The Meltdown - Horton Hears a Who! - Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - Rio - Ice Age: Continental Drift - Epic - Rio 2 - The Peanuts Movie - Ice Age: Collision Course - Ferdinand - Spies in Disguise