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Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
More bad science and more good fun.
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
A Scene from the Animated Comedy "Ice Age 2".
OPENING WEEKEND: $58,000,000
DOMESTIC TOTAL: $235,000,000
OTHER PREVIEWS: Man About Town (5/10)
  This Film is NOT a Future Release.
  The Following Preview has been Archived.

January 30th, 2006: Manfred the wooly mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), Sid the sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo), and Diego the saber tooth tiger (voiced by Denis Leary), reunite as the oddest trio of mammals for another incredible adventure. The ice age is finally coming to an end and the melting ice has shaped an exciting new environment, filled with wonderful water pools. As all of the animals delight in their beautiful surroundings, the heroic threesome makes a frightening discovery. The massive ice blocks that stretch for miles will flood the valleys and destroy the animals’ homes. Manfred, Sid, and Diego must find a way to warn everyone about the imminent catastrophe and convince them to leave the temporary paradise.

What to Expect: The first Ice Age was a tremendously successful venture for Fox and one of the first successful non Disney-Pixar digital animation features. It was evident that the animation lacked the depth and complexity of a typical Pixar picture, but it hardly mattered since the premise was so entertaining and the material was handled so well. With the ice age as the setting, long stretches of white nothingness were actually quite appropriate, and the writing stayed focused on the characters, allowing the audience to become drawn in by the story rather than be distracted by the sparse backgrounds. Of course, the film also took certain scientific liberties giving the incorrect impression that the ice age happened virtually overnight rather than over thousands of years, but it all served well for an exciting animated adventure.

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Since the ice age arrived in a matter of a few days, it’s only natural that the melting will take just as long in the sequel. Once again, this should give the filmmakers the freedom they need to come up with exhilarating story ideas. Following his directorial collaborations with Chris Wedge on Ice Age and Robots, Carlos Saldanha returns as the sole director of Ice Age 2. Although Wedge was given primary credit for both of those previous features, Saldanha should be competent enough to handle the responsibility alone. Jon Vitti, the writer for Ice Age 2, has contributed to an extensive number of reputable television programs including, “The Simpsons,” “King of the Hill,” “The Larry Sanders Show,” and “Saturday Night Live,” all well known for their witty nature. Therefore, Ice Age 2 should have a very strong script, full of clever dialogue that will please adults just as much as children. The experienced writer-director duo will have a lot to work with given the larger budget that was allotted for the sequel. Certainly, the animation will improve by a few notches and will hopefully contain more detail and luster.

Without a doubt, one of the most important aspects of the digital animation features has to be the celebrity voice work. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary all return for their respective characters in the sequel. The proposition of the three doing voice work may not attract audiences the way someone from the Hollywood elite, like Tom Hanks or Robin Williams, would, but as professional comedians, they proved to be very effective in the original. All of them found just the right tone and complemented each other as a result. John Leguizamo was especially good as Sid the Sloth, making the typically lazy creature hyperactive rather than subdued. Ice Age 2 should feature a much larger number of celebrity voices compared to original. Queen Latifah (Chicago, Bringing Down the House), Seann William Scott (American Pie, The Dukes of Hazzard), and Jay Leno will all contribute their vocal talents, with Drea de Matteo (“The Sopranos,” Assault on Precinct 13), John C. McGinley (“Scrubs,” Office Space, Platoon), and Will Arnett (“Arrested Development”) also rumored to have roles. Making an anticipated return appearance is the scrat, an imaginary creature that is supposed to represent an equal parts mix of squirrel and rat. The scrat’s struggles to bury his acorn somewhere safe represented a running gag throughout Ice Age. Observing the zippy and neurotic little creature as he searched for hiding spots was a funny, but also fascinating experience equivalent to watching a small creature on a real life nature show. Carried out with minimal sound effects over a hushed background, the scrat episodes were among the best moments in Ice Age as they embodied pure visual cinema. The filmmakers have recognized that and so far all of the Ice Age 2 trailers have featured the furry little animal.

In Conclusion: As with many of these animation features, Ice Age 2 looks promising enough to transcend the age groups and appeal to even the most hardened spectator. The writing and directing should be solid and the sizeable budget should improve the technical qualities from the first one. The filmmakers did all the hard work in the original when they successfully created the compelling main characters. I’m certain that they will utilize them equally well the second time around. I get the feeling that Ice Age 2 will be an improvement over its predecessor in most departments and it would take a monumentally bad effort to not have it surpass the original in box office numbers. This year promises to have more CGI animated films released than ever before so there’s bound to be some disappointments, but Ice Age 2 should continue the genial tradition of the genre that audiences have grown accustomed to.

Similar Titles: Ice Age, A Bug’s Life, Toy Story 2
March 31st, 2006 (wide)
November 21st, 2006 (DVD)

20th Century Fox

Carlos Saldanha

Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Jay Leno, Seann William Scott, Will Arnett, Alan Tudyk

Total: 29 vote(s).

Animation, Comedy, Kids & Family

Click here to view site

Rated PG for some mild language and innuendo

90 min






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