Ice Age 2: The Meltdown Reviews
We are introduced to a whole bunch of mammal families in this film, all kinds of small to large creatures that now live and play with our original trio. The first impression you get instantly is this time its really aimed at the kids route. There are cute little furry things with big eyes running around with their parents looking after them, more silly childish little visual gags and of course the eventual introduction of female mammoth 'Ellie'.
The new mammoth also brings two little sidekick creatures with her that use modern slang with visual references from time to time, clearly to appeal to the whole spectrum of young people. By far the worst characters in the new film and always a mistake to go down that route.
The plot is simple again (kids film remember), all the creatures must escape their current home within a large valley because it will flood, not too original this time. Predictably this entails the same kind of japes that we saw in the first film but merely with new mammals to join in. The new mammoth voiced by Queen Latifah also predictably adds a nice cuddly romance into the fold which for myself (and possibly other male adults) kinda made things a bit lame.
The two sea reptiles that pursue the team are a nice menacing touch. They don't look too nasty obviously but its cool to see all various types of prehistoric creatures being used, factual or not doesn't matter here.
Voices are all the same which is good continuity. This mean we do get more greatness from Leguizamo as 'Sid' who is still easily the best character here. Latifah is a pleasant surprise as 'Ellie' with her quite soothing peaceful voice but all the other characters are more generic, annoying, forgettable and merely filler for the background.
Being made a good fours years after the first effects have gotten better also. The whole thing still has that nice minimalistic look to it (mainly backgrounds and ice), I still think it has the old Chuck Jones feel about it at times. Character rendering is much sharper this time, especially on fur, not that is was all that bad in the first film. All the characters look really good accept for 'Diego' whose design is much more static, he was the same in the first film. The really impressive moments are water animations and how they pull off wet fur, this impressed me, 'Sid's' fur looking real enough to reach out and touch.
More of a let down for me this one, its still a quality animated film but very much in favour for the youngsters this time. I'm still loving 'Sid' with Leguizamo's top voice and of course you still have 'Scrat' tearing around after his acorn in the excellent running gag/subplot throughout the whole film. Not tired of that lill saber-toothed squirrel yet, that one slither of humour keeps me coming back for more.
- That's genius, Sid.
Call me Squid."
'Ice Age' was a hit and the best animation in its release year. It lost the Oscar to 'Spirited Away', an Asian animation but it was so obvious that a sequel would be coming at some point. It took 4 years and 'Ice Age: The Meltdown' was released. It was an even more bigger success than its predecessor but was it better than the original, which I gave a 5 star rating?
As the first one, this sequel also begins with a scene starring Scrat, the sabretooth squirrel. And it comes as no surprise when I'm telling you that he (yep, it's a boy which is shown in the third film) still has an obsession with the damn acorns. The following scene shows the mammals enjoying waterslides and the heat. They've clearly skipped the fact that the ice is melting. When this is proven, the whole bunch start their journey to safer grounds.
On the way, the three protagonists of the first film, Manny, Sid and Diego, meet two opossums that suffer from really bad ADHD. They introduce the bunch to their sister, Ellie, who is in fact a mammoth but believes to be an opossum. Manny, who was sure that he would be the last of his species, is happy about the truth that he is not alone. Will Manny convince Ellie that she is not what she believes before it is too late? And by late, I mean before the two hungry water beasts rip 'em apart! The horror...
If 'Ice Age' looked great, this sequel looks even better. The film is richer in detail and the enhancement of character design has made 'em even more alive.
There's some new characters with Ellie the mammoth, played by Queen Latifah and two opossums, played by Seann William Scott and Josh Peck. Queen Latifah contributes with an excellent role as the lovable mammoth who amusingly believes to be an opossum. The two opossums have probably been created to give equally as many laughs as Sid the sloth but it's just not possible. For example the scene were the miniature sloths capture Sid and hold him as their God is one of the funniest scenes in the film. Scrat succeeds to deliver, again, several funny scenes and in the end scene, these two hilarious characters are united. Almost has the same magic as De Niro and Pacino in 'Heat'...
But is it as good as the first one? Here it goes: The story is less sympathetic than its predecessor and it feels as if the makers have wanted to make more of a faster, funnier etc film. But more isn't necessarily better. 'Ice Age: The Meltdown' lacks the charm, wit and heart of its predecessor but is in no way a bad sequel. The film itself is a fun ride but like so many other sequels, it just doesn't recapture the same feeling as with 'Ice Age'.
Really worth a watch!!