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Ice Age: The Meltdown

He Never Thaw It Coming 

Year: 2006 
Running Time:
Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1 (XWide) 
Certificate: BBFC U Cert – Universal 
Subtitles: The level of subtitling in this film is unknown to WSC 
Directed by Unknown 
Starring: Unknown  
An image from Ice Age: The Meltdown

Director: Carlos Saldanha

Starring: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Dennis Leary

Ice Age: The Meltdown is not The Empire Strikes back. It is not The Godfather Part II. It is not Aliens. It is important to know, however, that it is also not Highlander 2, 2 Fast 2 Furious or Batman and Robin, either. While it is the product of what happens when a moderately low budget film succeeds at the box office, it is also the product of care, attention and talent. Carlos Saldanha, the first film’s co-director, takes full control this time around for a second outing which does little to change the original characters and manages to retain their easy charm.

This is due in no small part to the return of the fantastic voice cast. Small screen actor Ray Romano plays Manny, a loner mammoth with family issues, comedian Dennis Leary voices the sabre-tooth tiger with a secret fear of water and character actor John Leguizamo continues his role as Sid, the hapless sloth. In Ice Age: The Meltdown the unlikely trio are joined by another, comprising of two Jackass-styled possums and a female mammoth, played by Queen Latifah, who also thinks she is a possum. This rather severe case of mistaken identity resurrects the first film’s theme of family and knowing who you are, and compliments a narrative revolving around the end of the ice age and the impending rising sea levels.

Like its predecessor, Ice Age: The Meltdown is concerned with sumptuous animation which strives to please the eye rather than overload it with detail. Whilst the computer generated visuals have improved tenfold in the four year gap between the films the distinctive and imaginative style remains. The simplistic imagery befits the simplistic narrative which is effectively a series of set pieces strung together, with short scenes in between depicting the struggle of the first film’s star character, Scrat, to hold on to his beloved yet elusive acorn. Whilst this restricts Ice Age: The Meltdown from reaching the dizzying heights of those few sequels which improve on the film before it, the film still manages to retain the slapstick hilarity and genuine warmth so rarely found in films about ice.

Peter Lefort

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Screenings of this film:

2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)
2006/2007 Autumn Term (35mm)