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Published on June 21st, 2008 | by simeon


Ice Age 2 The Meltdown

It has been almost four years since audiences last embraced the animated misadventures of a pack of prehistoric animals in the runaway smash Ice Age.

As the calendar moves into spring the multiplexes throughout the land prepare to welcome the arrival of the early summer season films which like the warming of spring also indicates a warming at the box office as scores of moviegoers look forward to the latest releases which often contain a fair number of sequels.

In the new film, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown things are going well for the animals as they frolic the days away in a scenic glacier. Sid (John Leguizamo) has taken it upon himself to open a camp for younger animals much to the dismay of his friends Manny (Ray Romano), and Diego (Denis Leary).

Things take a turn for the worse when a rapidly warming environment threatens to melt the ice and flood the valley which results in a mass migration of the animals to a new locale where they will be safe from the flooding.

Along the way, Manny, Diego, and Sid encounter an odd trio of refugees, a family of possums. What makes this family different is that one of the possums named Ellie (Queen Latifah) is actually a Mammoth who thinks she is a possum after she was taken in at an early age by the two brothers Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck).

Along the way this eclectic band of creatures must bond with one another as they face all manner of obstacles ranging from the elements to dangerous animals and the growing bond/tensions between Manny and Ellie who Manny fears may be the last two mammoths left.

Of course it would not be an Ice Age film without the misadventures of Scrat, the loveable squirrel from the first film who is still trying desperately to secure his beloved acorn and has all manner of misadventures as a result. As good as the other characters are the comedic interludes with Scrat are the funniest moments in the film which is saying something as there are many, many shining moments in the film.

The animation is first rate and is greatly improved from the first film as the animal’s now show greater texture and motion in their furs as well as a realistic weight transfer when they walk.

While this is not vital to the film, it does show a level of attention and detail that infuses the film with a vitality and flair not often shown in family entertainment that did not come from Disney.

Fox is at the top of their game, and “Ice Age: The Meltdown” is a further reminder that Disney no longer has a lock on animated family classics as this is a film that will delight viewers of all ages.

5 stars out of 5

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