Ice Age: The Meltdown
directed by Carlos Saldanha
(20th Century Fox, 2006)

While I didn't think Ice Age: The Meltdown boasted a particularly memorable storyline, it's still a very funny movie all the way through. The filmmakers tend to milk things a little too far in my opinion, especially when it comes to the poor old saber-toothed squirrel just trying to get a nut, and let's face it, a woolly mammoth that thinks she's a possum is just plain silly -- even though it, like everything else, actually manages to work pretty darn well in this movie.

As far as the story goes, Manny (Ray Romano) the mammoth, Diego (Denis Leary) the sabertooth tiger and Sid (John Leguizamo) the sloth have to lead their Arctic friends to safety when their icebound home is threatened by meltdown-generated flooding. Along the way, they pick up Ellie (Queen Latifah) and her two possum brothers. It takes most of the journey for Manny to convince Ellie she is actually a mammoth (which is particularly important to Manny, as he was beginning to fear he was the last of his kind). The gang faces all sorts of dangers they must overcome (and fears they must conquer) if they are to survive.

On paper, it's all pretty formulaic, but the winsome depth of the characters and of course the extraordinary animation make for a consistently funny, exciting adventure.

Sid steals the show time and time again in my opinion, but everyone will latch on to one favorite character or another. The climax is actually pretty exciting and heart-warming, helping make this a film you can't help but enjoy immensely. The Meltdown doesn't distinguish itself the way Cars, for example, does, but it's definitely a film the whole family will enjoy.

review by
Daniel Jolley

1 September 2007

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