Saving the Species

Ice Age: The Meltdown is a lukewarm sequel with enough to offer. Blue Sky Studios is its own unique computer animation company, but it still follows the Pixar and DreamWorks model of putting more emphasis on their biggest hit. After experimenting with Robots, Ice Age: The Meltdown caught up with everyone’s favorite unlikely herd. 4 years made a big difference with the animation going from partially rendered to practically life-like. Although The Meltdown does stray from the original with more swearing and crude jokes, I still enjoy it just as much as I did when I was 10. My brother and I even played the official video game. Scrat continues to steal the show with his own completely separate acorn chasing subplot. Such highlights include being sprayed by water, getting trapped in ice, fighting a school of vicious piranha, and dealing with a baby vulture in a nest.

Scrat has almost no interaction with the main characters until the end where he unknowingly saves the day, dies, and goes to acorn Heaven. Though he does survive long enough to star in another Oscar nominated short called No Time for Nuts. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary are closer than ever as Manny, Sid, and Diego. They spend more time with a community of prehistoric animals in a resort-like iceberg. The conflict this time is global warming. The Meltdown refers to a massive flood that will fill up the ice bowl they live in. Traveling to find a boat is an obvious Noah’s Ark reference. Jay Leno voices the doom bringing armadillo Fast Tony and Will Arnett confirms it as an ever-present vulture. Each herd member has their own problems to deal with.

Sid feels disrespected and ends up being worshipped by an out of nowhere tribe of technicolor sloths. Diego’s problems are downgraded to facing a fear of water. Only Manny is dealing with something more massive. When everyone convinces him he’s the last mammoth, he meets a female mammoth named Ellie. Since Ice Age was a bit of a dude fest, it was nice to have Queen Latifah join the cast. Ellie is a sweet, but delusional mammoth who thinks she’s a possum. Her twin brothers Crash and Eddie are a fun-loving pair that aren’t too annoying. Though it is odd to have Seann William Scott or Josh Peck not paired with their usual co-stars. Their new herd faces broken ice, precarious cliffs, and two mindless prehistoric sea serpents. Manny’s primary goal is to save the species, but his relationship with Ellie grows the way you’d expect. Ice Age: The Meltdown is the only sequel that has heart and a relatively believable story.

4. Ice Age The Meltdown

Manny, Sid, and Diego follow Ellie, Crash, and Eddie

Preceded by: Ice Age & Followed by: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

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