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Ice Age: The Meltdown

Genre: Animation
Rated: PG
Directed by
Released by: 20th Century Fox

In Short: The unlikely "Ice Age" trio of sloth, tiger and mammoth return in a sequel that just might be better than the original.

Sloths, Saber-tooths and Mammoths—
Oh My!

Returning to the "Ice Age"
By Jenny Peters

If the sound of giggling children is music to your ears, then "Ice Age: The Meltdown" is not to be missed. The animated sequel to the 2002 smash hit "Ice Age," this merriment-inducing meltdown continues the adventures of three extremely unlikely animals – Sid the sloth, Diego the saber-tooth tiger and Manny the mammoth. As voiced by John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Ray Romano, these fast friends find themselves in big trouble as the film begins, for the ice that characterizes the world they live in is melting.

Joining a mass exodus from their soon-to-be-flooded valley home (and following a similar basic theme of the first film, that of a journey of self-discovery), the trio meets up with an unexpected threesome along the way. Manny thinks he's the only mammoth left on earth, only to discover Ellie (Queen Latifah), a female mammoth who thinks she's actually a possum, like her two rambunctious brothers Crash and Eddie (Josh Peck, Seann William Scott). The sequel continues the "Ice Age" life lesson about what really makes up a true family.

Serious hilarity ensues, which is when the kids in the crowd will go crazy with laughter – and adults will find jokes aimed right at them as well. Plus, there's some danger thrown in (it can't all be easy, of course), in the guise of two very scary underwater creatures hoping to eat our heroes for dinner. There's even a Busby Berkeley-influenced musical number starring vultures, a real showstopper that has to be seen to be believed.

Then there's Scrat. This acorn-chasing rodent stole the show in the first flick, and he's back at it again in the sequel. His adventures are interwoven throughout the story, and are even more clever and side-splittingly funny than before. This character alone proves that director Carlos Saldanha and the rest of the folks at Blue Sky Studios really understand how to use animation to its fullest, for Scrat never speaks, but he's still the star of the show.

"Ice Age: The Meltdown" proves once again that mining the world's very distant past is a perfect way to entertain both young and old in today's present.

(Published: 03/29/06)

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