“Ice Age 2: The Meltdown” isn’t afraid to be a cartoon. It reminds audiences that it’s okay for computer-generated features to focus on the silly slapstick humor as well as the technology that makes it. Mind you the fur and feather rendering in Ice Age 2 brought to us by the artists at Blue Sky is as soft and fuzzy as CGI hair has ever been, but it doesn’t overpower the tooned up zaniness that prevails.
The core of the original cast continue their parts in this sequel, with a few new voices to fill out the ranks. Dennis Leary returns as the sarcastic tiger Diego while new to the series celebrity, Jay Leno, adds his voice as an annoying Armadillo that gives a used car salesman like view of the end of the world.
At the center of the story, John Leguizamo is the sloth named Sid, who really does hold the movie together and keeps things moving along even when it’s being weighed down by Manny the mopey Mammoth voiced by Ray Romano. Thankfully, Manny doesn’t stay down in the dumps for too long when he discovers that he isn’t the last of his kind. Survival and romance come to mind when another Mammoth named Ellie arrives on the scene. Queen Latifah draws upon her experiences in the music business to fill out the role of Ellie with her strong vocal style. Although she starts off with a bit of an identity crisis, she never is mistaken about who she really is.
And that’s one of the core themes of the "Ice Age" series. That no matter who you are you can make a difference and help the greater good by contributing what you can to the mix. Even if its sheer motivation as the Busby Berkeley treatment is handed over to a bunch of hungry vultures, who eye our heroes while they sing ‘Food Glorious Food’.
The pursuit of the ever-elusive acorn stays as the Scrat creature sole objective in life. In a sideline story of his own, the Scrats adventure runs parallel to the main plot line, interweaving itself at critical junctures. After a while, the Scrats dedication to his goal warms up his mangy appearance, and by the end you’re hoping he reaches the acorn just as much he does.
“Ice Age 2: The Meltdown” is a warm and silly movie that will help thaw out hearts into the spring. Hoping we all get along as well when its time for the human race to be extinct, for Movie Magazine this is Purple.
© 2006 - Purple - Air Date: 4/6/06
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
USA - 2006