In publication since 1991, Wrangler News is distributed free every other Saturday to more than 18,000 homes in the Kyrene Corridor area of South Tempe and West Chandler, and is supported by local and regional advertisers.

  Search past and present issues of the Wrangler
    Site search Web search                       
   powered by
Classifieds Contact Us Links Media Kit Make a Payment Previous Issues

Back Home Forward
Ice Age 2: The Meltdown
By Mark Moorehead

April 1, 2006

At last, a film you can take the kids to and feel good about it. No complicated story line (Narnia comes to mind), no violent epic battles with scary-face villains, and no sorcery. Instead, we accompany a motley crew of Ice Age mammals, full of wit and humor, on their way to find a safe haven from the impending Ice Age meltdown.

If you’re an adult, this may sound boring unless you consider for a moment the possibility you might live long enough to experience a real global meltdown.

Lack of drama is not the case for the characters in Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Like the residents of New Orleans, the animals in this film live behind a high wall holding back a trillion cubic  yards of water.

However, instead of a concrete levee it’s a wall of melting ice. A break in either case has a certain outcome: the lowland turns into a lake faster than you can say “I Love FEMA.”

Our animated adventure begins with Fat Tony (voice talent of late-night talk show host Jay Leno), a slick con-artist armadillo warning the residents of an impending flood in the valley they call home.

Leno’s character is the polished, high-pressure used-car-salesman type looking to make a few quick bucks by exploiting the fear of doom and gloom. Remember Y2K? His effort fails, though, when Manny the Mammoth (Ray Romano) urges all the Ice Age creatures to cross over to the other end of the valley and higher ground.

Accompanying Manny are Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) and Diego the Saber Toothed Tiger. Sid is the non-stop talking comic relief and all-around guy pal to Manny and Diego. Diego can’t swim and freezes up when he’s near water. Sid understands Diego’s water phobia and works with Diego to overcome the fear.

This is just one of several sub-plots in the film that includes Scrat the squirrel chasing after that elusive acorn and two recently thawed prehistoric reptiles, Cretaceous and Maelstrom, stalking the unsuspecting mammals.

Along their hike across the valley, Manny, Sid and Diego run into Ellie (Queen Latifa), a wholly female mammoth who thinks she’s a possum, and her two brothers, Crash and Eddie. Ellie and her two possum brothers join Manny in their slow march to safety.

Manny thinks he is the last of the Mammoths until he meets Ellie. He logically suggests that they mate to ensure the survival of their species. She tells him his Darwinian offer lacks a little romance and plays hard to get.

Sid is also having a problem meeting his needs. Always looking for respect, he finally finds it when a village of Sloth’s adopts him as one of their own and makes him their fire king. They bow down and worship his every move until they’re about to sacrifice him to the fire god. My 10-year-old son said this was his favorite scene in the movie.

My favorite is where an army of vultures surrounds our hapless mammalian friends and suddenly breaks into a chorus, singing a take-off on the song Food, Glorious Food.

There are plenty of thrills and slapstick spills along the way, including a few quick cuts to update us on Scrat the Squirrel’s progress in capturing that silly nut.

To some this may seem a bit disjointed. The film is, after all, a sequel, and sometimes writers try too hard. However, in the end, the best barometer of a successful children’s film is the audience. And, there were no cold shoulders among the tiny audience members with whom I attended this screening.

Ice Age 2: The Meltdown  kept their warm attention for a full 90 minutes. 


Mark's Movie Meter

General Audiences: B

Animated global warming prequel circa 130,000 B.C. Reminiscent of the type of adult humor you enjoyed in cartoons from the ‘60s and ‘70s when you found yourself laughing at characters you recognized in real life. Sid the Sloth is an example. He’s hilarious as the adult alter ego in this flick.

Family Audiences: A

Fun for the whole family. Nothing objectionable. The same cool characters from the original Ice Age, Sid, Manny, Diego and Scrat, are back. This time they turn up the heat and bring down the house. Rated PG for some mild language and innuendo.



















web site hit counter