• Publication date: April 1, 2010

They�re On Thin Ice And Togetherness is Their Only Escape

�Ice Age: The Meltdown� (2006) is the second edition in the successful Ice Age series. Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo), Diego (Denis Leary), and Scrat (Chris Wedge) return along with a few new additions. The first is Ellie, a mammoth voiced by Queen Latifah who believes that she is actually an opossum.

�Ice Age: The Meltdown� (2006) is the second edition in the successful Ice Age series. Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo), Diego (Denis Leary), and Scrat (Chris Wedge) return along with a few new additions. The first is Ellie, a mammoth voiced by Queen Latifah who believes that she is actually an opossum. Ellie is the adopted sister of Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck), two opossums who rescued her at an early age. Manny, who believes he might be the last mammoth on earth, attempts to form a relationship with his female counterpart, not only to save their species, but also to cure his loneliness. Unfortunately, Ellie dislikes her male counterpart; in fact, his attempts to convince her that she is actually a mammoth, not an opossum enrages her.

The film begins with the lovable Scrat continuing in his quest for acorns. We are reintroduced to our familiar cast, who are now enjoying an abrupt climate change. While no one is quite sure why the weather has suddenly warmed up, nearly everyone is frolicking in the newly formed ponds of water; the gang has even discovered a naturally formed waterslide. Their good times come to an end when Scrat, while searching for his favorite food, accidentally discovers that the warmer weather is melting an important glacier. After thousands of years the glacier formed a natural dam around their valley, protecting it from flooding. Since the glacier is melting before the animals� eyes, it is only a matter of time until their habitat is covered in miles of ocean water. To make matters worse, two giant sea reptiles named Cretaceous and Maelstrom will be released upon the glacier�s collapse, who will inevitably terrorize the smaller, kinder animals.

A ray of hope arrives from an unlikely source: a turkey vulture. The vulture informs the furry family that there is a large, hollow, tree log at the other end of the valley. If the animals can manage to reach it, the log can be used as a boat and they can float to an alternate, safe location. With only three days until the great flood the crew begins their expedition. Yet with any trek of this magnitude there are hardships, and the cute characters will encounter numerous sticky situations � some more easily escaped than others.

Like its predecessor �Ice Age: The Meltdown� is beautifully animated with lifelike scenery and amusing dialog voiced by a number of easily recognizable celebrities. Queen Latifah was awarded a Kids� Choice Award for her depiction of Ellie, while the film itself was nominated as favorite animated movie. Parents and children alike will enjoy this picture and its moments of both joy and pain. Additionally, children (and perhaps even some adults) may come to understand the effects of global warming in an informal context, giving the work both entertainment and educational value.

The film was a box office blockbuster, netting $68 million in its first week alone; it would later generate a total of $651 million internationally making it the 33rd highest grossing film of all time. �Ice Age: The Meltdown� is rated PG for some mild language and innuendo. Its runtime is 91 minutes.