Monday, July 23, 2012

Ice Age: The Meltdown (Carlos Saldanha, 2006) Review

Don't act surprised. Ice Age was a popular animated film and therefore gets a sequel. That's fair, right? You can probably assume that the sequel is not as good. You'd be right. Sure, there are many reasons why it's not as good as the first Ice Age's a sequel. What are you expecting? A masterpiece (other than the fact it looks better and brings in new characters that stay in the series as regulars)? Let's dive

Having bonded after the events of the first film, Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) are now friends but their lives are threatened when the ice age begins to come to an end as the ice and snow begins to melt. Not a problem you say? Didn't you notice the MASSIVE GLACIER next to them? A group of vultures claim that they have built a boat that can save everyone from certain death but what they don't know is that they secretly are waiting for them to drop dead...they're vultures. While on the journey to the boat, Manny learns that he isn't the last mammoth alive! He encounters another mammoth named Ellie (Queen Latifah), who thinks she's a possum as a result of being brought up by a family of possums, and is accompanied by her possum brothers Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck). Now, not only to they have to survive the *ahem* "meltdown", they also have to convince Ellie she is a mammoth.

This is a forgettable film. I can barley remind myself of what happened while writing this. This is a 'bridge film'. Don't get it? A 'bridge film' is a certain film in the franchise that, basically, bridges the gap between films. A good example would be The Dark Knight. Batman Begins and The Dark Knight Rises work well together while The Dark Knight only exists to bring in the Harvey Dent plot line. They don't really need to exist (but I'm glad The Dark Knight exists) but they normally bring in at least one major thing (in this case, Ellie, Crash and Eddie). The vultures are never mentioned again, the meltdown doesn't really have an inpact on the franchise and this film contains the most 'one-shot' characters that don't influence the plot. Everything's forgettable and that's probably the reason. The whole film only exists for Manny's romance and that's it.

The animation has improved greatly. My biggest criticism of the first film was that the animation looked dated and hasn't aged well. The animation is better now and pretty much sets the standard for the rest of the series. The characters that have lots of fur, like the mammoths, look really good. The fur textures in the first film were sort of stuck to Manny's model but now it looks like each hair was individually modelled like in Monsters Inc. A lot went into this film, visually, and it certainly pays off.

Ice Age: The Meltdown isn't the best film int he world. It's a worse film than the first but the much improved animation and CGI models is enough reason to come back. The story is okay...the new characters are...okay. All around it's an okay film. Really, it's nothing special but is by no means a bad film. It's just...average...okay ABOVE average because the voice acting is also great and, like I said, the animation is top notch.

An above average film that, while it isn't as good as the first, it looks good and bridges the gap between the first film and the third film.

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