Ice Age: The Meltdown Carlos Saldanha

Kids movies are big business, which has resulted in the recent torrent of CGI children’s cinema being thrust upon the world. With it comes the daunting task of wading through the rough to find diamonds. Apparently we’d better keep looking. Ice Age: The Meltdown succumbs not only to the sophomore jinx but also to the difficulty of matching heightened expectation, and, well, melts down in the process. When its moderately amusing predecessor was released some four years prior, youth-based feature films were few and far between, meaning more time to make films great and a wider — virtually captive — audience. It was a hit. Obviously a sequel would follow. However, it would seem the creators weren’t ready for the influx of competition. Ice Age: The Meltdown rests perilously on a flimsy premise and while not falling completely on its ass, never fully gains any sort of balance. Picking up where Manny (our protagonist Wooly Mammoth characterised by Ray Romano) and prehistoric creature buddies Sid, Diego and Scrat left off, Ice Age: The Meltdown finds this bunch of furry miscreants struggling to escape their beloved sub-arctic valley as the world heats up. Flooding and the breakdown of their icy terrain force the creatures on a journey that eventually finds them encountering Ellie, a female Mammoth who woos Manny. Blah, an animated love story!!! Not only that but one with few truly ingenious adult-oriented gags, a plethora of mindless slapstick even kids tire of and an outright annoying cast: the lethargically voiced Romano, ever-annoying John Leguizamo and predictable Queen Latifah. It’s no wonder there’s an overabundance of extras such as shorts No Time for Nuts and Crash & Eddie Stunts, director/producer commentaries, "Bloopers reel,” games and previews — both parents and kids need something to watch after Ice Age: The Meltdown becomes boring on the second viewing.