Ice Age: The Meltdown
|Ice Age: The Meltdown|
|Directed by||Carlos Saldanha|
|Produced by||Lori Forte|
|Edited by||Harry Hitner|
|Music by||John Powell|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$660.9 million|
Ice Age: The Meltdown is a 2006 American computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the sequel to Ice Age (2002) and the second installment in the Ice Age film series. The film was directed by Carlos Saldanha (in his feature directorial debut). Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Chris Wedge reprise their roles from the first Ice Age film, with newcomers Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, and Queen Latifah joining the cast. In the film, Manny, Sid, and Diego attempt to escape an impending flood, during which Manny finds love.
The film premiered in Belgium on March 1, 2006, and in the United States on March 31. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it grossed $660.9 million worldwide, marking it the third highest-grossing film of 2006 and the highest-grossing animated film of 2006. Three more sequels were released: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs in 2009, Ice Age: Continental Drift in 2012, and Ice Age: Collision Course in 2016.
Manny, Sid, and Diego are currently living in a large valley surrounded by an enormously high ice wall on all sides. However, the trio subsequently discovers that the ice wall is actually a dam that is barely holding a massive reservoir that could flood the valley to nearly a mile underwater if it fails. A vulture tells them that there is a boat at the other end of the valley that may save them all, but they only have three days to reach it or die. Shortly after, a huge chunk of ice breaks off from the top of the dam, initiating their immediate evacuation. Meanwhile, Manny is struggling with the thought of possibly being the last mammoth alive and Diego is revealed to suffer from severe hydrophobia due to his inability to swim.
During the evacuation, Cretaceous, a Cymbospondylus and Maelstrom, a Pliosauroidea who were frozen since the Mesozoic era free themselves thanks to the melting ice and seek to eat all the mammals they can get during the flood. Still missing his deceased wife and child and worried about being the last mammoth, Manny asks Sid and Diego for a bit of privacy. While Manny meets Ellie, a female woolly mammoth who believes she is an opossum, Diego and Sid meet two mischievous actual opossums named Crash and Eddie who drive them nuts by playing Whac-A-Mole with them, whom Ellie believes to be her brothers. Thinking Manny and Ellie are the only two mammoths left on Earth, Sid invites her to tag along with them to escape the flood, and she brings her brothers. After a dangerous encounter with Cretaceous and Maelstrom while crossing a pond, Sid tries to teach Diego how to swim while Manny and Ellie discover an area which the latter recalls as the place where she was found and adopted by Crash and Eddie's mother after she got lost from her biological family and never found them again. She finally realizes she is a mammoth and also expresses her suspicions about how different she was from other opossums. Manny begins to fall in love with her, but denies his feelings at first because he feels like he is replacing his deceased wife and child, as spouses and children are not something somebody can easily move on from, especially if that someone lost them through death. Despite this bonding moment with Manny, she distances herself from him when he suggests "saving their species". Ellie and Manny ultimately reconcile when they must co-operate to save the group when the ground cracks under their feet. Ellie begins to reciprocate Manny's feelings afterwards. Sid is kidnapped by a tribe of mini-sloths who believe Sid to be a god. Sid lights a fire for them, and believes that he has finally found respect, but they plan to sacrifice him by tossing him into a volcano; Sid narrowly escapes. The next morning, Sid tells the others about his experience but none are convinced. After being harassed by vultures, the group finds the boat behind a field of hot geysers, which separates Manny, Sid and Diego from Ellie, Crash and Eddie when they argue about which way's safest to go through.
Just as Manny, Sid and Diego bypasses the geysers, the ice dam subsequently fails, unleashing a devastating flood upon the valley. Ellie, Crash and Eddie, who took the safer yet longer way, get trapped inside a cave due to failing rocks. Crash and Eddie escape through a small hole and warn Manny, who rushes back to save her. Crash and Eddie are taken by the current; Sid tries to save them, but hits his head on a ice block and gets knocked out, forcing Diego to overcome his fear to save him and the possums, using the tactics Sid thought him earlier. Cretaceous and Maelstorm ambushes Manny underwater but he manages to kill the two by tricking them to dislodge a boulder, allowing Manny to save Ellie from drowning at the same time. He and Ellie reunites with the others atop a boulder but their joy is short-lived as the water is still rising. Meanwhile, Scrat, after a series of misadventures to get back his acorn, climbs the adjacent glacial wall beside them and inadvertedly creates a long crack when he punctures the ice with his acorn. The crack then widens into a gigantic fissure which splits opens the wall and drains the floodwaters, saving everyone, but in the process, Scrat falls within the fissure and gets washed away.
Shortly after, Sid encounters the Mini-Sloth tribe once again. Their leader suggest that Sid joins them but Diego replies that he is a "vital part" in their herd, which makes Sid happy. A group of mammoths later appear from the fissure, proving to everyone that mammoths aren't really extinct. Manny initially lets Ellie go with the mammoth herd as he no longer has the excuse to saving their species to be with her and still thinks of his deceased family, but after some encouragement from his friends to let go of his past so he can have a future, he catches up to her, admits to her that he loves her, regardless if they are the last ones or not, and proposes to her while hanging on a tree like an opossum. Manny, Ellie, Sid, Diego, Crash and Eddie then proceed to venture out of the valley as one big happy family.
After falling into the fissure and nearly drowning, Scrat has a near death experience where enters a heaven full of acorns. Suddenly, he finds himself being "sucked back" just as he is about to reach a gigantic acorn. Scrat then discovers that he has been resuscitated by Sid through CPR, which throws him into a fit of rage when he thinks Sid stole his acorn (which is nowhere to be found), and proceeds to viciously attack him with kung fu moves.
- Ray Romano as Manny, the woolly mammoth.
- John Leguizamo as Sid, the ground sloth.
- Denis Leary as Diego, the Smilodon.
- Chris Wedge as Scrat, the sabre-toothed squirrel.
- Queen Latifah as Ellie, the woolly mammoth, who is under the delusion that she is a possum.
- Seann William Scott and Josh Peck as Crash and Eddie, the opossums, respectively.
- Will Arnett as Lone Gunslinger Vulture
- Jay Leno as Fast Tony, a giant armadillo.
- Tom Fahn as Stu, a Glyptodon.
- Alex Sullivan as James, the aardvark.
- Alan Tudyk as Cholly, the chalicothere.
- Clea Lewis as Female Mini Sloth / Dung Beetle Mom
- Debi Derryberry as Gastornis Mom
- Cindy Slattery as Aardvark Mom
After the release of Ice Age in March 2002, executive producer Chris Meledandri commented on the potential Ice Age sequel: "The success of Ice Age is something that gives us additional momentum. It's too early to say, but it's certainly something we'll explore." By June 2002, Blue Sky Studios was already working on the sequel. In 2003, Lori Forte, the producer of the first film, signed a multi-year deal with Fox Feature Films to develop and produce animated films, including a potential Ice Age sequel. During an interview with Denis Leary in July 2003, he said that he had expressed hope to reprise his role as Diego in the sequel: "I think there's a story – the people at Fox are working on one right now. I think they're talking about going back into the studios something around late Fall." In that same year, 2006 was reported as the planned release year, and by August 2004, its final release date, March 31, 2006, had been set.
Initially developed under the working title of Ice Age 2, it was renamed by June 2005 to Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, but for the film's final release in March 2006, the creators decided to remove the number 2, calling it Ice Age: The Meltdown. However, in the United Kingdom, Ireland, Mexico, and Australia, its title is promoted as Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Also, most of the sponsors of the film had the 2 in their packaging after the name change (they however did edit the 2 out of their TV ads).
Carlos Saldanha, the director of the film, strove to make the characters eyes appear alive and not mechanical. “You want the facial expressions to work. I wanted it to be so that if you looked into their eyes, you would know what they were thinking.” in his own words. The characters, despite being from the last movie, were remodeled for the sequel.
The score is by John Powell; the soundtrack also features the song "Food Glorious Food" from the musical and film Oliver!. Powell composed brand new music for the film that replaced the theme songs from the previous film. Aram Khachaturian's Adagio from Spartacus is featured during Scrat's Heavenly vision. The track was released as a record, titled Ice Age: The Meltdown on March 28, 2006 by Varèse Sarabande Records.
Ice Age: The Meltdown had its world premiere on March 19, 2006, at the Mann's Grauman Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California. The film was re-released in 3D on October 13, 2014 in China only.
As an additional marketing ploy a special "anti-cell" spot was created with Sid complaining to the audience about a ringing cellular phone. The same was done for Brother Bear, I, Robot, Kung Fu Panda, and Robots.
On Family Guy's episode "Sibling Rivalry", Scrat is shown trying to take three nuts out of the side of a glacier; Peter shows up and tries to stop him, admonishing the squirrel for stealing, which drives Scrat to subsequently attack Peter. The scene was rendered in 3D (Family Guy is normally drawn in 2D), and Scrat was voiced by Chris Wedge who voices him in the films. Fox aired promotions for the film throughout the evening. During the same evening of this cameo, Sid was hosting the entire FOX line-up, showing up in intermittent times between commercials.
Re-edited scenes of Ice Age: The Meltdown were shown in Airhead candy commercials on several kids' channels and programs, such as the Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, ABC Kids on ABC, and more. It shows, in part, that after Scrat defeats a school of piranha, he proudly displays an Airhead packet (replaced by an acorn in the actual film), when suddenly an eagle comes over and swipes it from him.
Ice Age: The Meltdown was released on Blu-ray Disc and DVD were released in the North America on November 21, 2006 according to the official web store. They were released in the UK on October 23, 2006, and both include a new Scrat short, No Time for Nuts.
The film exceeded expectations by opening with an $68,033,544 in its first weekend. This was the second biggest opening for a non-summer, non-holiday release, after the $83,848,082 of The Passion of the Christ. But the record for highest grossing weekend for March only lasted a year, due to the $70,885,301 weekend of 300. The film grossed a total of $195,330,621 at United States and Canadian box offices, making it the first film in 2006 to pass the $100 million mark. The film has grossed $660,940,780 worldwide and it is the 66th highest-grossing film of all time. Ice Age: The Meltdown was the highest grossing animated film worldwide of 2006, but lost to Cars for being the highest grossing animated film in North America.
Chris Meledandri, then president of 20th Century Fox Animation, credited the film's successful performance to the studio's strength in global marketing and distribution, the diversity of the crew, and Saldanha's method of using images rather than words to solve creative problems, which helped him realize that the animation of a film is just as important as the story and dialogue, leading him to start Illumination Entertainment with Universal a year later.
Ice Age: The Meltdown received mixed reviews, with Rotten Tomatoes giving the film a "rotten" rating, with 57% of reviews positive. The consensus statement reads: "Despite its impressive animation and the hilarious antics of the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown comes up short on the storytelling front." Another review aggregator, Metacritic, calculated a score of 58, placing it at the high end of the site's "mixed or average reviews" category.
Neil Smith, writing for the BBC, gave the film four stars out of five, declaring it as "an improvement on the original", and praising the film's greater focus on Scrat and its environmentalist themes. Caroline Westbrook, writing in Empire magazine, gave the film three stars out of five, declaring that it had "plenty of laughs", but critiquing its plot as badly put together. Roger Ebert gave the film two-and-a-half stars out of four, stating "the first Ice Age movie more or less exhausted these characters and their world, and the meltdown doesn't add much." Kimberly Jones of the Austin Chronicle gave the film two stars out of five, calling it a "watered-down likeness" of the first film that lacked its "geniality", and critiquing its third act as "too scary".
Film critics generally agreed that the scenes focusing on the character of Scrat were the most entertaining parts of the movie, with Smith and Phillip French of The Guardian both expressing this view.
In an analysis of environmentalist themes in the film, Ellen E. Moore, a lecturer at the University of Washington Tacoma, found that while the film presents climate change as a serious issue that threatens the main characters, the film's vagueness around what is causing the climate change undermines the scientific consensus that humans are causing climate change. Moore also found that the story contains numerous references to the biblical narrative of Noah's Ark, citing as evidence for this connection the fact that the animals largely travel either on pairs or as couples with children to the boat that is to save them. Moore ties these religious themes into what she perceives as the film's refusal to fully back anthropogenic climate change.
The third Ice Age film, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was released on July 1, 2009, while the fourth film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, was released on July 13, 2012 and the fifth film, Ice Age: Collision Course, was released on July 22, 2016.
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Blue Sky is working on its next CGI movie for Fox called “Robots,” due out in 2004, with a sequel to “Ice Age” to follow.
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Blue Sky Studios, which created last year’s CGI hit “Ice Age” for Fox and is now prepping a sequel for 2006,...
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- Video game