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Ice Age: The Meltdown

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Ice Age: The Meltdown
Ice Age 2 poster.jpg
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCarlos Saldanha
Screenplay by
  • Peter Gaulke
  • Gerry Swallow
  • Jim Hecht
Story by
  • Peter Gaulke
  • Gerry Swallow
Produced byLori Forte
Starring
Edited byHarry Hitner
Music byJohn Powell
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • March 31, 2006 (2006-03-31) (United States)
Running time
91 minutes
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$80 million
Box office$660.9 million[1]

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.

Plot

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, one of the glacier fragments that fell earlier actually contains two sea reptiles from the Mesozoic era; Cretaceous, a Cymbospondylus and Maelstrom, a Pliosauroidea which later frees themselves and devours a turtle named Stu. When Manny is briefly separated from them, Diego and Sid encounter two mischievous opossums named Crash and Eddie who drive them nuts by playing Whac-A-Mole with them. Manny is still worried about being the last mammoth alive and his family, who had been killed by humans, but is surprised when he encounters Ellie, a female woolly mammoth who believes she is an opossum and Crash and Eddie's adoptive sister. Sid invites her to tag along with the group to escape the flood, and she brings her brothers. After a dangerous encounter with Cretaceous and Maelstrom while crossing a pond, Sid prompts Diego to encourage him to admit and face his fears - Diego insists that "fear is for prey", so Sid points out that Diego is behaving as if HE is the water's prey. They discover an area which Ellie recalls as the place where she was adopted. She finally realizes she is a mammoth and also expresses her suspicions about how different she was from other opossums. 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. 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 and her brothers when they argue about which way's safest to go through.

Just as the group bypasses the geysers, the ice dam subsequently fails, unleashing a devastating flood upon the valley. Manny is forced to go back to save Ellie after the latter gets trapped inside a cave. Cretaceous and Maelstorm later 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 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 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, but after some encouragement from his friends, he catches up to her admits to her that he loves her and proposes to her while hanging on a tree like an opossum. The Herd, alongside the opossum brothers then proceeds to venture out of the valley through the fissure as the screen fades to white.

The epilogue shows Scrat having a near death experience after falling into the fissure. He 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, which throws him into a fit of rage. The movie ends with Scrat viciously assaulting Sid for "saving" him.

Cast

Production

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."[2] By June 2002, Blue Sky Studios was already working on the sequel.[3] 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.[4] 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."[5] In that same year, 2006 was reported as the planned release year,[6] and by August 2004, its final release date, March 31, 2006, had been set.[7]

Initially developed under the working title of Ice Age 2,[7] it was renamed by June 2005 to Ice Age 2: The Meltdown,[8] 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.[9]

Soundtrack

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.[10]

Release

Ice Age: The Meltdown had its world premiere on March 19, 2006, at the Mann's Grauman Chinese Theater in Los Angeles, California.[11] The film was re-released in 3D on October 13, 2014 in China only.[12]

Marketing

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.[13] 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.

One of the posters for the film was a parody of an iPod advertisement, with "iAge" replacing "iPod" and an acorn replacing an iPod.

Home media

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.[14] They were released in the UK on October 23, 2006, and both include a new Scrat short, No Time for Nuts.

Reception

Box office

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.[1] 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.[15]

Critical reception

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."[16] Another review aggregator, Metacritic, calculated a score of 58, placing it at the high end of the site's "mixed or average reviews" category.[17]

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.[18] 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.[19] 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."[20] 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".[21]

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.[22][18]

CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave The Meltdown an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale.[23]

Analysis

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.[24] 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.[25]

Video game

A tie-in video game was published by Vivendi Universal Games.[26]

Sequels

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.

See also

References

  1. ^ a b "Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on October 18, 2009. Retrieved July 1, 2009.
  2. ^ Lyons, Charles (March 24, 2002). "Fox, Blue Sky warming up assembly of 'Robots'". Variety. Archived from the original on March 3, 2020. Retrieved May 9, 2015.
  3. ^ Hettrick, Scott (June 25, 2002). "Fox thaws 'Ice' vid plan". Variety. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved May 9, 2015. 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.
  4. ^ Bloom, David (March 5, 2003). "Fox finds its Forte". Variety. Archived from the original on March 5, 2016. Retrieved March 5, 2003.
  5. ^ "'Ice Age 2' Going Ahead According To Denis Leary". Killer Movies. July 10, 2003. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved May 30, 2015.
  6. ^ Graser, Marc (June 1, 2003). "'Tooning up or 'tooning out?". Variety. Archived from the original on October 16, 2015. Retrieved May 9, 2015. Blue Sky Studios, which created last year’s CGI hit “Ice Age” for Fox and is now prepping a sequel for 2006,...
  7. ^ a b "Ice Age 2". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on August 13, 2004. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  8. ^ "Drea de Matteo and Queen Latifah set for 'Ice Age 2: The Meltdown.'". MovieWeb. June 20, 2005. Archived from the original on March 4, 2016. Retrieved July 25, 2015.
  9. ^ Dunlop, Renee (April 10, 2006). "Carlos Saldanha, Director of Ice Age 2: The Meltdown". CGSociety. Archived from the original on January 29, 2013. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  10. ^ "Ice Age: The Meltdown". Varese Sarabande. Archived from the original on June 15, 2012. Retrieved June 18, 2012.
  11. ^ "Save the Date: ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN -- World Premiere, Los Angeles, CA -- Sunday, March 19th, 2006". Business Wire (Press release). Twentieth Century Fox. March 13, 2006. Archived from the original on May 8, 2015. Retrieved May 8, 2015.
  12. ^ "Ice Age: The Meltdown 2014 Re-release". Box Office Mojo. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved September 5, 2020.
  13. ^ MacFarlane, Seth (2006). Family Guy season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Sibling Rivalry" (DVD). 20th Century Fox.
  14. ^ "Ice Age: The Meltdown DVD: Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott". Fox Store. Archived from the original on December 20, 2007. Retrieved October 27, 2006.
  15. ^ Kilday, Gregg (December 9, 2016). "Illumination's Chris Meledandri Talks Success Secrets, Rumors He'll Head DreamWorks". The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on December 1, 2017. Retrieved January 22, 2017.
  16. ^ "Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Archived from the original on September 25, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2022. Edit this at Wikidata
  17. ^ "Ice Age: The Meltdown". Metacritic. Archived from the original on October 1, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  18. ^ a b Smith, Neil (April 8, 2006). "Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)". BBC. Archived from the original on July 3, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  19. ^ Westbrook, Caroline (October 30, 2006). "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown Review". Empire. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  20. ^ Ebert, Roger (March 31, 2006). "Ice Age: The Meltdown". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on December 17, 2012. Retrieved December 14, 2012.
  21. ^ Jones, Kimberly (March 31, 2006). "Ice Age: The Meltdown". Austin Chronicle. Archived from the original on August 15, 2020. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  22. ^ French, Phillip (April 9, 2016). "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown". The Guardian. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  23. ^ "CinemaScore". cinemascore.com. Archived from the original on January 19, 2015. Retrieved February 14, 2015.
  24. ^ Moore, Ellen E. (2017). Landscape and the Environment in Hollywood Film. Springer International Publishing. pp. 43–44. ISBN 9783319564111. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  25. ^ Moore, Ellen E. (2017). Landscape and the Environment in Hollywood Film. Springer International Publishing. p. 43. ISBN 9783319564111. Archived from the original on April 18, 2021. Retrieved February 17, 2021.
  26. ^ Navarro, Alex (March 31, 2006). "Ice Age 2 Review". GameSpot. Archived from the original on June 16, 2014. Retrieved December 10, 2015.

External links

Video game