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Review

‘Meltdown’ tops typical sequels

April 6, 2006

It’s rare for a sequel to be able to match the original. Needless to say, “Ice Age: The Meltdown” does just that.

In this story we find the odd trio Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) still traveling together along with several other species in a valley.

Everything seems nice and at ease, but Manny begins to overhear speculation that he could be the last mammoth. Though he doesn’t think much of it at first, as time wears on he begins to worry.

At the same time, influential Fast Eddie the Turtle is preaching to everyone that they ought to be worried, not happy, about the ice melting because the ice walls could break, inducing a massive flood.

Manny dismisses the notion at first until he glimpses over the canyon wall and discovers the endless ocean on the other side.

From here on, this massive herd treks toward safety on higher ground.

They unexpectedly run into Ellie who, much to Manny’s delight, is another mammoth.

The bad news is, for some insane reason she thinks she’s an opossum. Accompanying Ellie are her two ‘brothers,’ Crash and Eddie.

These three new characters do prove themselves worthy to share the screen with the original bunch. Crash and Eddie’s hyper personalities really do add energy to the film.

And of course, the lovable, scene-stealing, acorn-obsessed Scrat is back as well.

Like before, his miniscule actions change the outcome of the story.

Scrat proves time and again to be the source of the film’s magic. Though we only hear him yelping, his physical humor is classic and unforgettable.

In this sequel, we gain a more in-depth look at the personalities of the original trio. Unfortunately, their uniqueness just doesn’t seem as prominent this time around.

Manny, for example, doesn’t seem quite as smooth and cool as the lone ranger. To see Manny grapple with his feelings and loneliness somehow gives him the impression of appearing physically weaker.

Diego’s signature bad boy attitude seems less roguish, instead tamer, and is coupled with his discovery of aquaphobia.

Even Sid somehow seems less dimwitted, and therefore doesn’t get into quite as many dangerous and idiotic situations as before.

Though I admit it isn’t nearly as rib-tickling as the original, I’ve seen other sequels fare far worse when trying to reuse the same kind of humor.

Nonetheless, “Ice Age: The Meltdown” proved to be one of those films where you couldn’t help but join in with the laughter. I recommend seeing it in a roomful of children, and you’ll be able to catch every funny moment.

Once again the animation proved impressive, accompanied with charming characters. Overall, it turned out to be a very good movie.

Nick is a junior studying history. He enjoys watching comic book superhero movies.