“If your species has a future clap your hands".
“What in the animal kingdom was that?!”- Sid the Sloth
Ice age 2 The Meltdown is a revelation. I saw it with no expectations whatsoever except quality animation seeing the kind of work done in the first Ice Age. But it goes much beyond and conquers far new pastures that the first edition did. Seeing the more or less similar story lines of the recent and many upcoming Hollywood animation products which tend to mix the conventional jungle adventure fantasy in a urban setting/context/sensibilities (Madagascar, Chicken Little etc.), one thought this too is gonna go the same way. But Ice Age 2 though again relies on the same disaster-lurking-around concept(and friendship winning over the fear of apocalypse), has an excellent narrative pace. It takes formula and celebrates it. There is everything in here that you could and could not expect from this solid adventurous joyride. The film works largely on these levels:
1) The strong narrative flow which is unpretentious and does not try hard to make the characters blow in your face by dropping witty one-liners towards the beginning of the film. They take their own sweet screen time to know you, acclimatize with the setting and then, slowly deliver the goods in the journey of fun and adventure.
2) This Ice Age is green, yellow and brown, and no one is complaining!
3) The use of the proto-squirrel and the acorn theme is a nice symbolic cinematic tool to depict the larger realities of life. It entertains yet makes one think about our craving for ‘fiction’ when there is so many bitter truths around.
4) Impressive dubbing by the likes of Queen Latifah(Elie, the female mammoth) and John Laguizamo(Sid the Sloth).
5) The funny angle of Manny’s fear of extinction, the possum ‘sequences, Sid’s hilarious philosophical discourses on fear and other things and his ever illusive concept of ‘respect’ getting highlighted at his discovery of a secret fan ‘cult’ is representative of the pleasing monsters that we build for our own joy, well done song sequences(one with vultures singing about food takes the cake), Ellie’s sweet conflict with Manny over how to treat the kids, her being a possum and her subtle expressions of love, the real treatment of the underlying emotion of death, doom and destruction.
6) The reiteration of family values, which must have been quite tough seeing the million times that it has been done in this genre.
7) Layered and well worked-upon character of Manny.
There is many an interesting things to this film that all cant be mentioned in a single writing. They keep reoccurring in the mind and leave a heartfelt smile. It is worth two watches at least, you will relish the pot pourri of emotions blended with innovative use of technique and sound. Not to be missed!