Ice Age 2: The MeltdownBy Jane Louise Boursaw
MPAA Rating: PG
Here’s where we reconnect with our beloved sub-zero heroes: moody woolly mammoth Manfred (Ray Romano), devilish saber-toothed tiger Diego (Denis Leary), and smooth-talking but dim sloth Sid (John Leguizamo).
The unlikely trio quickly learns that the warming climate has one big drawback: a huge glacial dam is about to break and flood the entire valley. The only chance of survival lies at the other end of the valley, so our three heroes embark on a mission across an increasingly dangerous landscape to save themselves.
And remember how sad Manny was in the first movie because he had no family? Well, in this one, he gets a girlfriend named Ellie (Queen Latifah), who brings along her two "brothers" -- possums Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck of Drake and Josh). That frantic, acorn-crazy squirrel Scrat (squeaked by Chris Wedge, who directed Ice Age) makes another appearance, too, once again starring in his own counter-storyline as the movie progresses.
If you loved Ice Age (and who didn’t? There’s a reason it was nominated for an Oscar and won four other awards), this movie is just as much fun, with lots of action, great characters, and fun dialogue.
PRE-SCHOOLER (ages 2-5): Youngsters will love seeing the familiar characters they know from Ice Age on the big screen again. Thanks to the wonderful animation, all the characters have their own distinctive personalities and expressions, and we see them more as quirky humans than cartoon animals. Even little ones pick up on these details. Be aware that there are some tense scenes involving the melting landscape and other animals, as well as the some potty-talk between the main characters. If your kids were ok with the first movie, they’ll be fine with this one.
GRADE-SCHOOLER (ages 6-10): Lots of action and witty banter make this a winner for grade-schoolers. As in Ice Age, kids learn the importance of friendship and working together (even though these animals would have eaten each other for dinner in the real ice age!)
TWEEN/TEEN (ages 11+): This movie is really geared for younger kids, but young-at-heart tweens and teens will get a kick out of it. Manny’s new love interest provides a bit more "grown-up" content to this movie than the original.
Jane Louise Boursaw is a freelance journalist specializing in the movie and television industries.