Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (commonly known as Ice Age: The Meltdown) is a 2006 computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film directed by Carlos Saldanha. It is the second of five films released in the Ice Age series, made by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox.
The film is set during the days of the ice age and after the events of the first film; the animals that migrated south enjoy the melting ice and snow. Manny, Sid and Diego, now a herd, discover that the valley they all live in is to flood. The three (along with Scrat) direct all other animals to safety, and meet a female mammoth named Ellie and her adoptive possum brothers Crash and Eddie, who manage to join the herd.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was warmly-received by the general public. The film was also a box office success, grossing $660 million worldwide against it's $80 million budget.
Two months after the events of the first film, Scrat the saber-tooth squirrel tries to access his acorn, which is lodged into a great wall of ice, but releases a stream of meltwater from the ice wall upon removing the nut, which blasts him down into an ice slide where a young platybelodon slides down, carrying him along, as the young animal reaches a vast waterpark where herds of other animals are all enjoying the pools and slides formed from the melting ice. Manny, Sid and Diego are among the animals at the waterpark, with Sid attempting to earn respect from his peers by starting up a day camp for young animals. None take the sloth seriously, to his dismay, and Sid wanders off to find another means of earning respect.
Manny and Diego move on to find that Fast Tony, a local armadillo con artist, with the help of his assistant Stu, is attempting to convince the other animals to buy river reeds from him, claiming that the the world will soon flood over and that by purchasing his products they might survive. Manny discredits this, stating that the world will not flood over, when one aardvark discredits his ideals, claiming that Manny is the last mammoth, when attention shifts to Sid, who is standing atop the Eviscerator, the tallest water slide in the park, with the intention of jumping. As Manny and Diego go up to get him down, they see that Fast Tony's claims were correct: behind the walls of ice is a vast body of meltwater.
Moving back to warn the other animals, Manny, Sid and Diego slide down the Eviscerator and nearly collide with Fast Tony, whose lies they confirm as true, to the skepticism of the other animals. At that moment, however, a vulture known as the Lone Gunslinger appears and states that the valley will flood over, with the only means of escape being a boat at the end of the valley, which they must reach before three days, when the waters hit the geyser fields near the boat. The vulture then explains his intent to eat those that die off in the flood before flying off, and with that a large chunk of ice breaks from the glacier forming the waterpark, nearly crushing some of the animals on the slides before landing in the meltwater lake. Manny then ushers the animals along and takes a moment to look out at the chunk of broken ice in the lake suspiciously, until Diego moves him along as well. Within the ice, unseen by the animals, are two frozen sea reptiles named Cretaceous and Maelstrom.
The herds of animals move along towards the end of the valley, with Manny moving everyone along before Sid offhandedly remarks that Manny is going extinct, a rumor aided by the aardvark that stated that mammoths were extinct, which he announced to his children, one of whom went missing: a young aardvark named James. James had stayed back at the waterpark, blowing bubbles into the waters before he was frightened off by Stu, who went swimming with the use of one of the river reeds he and Fast Tony were peddling. At that moment, however, Stu is pulled under the surface and consumed by the sea reptiles, his shell regurgitated from the waters in front of Fast Tony, who, unfazed by the demise of his assistant, attempted to pawn the empty shell off to other creatures. With their first meal, the two reptiles swam away.
In the opening scene, Scrat, the saber-toothed squirrel climbs a glacier and comically zips away as he spits out gallons of water, after gnawing a hole in the ice. The frozen world of ice and snow is slowly thawing, though the creatures, of the Ice Age, pay no attention and continue enjoying themselves on slides and pools made by the melting ice. Among them, also enjoying the weather, are our three protagonists from the first film: Manfred (Manny), Sid, and Diego. Through the fun, Sid opens a day camp for children, where none of the younger creatures (nor his mocking friends Manny and Diego) take him seriously. After being teased and insulted by his joking friends, Sid leaves his camp seeking a daring deed to gain respect. After Sid leaves, Manny tells a story to keep the rambunctious toddlers at bay, until a young song bird asks Manny about his "big, happy family" leaving him silent (conflicted by old memories).
Two boys run in fear after Fast Tony (a six banded armadillo), the valley's local con artist, claims that the earth will flood and that the bark and reeds (which he sells) are crucial for survival. Manfred dismisses the idea, but is quickly distracted after he sees Sid trying to high dive from a giant waterfall. As Manny goes with Diego to the top of the waterfall to save Sid, from his act of daredevilry, they discover that the pleasant weather caused the inner-layers ice of the valley's giant, bowl shaped glacier to melt. Only the glaciers outer layers, which formed a dam, kept the valley from flooding.
After they accidentally fall down the waterfall, Manny warns everyone of the valley's impending doom, if the damn should break. However, the animals merely laugh it off, while a pretentious ardvark asks Manny why they should follow his survival advice when his own kind, the mammoths, have gone extinct. The animals good spirits quickly fall, however, as an intimidating vulture convinces the animals that a terrible flood is coming. He then offhandedly mentions a giant boat at the end of the valley which could save them all, much to the valley residents relief. However, as the vulture further explained, the valley had exactly three days before the dam would break and reach the geyser fields until: "BOOM!", the water would rise and flood the valley. After the vultures morbid speech, the masses of animals comically head for the boat, leaving in pairs and families and Scrat follows the trio to the boat. Just as the herds leave, a glacier (which contains two sea reptiles from the Mesozoic era, Cretaceous and Maelstrom) breaks off and eventually melts, releasing the aquatic villains into the melting world.
Sid continuously antagonized Manny about being the last mammoth alive, with his satirical songs (though he wasn't trying to depress Manny, but was merely being Sid). Though Manny initially took a firm stance that he most definitely was NOT the last mammoth, he eventually gave in and let the realization he was alone sink in. However, during a solo, soul searching walk, Manny meets Ellie, a female mammoth, to his happy relief. However, he soon realized Ellie was a very strange mammal as she believed that she was a opossum, like her brothers Crash and Eddie.
Much to Manny's annoyance, Sid later invites Ellie, and her opossum brothers, to tag along with the group to escape the flood (as Diego and Sid agreed it could be Manny's last chance to save his species). After several failed attempts of convincing Ellie she's a mammoth, Manny seemingly gives up, after one last attempt of "impressing" her. Then, after a perilous ordeal with Cretaceous and Maelstrom, Sid, alone, discovers that Diego is afraid of water (despite the denial from a very patronized Diego). After settling down for the night, Manny and Ellie discover a willow grove where Ellie recalls a flashback of being taken in by her eventual opossum mother as a mammoth calf. With the help of her lost memory, she finally realizes that she is, in fact, a mammoth. But despite sharing a slightly romantic moment or two with Manny, she quickly distances herself from him after he suggests that they could now "save their species", as its their responsibility.
Ellie quickly let go of her spite after she and Manny (under the direction of Diego) save the herd from the crumbling Misty Chasm and finally realizes that she and Manny did have chemistry together. As things settle down, the herd sleeps while and unsuspecting Sid is kidnapped by a tribe of mini-sloths, who believe Sid to be a god, referred to as "fire king". After Sid lights a fire for them, and gains their worship, he finally believes that he has found the respect he had been searching for. But, things comically take a turn for the worst, when the mini-sloths try to sacrifice him to a volcano, to appease the gods and avert the flood. Sid luckily escapes, and tries to convince his friends of his ordeal, but, as usual, no one believes him. After the gang make it through the vultures Broadway like performance of "food glorious food" (describing how the vultures would eat the herd) they finally reach the boat. Unfortunately, they find that the field of hot geysers, stands between them and the safety of the giant, bark boat. After a heated debate between Ellie and Manny about the geyser fields (Manny wanting to go through, and Ellie wanting to go around), the group splits with Sid and Diego going with Manny and Crash and Eddie going with Ellie.
As Manny crosses the geyser field and makes it to the boat, he frantically searches for Ellie (beginning to understand the affection he held for her) until, to his horror, Crash and Eddie reveal Ellie's fate. As Ellie, Crash, and Eddie went around the geyser fields, and the three were feet from the giant boat, a mountainside caved in. Instead of crushing Ellie, the fallen boulders and rock slabs piled so that they created a great "boulder cave", with no exit large enough for Ellie to escape. Manny dashes off, with Diego and Sid close behind, until he reaches Ellie's cave, however by that time the flood had already began, with water slowly streaming into the cave. After Manny dives after Ellie, Diego overcomes his fear of water as he saves an unconscious Sid, and a marooned Crash and Eddie. Manny soon squares off with Cretaceous and Maelstrom, and, due to his quick thinking, impales the two with a rock slab from Ellie's cave, likely killing both. As the rock slab falls, Manny is able to save Ellie from the completely submerged cave, and reunites her with the others while Manny and Ellie share a tender moment. However, the moment quickly ends, as flood waters rise higher still, and the group huddles together awaiting their impending doom. While, from inside the giant boat, the valley animals animals look out astonished, as they hold to the mercy of the shifting water currents.
Meanwhile, Scrat climbs up the glacier, leaving a trail of indents from his acorn, until, he sticks the acorn into the glacier's top. This forms a crack from the glacier's top and splits down the line of indents, widening into a fissure until Scrat unintentionally diverts the flood, saving the animals of the valley. Scrat is then washed away in the draining wave of water, and believed to be deceased. The mini-sloths then catch up with a terrified Sid, and ask him to join their group (believing that he averted the flood). Diego steps in, and tells both Sid and the mini-sloths that Sid can't go with them as he's both the creator of their herd and the glue which holds their friendships together (to which Sid embraces an embarrassed Diego). Then, near the end, a large herd of mammoths enter the valley (through the glacier rift) to the amazement of the animals, none more so than Ellie and Manny. Though initially overjoyed, Manny soon becomes conflicted as he no longer has the excuse of being with Ellie to save their species, and reverts back to old fears and memories dealing with his deceased mate and son.
Ellie hints to Manny that he's the one she wants to spend her life with, but she soon leaves with the mammoth herd after Manny's failed attempt of expressing his feelings. Though Manny soon chases after her, after the support of Diego and Sid, and (while hanging from a tree like a opossum) confesses to Ellie that he doesn't want to be with her because they had to, but because he, himself, wanted to. The two lock trunks and embrace and the watching mammoths trumpet in commemoration of their new relationship, while Crash and Eddie weep happily together. As Sid and Diego walk off together, seemingly down trodden, realizing Manny is gone for good, Manny and Ellie, with Crash and Eddie, surprise the two as the mammoths reveal that they have decided to remain together as a herd.
- Chris Wedge as Scrat
- Ray Romano as Manny
- John Leguizamo as Sid
- Denis Leary as Diego
- Seann William Scott as Crash
- Josh Peck as Eddie
- Queen Latifah as Ellie
- Will Arnett as Lone Gunslinger
- Jay Leno as Fast Tony
- Tom Fahn as Stu
- Peter Ackerman as Dung Beetle Dad
- Caitlin Rose Anderson as Billy and Ashley
- Connor Anderson as Rhino boy and Beaver boy
Carlos Saldanha 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 film received mixed reviews from critics, earning a 70% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 58 on Metacritic, indicating "mixed or average reviews." It is the best-reviewed sequel in the franchise.
The film received generally positive reviews from the general public and fans of the first film. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has a audience score of 71%, which indicates the film received generally positive reviews from audiences. The film also earned an "A" rating from CinemaScore. Many fans consider this to be the best sequel, due to how it kept in tone of the first film and developed it's three main characters even further, while the last sequel failed to do it so.
The movie was a major success in the box office, grossing $660 million worldwide. This marks it as the highest grossing animated movie in 2006 and the seventh highest grossing computer animated film, behind Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek Forever After, Finding Nemo, Toy Story 3 and the sequel, Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
Awards and Nominations
Ice Age: The Meltdown received 13 nominations, including Annie Awards for Best Animated Effects, Best Character Design in an Animated Feature Production, Best Directing in an Animated Feature Production (Carlos Saldanha), Best Music in an Animated Feature Production (John Powell) and Best Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production. It was nominated for Kid's Choice Awards' Favorite Animated Movie and Favorite Voice from Animated Movie (Ellie - Queen Latifah) from which it won the later.
A multi-platform game based on the movie was released by Vivendi Games on March 14th, 2006, 17 days before the movie.
The scores were done by John Powell. He composed brand new theme music replacing the original ones.
The DVD was released in the U.S. in November 21, 2006.
- The film was originally going to be released in November of 2005, but was pushed forward to March 2006, mostly due to two reasons: Hurricane Katrina of August of the same year and Robots released in March of the same year.
- Scrat has a small role in the first film, but in the second film, he has lots of screen time, being the film's main protagonist.
- This sequel had a positive impact on the Ice Age franchise.
- The sequel might have received mixed reviews from critics, but the general public and fans of the first film received it warmly.
- The film was a huge blockbuster success, making $660 million on it's $80 million budget.
- One of the many reasons this film is loved is because of how it developed it's main characters even further.
- Sid is shown to be quite smart in this film.
- This is the first Ice Age film to focus more on Manny, than on all three of the main characters from the first film.
- A lot of fans love this film because of how Manny goes through character development and learns how to let go of the past so he can have a future.
- This is the first Ice Age film in the series where Sid and Diego aren't as important as Manny like they were in the first film.
- The Meltdown was the highest-grossing animated film of 2006.
- One of the reasons why the third film was a huge hit was because of how audiences and fans loved The Meltdown.
- Often considered to be the best Ice Age sequel.
- Appeared on Watchmojo's Top 10 Best Animated Sequels as the 10th best animated sequel.
- Appeared on Clevver Movies 8 Best Animated Sequels as the 8th best animated sequel.
- Originally there was going to be a third reptile villain, alongside Cretaceous and Maelstrom, but was cut from the film.
- Originally was going to have a travel montage like the first film, but the crew thought it would be boring and decided not to have one.
- The Meltdown established Ice Age as a major animated franchise.
- This film pushed the Ice Age franchise pass the $1 billion mark.
- The Meltdown is the first film in the series to have a musical number.
- The Meltdown is the first Ice Age film to have John Powell compose the musical score.
- The Meltdown is the first film to have a happy ending instead of a bittersweet ending.
- The Meltdown is the first and only Ice Age film to get receive PG for mild language and innuendo.
- Marks the first and only time an Ice Age film didn't receive a PG rating for mild peril.