With an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature, Ice Age was greeted with such enthusiasm that it was entitled to a sequel; Ice Age 2: The Meltdown. Released in March 2006, and keeping the predecessor’s offbeat tone, this new adventure was met with a more mixed reception from critics, but was warmly-received by audiences and fans. It was also a box office hit, grossing a massive $660.9 million worldwide, and cementing Ice Age as a major animated franchise.
Since the first movie, Blue Sky significantly improved the visual quality for the sequel’s animation by creating two new software for lighting and fur. This has resulted in more realistic rendering, especially when the fur on the characters gets wet.
But the improvements aren’t just exclusive to the animation. With Carlos Saldana (co-director of the first Ice Age movie) put in the director’s chair for the sequel, he gave goals and developments to each of the main characters, such as Diego overcoming his fear of water, Sid going on a quest to gain respect, and Manny desperate to find another mammoth, fearing he’s the last of his kind.
Things look bright for Manny when he stumbles upon Ellie, a mammoth who thinks she’s a possum and her two "brothers" Crash and Eddie. Ellie at first seems to be the complete opposite of Manny. A joyful and dippy, character who contrasts with Manny’s is calm and quiet personality. However, the trip they undertake with the others to reach a boat that will help them escape the flooding of their territory will allow them to discover and appreciate one another.
The main actors of the first movie returned to voice for the sequel, with Ray Romano, John Leguizamo and Denis Leary in their respective roles of Manny, Sid and Diego, as well as Chris Wedge providing the nutty noises of Scrat. Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, and Josh Peck join the cast as Ellie, Crash, and Eddie respectively.
Following the footsteps of David Newman’s music in the first movie, John Powell composed the musical score for Ice Age 2, and would do the same for the next two movies in the series. A musical number was also added to this sequel, which was “Food Glorious Food” from the Broadway musical Oliver!.
Technical description of the film:
- Country of origin: United States
- Director: Carlos Saldanha
- Producer: Lori Forte
- Screenplay: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow, Jim Hecht
- Story: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow
- Music: John Powell
- Distributor: 20th Century Fox
- Studio: Blue Sky Studios
- MPAA rating: PG
- Running time: 91 minutes
- Ray Romano - Manny
- John Leguizamo - Sid
- Denis Leary - Diego
- Queen Latifah - Ellie
- Sean William Scott - Crash
- Josh Peck - Eddie
- Jay Leon - Fast Tony
- Chris Wedge - Scrat
Theatrical release in the USA: March 31, 2006
DVD/Blu-ray release in the USA: November 21, 2006