It’s safe to say that no one is going to see “Ice Age: The Meltdown” because they’re looking forward to an electrifying performance by Ray Romano. No, the reason why anyone over the age of say, fetus, is heading to the theater is to get another healthy dose of Scrat the Sabertoothed Squirrel.
Thankfully, the filmmakers know their audience, and I’m happy to say that there are a LOT more scenes of Scrat’s futile (and painful) attempts to capture the Last Acorn on Earth. Of course, the film isn’t totally about Scrat. The plot revolves around a bunch of animals who have three days to escape their valley home before an ice dam breaks and floods them into extinction. Helping the animals are the heroes from the first film: Manny the Mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), Diego the Sabertooth Tiger (Denis Leary) and Sid the Sloth (John Lequizamo).
There’s also a boring and unconvincing subplot involving Manny’s fretting about being the last of his kind, until he meets Ellie (Queen Latifah), a female mammoth who thinks she’s a possum. The main plot is pretty pedestrian. We all know that everything’s gonna turn out fine; everyone will live happily ever after; and anyone whose character at the beginning of the film has some personal demon to conquer will, by Act Three, have a Personal Growth Moment.
Which is all fine and good for a children’s movie. What’s Old Hat to us grown-ups is fresh and new to the younguns, and goodness knows kids need some lessons in commitment, friendship and family. But for the rest of us, it’s all about Scrat.