Making the Grades
Global warming has hit the Ice Age and things are getting a little drippy. Most of the prehistoric creatures are basking in the weather change, but Fast Tony the turtle (voiced by Jay Leno) is predicting impending disaster.
When a hungry vulture (voiced by Will Arnett) confirms that a huge deluge of water is about to flood the valley, the animals all decide to head for higher ground. Among the migrants are Manny the wooly mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano) and his buddies, Diego the saber-tooth tiger (voiced by Denis Leary) and Sid the sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo).
Although the trio survived the cold spell, Manny's grumpy temperament hasn't softened at all. Worried about the reality of extinction, he is on the look out for others of his kind. Unfortunately, Sid only adds to Manny's misery by singing parodies of popular songs where the changed lyrics detail the mammoth's likely demise.
Still, when Manny finally meets Ellie (voiced by Queen Latifah), he's not so sure his problems are over. The megaton mammoth has some quirky behaviors of her own. Adopted by possums, the orphaned Ellie has adapted to climbing trees and sleeping upside down. And among other things, she's oblivious to the obvious size discrepancy between her and her brothers, Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck). Identity issues aside, however, the biggest disparity between Ellie and Manny is her fun-loving spirit and his stick-in-the-mud seriousness.
While these opposing attitudes don't lend themselves to immediate sparks between the hairy creatures, Sid persuades Ellie and her brothers to migrate with them, hoping the friendly female will eventually melt Manny's frosty heart.
Like the original Ice Age, this film is flush with slapstick violence played for comedy. When Sid opens a day camp for kids, he finds himself on the painful end of a pinata stick. Scat, the saber-tooth squirrel, gets more screen time, but his success rate for securing acorns isn't on the rise, despite the increased amounts of personal injury he suffers.
Even though the innuendo may go over the heads of the youngest audience members, the script contains some sexual overtones when Manny and Ellie argue over his indelicate approach to wooing her. As well, the screenplay makes brief use of bathroom humor and mild exclamations.
Yet, in spite of the odd make-up of their herd, these critters manage to avoid the distinction of extinction by working together. Learning to appreciate individual peculiarities, they help one another face the fears and uncertainties of their changing world and ride out the rising tides in Ice Age: The Meltdown.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Ice Age 2: The Meltdown.
Even though Manny and Diego don’t give Sid much credit for his wisdom, how does the sloth help his friends face their fears? What is Manny worried about? What is Diego afraid of?
Several characters warn the animals about the impending danger of the melting ice dam. Why are some of these forecasters believed while others are ignored? How do you determine if a source is credible or not?