24 April 2006 | lostcheerio
It didn't melt me.
The children liked it but they weren't riveted. That's the short of it. It wasn't a shocking disaster, but it was just a bit muddled. A little scattered. Fragmented. It failed to engage me.
But let's be positive. The writers wisely decided to vastly expand the role of Scrat the Squirrel in this version. Periodically we get to take a break from watching the mammoth, sloth, tiger, possums, and other mammoth walk very slowly along toward the vague "other end" of a vague "valley" to avoid a flood that is being caused by global warming. We get to step back from the grindingly uninspired mammoth love story and the other many subplots that go with the many characters. We get to watch a squirrel chase an acorn. And those sequences present some of the funniest bits in the film.
The rest of it is just kind of there. One problem is that there's really no reason for a sloth, a tiger, and a mammoth to be casting their lots together, except that they did in the first movie. That movie, I felt, had a storyline that involved actual characterization, growth, change, a real tension, etc. When the tiger almost fell off the cliff in Ice Age #1, I gasped. This time, I fidgeted. It just didn't seem real. And that's what I want from an animated movie about talking prehistoric animals -- REALNESS. No, but seriously, without some degree of actual jeopardy, of actual question of what will happen from scene to scene, without someone to root for and embrace -- it's just pointless.
The only character I was getting that for was the saber tooth squirrel. They could have saved a lot of money in celebrity voices.
Everyone had a subplot because they had to have something to do, so that was tidily arranged for them. But nobody's subplot had anything to do with the others'. And the global storyline about the flood was just a reason to walk... slowly. Slowly walk. And pester each other half-heartedly about how they were all going to die. Or not.
Like I said, the children didn't complain. I did laugh, many times, at the places I was supposed to. But it wasn't great.