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Western Animation / Ice Age: The Meltdown

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Ice Age: The Meltdown is the sequel to Ice Age, and the second film in the Ice Age franchise, released on March 31st, 2006.

Manny, Sid and Diego are living in a large valley with an enormously high ice wall filling one end. The trio discover that the ice wall is actually barely holding a massive body of water that would flood the valley to nearly a mile underwater. A vulture tells them that there is a boat at the other end of the valley that may save them all, but they have only three days to make it or die. Manny is having trouble facing the fact that he may be the last mammoth left. Along the way, they meet Ellie (Queen Latifah), a mammoth who thinks she is a possum, and her opossum "brothers", Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck).

The film received mixed reviews, but was warmly-received by the general public, and became a box office success, grossing $660 million worldwide against its $80 million budget.

This film is followed by Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.

This film provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Although mildly intentional but when Manny suggests he and Ellie "save their species", Ellie is obviously angered at this notion and storms off stating "you won't be saving the species tonight or any other night". It's more blatant when she demands Manny and his friends to travel at night with Eddie looking back at Manny loudly calling him a "Pervert".
  • Accidental Truth: Fast Tony predicts a devastating flood to help his sales. Not long after, Manny confirms the flood be actually happening, much to the genuine surprise of Fast Tony himself.
    Manny: You guys gotta listen to Fast Tony! He's right about the flood!
    Fast Tony: I am? Er...I mean uh... (boldly) Yes, I am.
  • Actually Quite Catchy: A flock of vultures perform a musical number about how they're going to eat the Pack, set to "Food, Glorious Food" from Oliver!. At one point, Sid dances along with the vultures.
  • Adam and Eve Plot: Everyone believes Manny is the last mammoth and needs to find another mammoth in order to save the species. Eventually he learns that he and Ellie are not the last mammoths and do not need to be together. They decide to be together not because they have to but because they want to, having fallen in love.
  • Affably Evil: The Lone Gunslinger, the vulture that tells the animals about the flood. He's creepy and is clearly enjoying the fact that as a bird he'll be able to avoid the worst of the flood (and will get a full easy meal from anyone who dies in the disaster), but he's not lying about the giant bark raft, confirms Manny's words about the flood, and even tells them they'll have three days to make the journey to safety when he could have easily let them all go to their dooms ignorant.
  • Appease the Volcano God: The mini-sloths try to sacrifice Sid for this purpose... even though they understand the science behind volcanic eruptions perfectly.
    Sid: You're a very advanced race! Together, we can look for a solution.
    Mini-Sloth Leader: We have one - sacrifice the Fire King.
    Sid: Well, that's not very advanced!
    Mini-Sloth Leader: Worth a shot.
  • The Ark: The giant bark raft. Some of the animals getting on board (though not all) even do so in male-and-female pairs.
  • Artistic License Ė Biology:
    • A young aardvark is seen blowing bubbles in a pool of meltwater, by breathing out through its elongated snout and in through the mouth at its base. Real aardvarks have tiny mouths, and they're located at the tips of their snouts, not underneath them. Keeping the end of its snout continuously submerged should've drowned it.
    • Scrat the proto-squirrel has huge saber-like canine teeth. Being rodents, squirrels — even prehistoric ones — don't have canines at all. The authors have said in an interview that it was Played for Laughs. Later crosses into Accidentally-Correct Writing since a prehistoric mammal discovered in 2011 was indeed squirrel-like, and did indeed have fangs. It was not a rodent though, and lived in the Mesozoic, not in the Cenozoic, much less the last ice age.
  • Ascended Extra: Scrat has a major role and more screen time in this movie after having an Advertised Extra in the first Ice Age movie. Fans think he becomes the main protagonist and is the only Herd member to appear in the poster.
  • Alternative Foreign Theme Song:
    • The Flemish version features the song De Andere Kant (The Other Side) by X!NK.
    • The UK version has Real Love by Lee Ryan (who also provided the voice of Eddie for the Italian dub of the movie).
  • Berserk Button: Scrat panics while being attacked by the piranhas... until one of them swallows his acorn whole, after which he unleashes a fury of martial arts on them, stomping on the one who ate the acorn as it's trying to get back to the water.
    • He similarly attacks Sid after being revived and forced out of his acorn-filled heaven.
  • Big Dam Plot: The movie is set into motion when the characters realize that the glacier that forms one of the walls of the valley they live in has almost completely melted, creating a natural dam holding back a colossal body of water big enough to destroy their home in a flood. After learning of a boat on the opposite end of the valley, the animals have to evacuate there.
  • Big "WHAT?!": Ellie does one after Manny says that it's their responsibility to save their species. She later admits she overreacted.
  • Break the Haughty: Ashley, the little beaver girl, was a rude brat to Sid as well as Manny and Diego. Jamesís father was also smug and condescending towards Manny, taunting him about supposedly being the last of his species. They are sufficiently humbled and terrified by the end of the film when the flood poises a threat to all of their lives; Ashley tightly clutches her father who is carrying her, while Jamesí family quickly joins the stampede to the boat. Finally, Jamesís father is publicly humiliated when the massive herd of mammoths arrive, and his children all express wonder at them, finally proving him wrong about Manny being the last mammoth.
  • Break-Up/Make-Up Scenario: Manny and Ellie, twice.
  • Bring My Brown Pants: A dodo gets hit by a geyser and roasted. Sid witnesses this and says, "I just did something involuntary and messy."
  • Bullying a Dragon: Crash and Eddie do this to Diego when they first meet. The worst result for them is getting chased by Diego.
  • Busby Berkeley Number: Vultures singing "Food Glorious Food" from Oliver!.
  • Book Ends: Manny first meets Ellie when she tries to dangle from a tree and lands in front of him. In the ending, Manny hangs upside down from a tree when he confesses his feelings to Ellie.
  • Call-Back: Sid has his leg tied up by a vine and pulled into the air so some kids can beat him like a piñata. In the first movie, Frank the rhino referred to Sid as a "furry piñata".
  • Cassandra Truth: Sid is kidnapped in his sleep by a tribe of mini-sloths who wish to sacrifice him to prevent the coming flood. When he stumbles back into camp the next morning, no one believes his story, insisting that he was just sleepwalking and dreamed the whole thing. Later the tribe reveals themselves to Diego when they ask Sid to return to them, but Diego turns them down in one of the film's more heartwarming moments.
  • Circling Vultures: Talking vultures circle the various creatures trying to escape the flood waiting for some to fail, leaving them with dinner. Later, a bunch of them are seen circling the migrating herds boarding the boat (albeit this time to manage the masses).
  • Chekhov's Gun: Fast Tony, trying to make a last-minute sale before the animals start evacuating: "Try bark! It's so buoyant, it actually floats!" Three guesses as to what the ark's made of.
  • Chekhov's Skill: Sid's ability to light a campfire could be seen as one, considering that it's what leads the mini-sloths to kidnap him.
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When trying to reassure the other animals about the flood, Manny remarks that Fast Tony would sell his own mother for a grape. Instead of trying to rebut this statement, Tony slyly asks if he's making an offer.
    • Manny says after meeting Ellie he knew he wasn't the only one. Ellie agrees, saying not everyone admits falling out of a tree. Manny meant he knew he wasn't the last mammoth alive.
    • When trying to convince Ellie that she's actually a mammoth, Manny tells her to look at their identical shadows. Ellie seems convinced by... until she assumes that Manny must be part possum.
  • Crowd Panic: Once the flood grows nearer, there is a small earthquake caused by the large mass of water. All the animals start to panic and scream, which urges them to run to the giant bark raft as quickly as they can.
  • The Dinosaurs Had It Coming: Manny claims that the dinosaurs "got cocky" and "made enemies", which is why they went extinct. Of course, come this film's sequel...
  • Dumbass Has a Point: Overlapping with Simple-Minded Wisdom, Sid gets a lot of things right in this film. He encourages Manny to pursue Ellie romantically, reminding him that they might be the only mammoths left (they're not, but they have no reason to know that at this point). He also tells Diego that since they're living in a land where the ice is melting, he's going to have to conquer his fear of the water to survive. A minor example is when he reminds Diego that even though the ice is melting it's still strong enough to hold up Manny and Ellie when they're crossing a frozen lake.
  • Ear Worm: The vultures sing a reworded version of "Food Glorious Food" regarding eating the main characters. Sid starts dancing along to it, then humming it, much to the other characters' irritation.
  • Epic Fail: Sid trying to save Crash and Eddie in the water near the end. He dives into the water to get to them, but lands headfirst on a piece of ice and is knocked out, forcing Crash and Eddie to have to try and save him. As a result, Diego is forced to save all three and conquer his fear of water in the process.
  • False Reassurance: The mysterious Lone Gunslinger vulture confirms that the upcoming flood is true and explains to all the animals that in order to escape it, they all must travel to the huge boat at the end of the valley, all in less than three days. He ends his warning with...
    Lone Gunslinger: There is some good news, though. The more you die the better I eat.
    Crowd: *gasp!*
    Lone Gunslinger: I didn't say it was good news for you.(flies off)
  • Fluffy Cloud Heaven: Scrat's near-death experience with the giant golden acorn.
  • Fooled by the Sound: At one point, Manny and Diego hear another animal farting and mistake it for the sound of a mammoth.
  • Grossout Fakeout: When the main characters wake up in a puddle resulting from the melting ice, Eddie mistakes it for pee and berates Crash for drinking before bed. Somewhat Averted when...
    Crash: I didn't do this! ...At least not all of it.
  • Happily Adopted: Ellie was unaware that she was adopted for most of her life but also seems to have a very close relationship with her adoptive family. Even after learning that she is in fact a mammoth, it doesn't change how she feels about them and still refers to Crash and Eddie as her brothers. Likewise, they still call her their sister.
  • Help, I'm Stuck!: Ellie gets stuck under a log because, having been raised by possums, she doesn't realize she's a mammoth and can simply lift the log out of the way.
  • Hollywood Natives: The tribe of mini-sloths who kidnap Sid. They claim that Sid is their Fire King, since he previously "discovered" fire, and virtually mimic everything Sid does. Afterward, the tribe attempt to toss him into a lava as a sacrifice, on the grounds that his discovery of fire is the reason behind all the ice melting and the impending flood. Only one mini-sloth (presumably the tribal chief, or some kind of head priestess) can speak fluent English.
  • Idiot Ball: Ellie calls Manny out on believing one of her brothers when he said he not only had done the tree catapult before, but could survive it easily. And then it turned out, he lied.
  • Ignored Epiphany: A humorous example. Upon discovering his assistant Stu was killed, leaving only his shell behind, Fast Tony is grief stricken... before promptly offering to sell the empty shell for "everyone to buy a new nice mobile home!"
  • Impact Silhouette: Crash makes one after smashing straight into a tree when Manny launches him through the air.
  • Innocently Insensitive:
    • The kids that Manny narrates a story to aren't aware that he's lost his first family in the past, but end up pushing his trauma button by asking him where is his "big happy family", this is enough for Diego to finally grow tired of them and scare them off for it.
    • Manny shoots for "you're pretty and we're the last mammoths alive, so maybe we could see how a relationship works out?" It comes out sounding like "You're obligated to have sex with me". Ellie is understandably furious.
    • Sid wants Manny and Ellie to get together, and in his enthusiasm, is very insensitive to the fact that Manny is still grieving his first mate and child.
  • Innocent Swearing:
    • People are treated to a double-dose in this movie; first, when Manny tries to tell Sid's daycare group a story:
      Kid: "Burro" is a demeaning name; technically, it would be called a "wild ass".
      Manny: Fine. The "wild ass" boy returned home to his "wild ass" mother.
      [Kids start laughing]
      Manny: See, that's why I called it a "burro"!
    • And later, when a prehistoric beaver notices the ice dam protecting them from flood waters is starting to break apart.
      Father Beaver: Dam!
  • Inflating Body Gag: In the opening scene, Scrat inflates like a water balloon when he's climbing an ice wall and he tries to plug a leak with his face.
  • Instant Roast: A dodo that was crossing over an area laden with geyser pits gets turned into a roast chicken after one such geyser goes off under it.
  • I Will Show You X!: "I'll show you something that floats!"
  • Kiss of Life: Sid revives Scrat this way in the epilogue. Scrat doesn't take it well.
  • Last of His Kind: Manny thinks he's this.
    • Proven wrong by meeting Ellie and not so much a herd, but a horde of them appearing at the end.
  • Leitmotif: Cretaceous and Maelstrom have a short ominous theme that plays when they appear or leave. Early on it is minimalistic with the instrumentation, though by the climax it is played with an ominous choir and tense strings.
  • Lighter and Softer: The film doubles down on the slapstick and comic relief that was more downplayed in the original. While not completely absent, the more emotional and serious elements are noticeably dialled back.
  • The Load: Ellie, Crash and Eddie fall into this for much of the film. Due to Ellie thinking she's a possum, she slows the group down a lot at first, before realizing she is a mammoth after all. Even after Ellie realizes and accepts this, it's her decision to go around the geyser field that gets her trapped and she almost drowns as a result, forcing Manny and the others to have to turn back and save her. If they had just gone through the geyser field as Manny insisted, they would have been more likely to make it to the boat and get on it with no problem.
  • Mistaken for Insane: When Ellie is first introduced, she thinks she's a possum when she's actually a mammoth, so naturally the protagonists assume she's out of her mind. As it turns out, she was raised by possums and simply didn't realise she was adopted.
  • Mood Whiplash: Manny launches Crash through the air. Cut to him singing in mid-air, then he suddenly smashes into a tree, knocking himself out. Cut an Oh, Crap! from Manny and Eddie.
    • The mini-sloths scene, as they go from seemingly worshipping Sid to tying him up and planning to sacrifice him.
  • Morton's Fork: Discussed in Manny and Ellie's argument as to whether or not they should go through the geyser field to get to the boat. If they go around it, they may not make it to the boat in time and drown. If they go through it, they may not make it at all and get blown to bits. Slightly defied by what Sid says after they split up: "I don't know, drowning sounds like a much gentler way to go. Blown to bits sounds so sudden."
  • Motivational Lie: When Sid figures out that Diego canít swim and tries to teach him, he says something to the effect of "Some animals can swim as babies", which is technically true. But at the end when Diego has overcome his fear and saved Sid, Crash and Eddie, he responds to Sid's surprise over his swimming with the same line, only for Sid to tell him "Except Tigers, I left that part out".
  • Names to Run Away from Really Fast: The Eviscerator.
  • Nested Ownership: Invoked by Manny.
    Manny: (about Sid) He's not my kid. He's not even my dog. If I had a dog, and that dog had a kid, and the dog's kid had a pet, that would be Sid.
  • Noah's Story Arc: All the herds head for a giant log that would serve as a boat when the flood waters come.
  • No Antagonist: Cretaceous and Maelstrom are threats to the heroes, but are barely involved in the plot and act more as obstacles. The vultures want to eat the animals if they die in the flood, but they don't actively try to hinder them and one of them actually helps everyone by telling them about the ark. The closest thing there is to a main antagonist is the flood itself.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Ellie raised by possums, of course. She eventually discovers the Captain Obvious truth when she encounters the same moss tree she encountered as a calf lost in a blizzard.
  • Ode to Food: Played for black comedy when the vultures sing "Food, Glorious Food" when they want to eat the protagonists.
  • Oh, Crap!: Crash and Eddie get one when, after idiotically mocking Diego by making chicken noises, he angrily growls and charges at them.
    • Manny and Eddie after Manny launches Crash through the air and he smashes straight into a tree.
    • Sid when the mini-sloths tie him with ropes, and then again when he realizes they plan to throw him into a volcano.
    • Sid at the geyser pits after seeing a dodo get hit by a geyser and roasted. He also craps himself.
    • Finally, the entire cast at the end of the movie when they realized the ice dam keeping the apocalyptic flood at bay has been destroyed.
  • Opposites Attract: The cantankerous and grumpy Manny becomes an item with the lighthearted and boisterous Ellie. This is lampshaded by Sid when he encourages the relationship.
    Sid: She's tons of fun, and you're no fun at all. She completes you.
  • Parental Bonus: Manny is quite frankly suggesting he and Ellie have sex since it's their "responsibility" to save their species. He tries and fails horribly to express that he meant "at some point in the future", but the damage is done. She bluntly informs him that he won't be "saving the species tonight or any other night."
  • The Pearly Gates: When Scrat dies, he finds himself in his version of Heaven, which has a gate decorated with an acorn. When he is revived by Sid, the squirrel gets sucked back into the living realm, trying in vain to hang onto the gate.
  • Plot-Irrelevant Villain: Cretaceous and Maelstrom are thawed and released due to the melting ice, but mainly serve as minor background threats while the main plot focuses on the flood and Manny's budding romance with Ellie. They only encounter the main cast twice in the entire film, and are not mentioned or acknowledged outside of this.
  • Ruder and Cruder: The Meltdown has a deer saying to Manny that a burro is called a "wild ass", making the other kids laugh. It is the only installment to use profanity, or at least the closest it can get to actual profanity.
  • Sacrificial Lamb: Stu is devoured by Cretaceous and Maelstrom to prove that they're now out in force.
  • Sea Monster: Cretaceous and Maelstrom, aquatic Mesozoic reptilesnote  freed from the ice by the thaw.
  • Seal the Breach: Scrat, climbing the side of an icy glacier at the beginning of the film, keeps having to plug water spouts in the glacier so that he can grab his acorn. This ends with him being filled up with water thanks to plugging a spout with his mouth, leading to him inflating and being sent flying off.
  • Sequel Escalation: While the first film was more dramatic in tone, the stakes were relatively self-contained with the end goal of returning the baby to his family. In The Meltdown, the approaching flood and the thawed aquatic predators pose a significantly larger threat to all of the cast, main and background.
  • Shout-Out: Manny's daze after narrowly missing a full blast from a geyser evokes Saving Private Ryan.
  • Snake Oil Salesman: Fast Tony. He seels little stone tube saying that you will be able to survive years breathing through them once the world is flooded. This was before all the other animals, including himself, knew that the land was indeed going to get flooded.
  • Super Swimming Skills: In the climax, Manny is forced to swim underwater to save Ellie while battling Cretaceous and Maelstrom. Mammoths are related to modern day elephants, which are widely recognized as good at swimming and holding their breath. However, given that mammoths would have lived in extremely or at best moderately cold tundra environments, it is unlikely that they would have had opportunities to develop such skills.
  • Team Kids: When Manny is making the herd a "family", he designates Crash and Eddie (two rambunctious possum brothers) "the kids who get on [his] nerves".
  • Tempting Fate: Manny looks at his reflection and solemnly says "I guess it's just you and me now" right before Ellie falls out of a tree right in front of him.
    • Sid asking how bad the geyser pits could be, before seeing a dodo get hit by a geyser and roasted. Cue an Oh, Crap!.
  • That Came Out Wrong: After Ellie finally realises that she's a mammoth, Manny indicates that it may be their responsibility to repopulate the species. Ellie doesn't take this well, and is angry at him for most of the night after this.
  • Those Two Guys: Crash and Eddie.
  • Tongue on the Flagpole: It happens to Scrat, as he scales up an overhang of a glacier.
  • Too Dumb to Live: Crash sticks his head in Diego's mouth at one point, saying he and Eddie are carrying diseases. After a rumble in the distance, Diego spits Crash out in disgust.
  • Trans Nature: Ellie the mammoth is firmly convinced she's a possum.
  • Vile Vulture: The Lone Gunslinger is a vulture that confirms Manny's claim that the ice caps are melting and everyone is doomed if they don't make it to the boat. He's eager to point out that those who die will be food for him and the other vultures.
  • Wingding Eyes: Scrat's pupils become acorns for a moment when he sees the giant acorn in his own acorn heaven.

Alternative Title(s): Ice Age 2 The Meltdown


Scrat Fails To Plug A Leak

In the opening scene of the movie Ice Age: The Meltdown, Scrat inflates like a water balloon when he's climbing an ice wall and he tries to plug a leak with his face.

How well does it match the trope?

4.89 (9 votes)

Example of:

Main / InflatingBodyGag

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