Week Fifteen: #37 – Ice Age 2: The Meltdown

The Nitpicker Guide to the Movies
“See the films you love in a whole new way!”
Star Wars.  The Lord of the Rings.  Spider-Man.
Ice Age 2: the Meltdown?
This movie proves that some of the Top 50 Grossing Movies of All Time owe a great deal to children, and to parents using movies and TV to entertain said children.  I’m not riffing on being a parent, I’m not now and never have been and have no right.  I’m just saying that as a movie lover, Ice Age 2: the Meltdown is not one of the best 50 movies of all time.  It’s fun, it’s humorous, and I enjoyed myself–but this movie being one slot down from The Incredibles, which is a truly fantastic movie, illustrates that Top Grossing doesn’t equal Top Cinematic Excellence.
I’m also going to leave alone, as a nitpicker, things like “how come everybody speaks English” or “how come animals have a water-based amusement park?”  Some things are made man-like (see Anthropomorphic) for the sake of telling a story to humans.
Don’t think I didn’t find things to nitpick, though…
-0:01:11 Scrat climbs the iceberg, loses his grip, and is saved by his tongue, stuck to the ice itself.  Remarkable that the outer layer of skin on his tongue can support his whole weight
-0:01:38            Climbing a vertical slope with sudden vigor (he sees the nut he is always after) Scrat is, at times, completely disconnected from the slope, yet gravity seems to have no effect on him
-0:02:25 Scrat then falls roughly a mile to an icy surface, and even if he did break through, he would also break himself, completely.  Though winded and sore, he seems otherwise fine.  (They made rats tougher back then!)
-0:03:45 I said I wouldn’t harp on the animal waterpark, but it is nice that with all sorts of different species hanging out together, nobody seems to be trying to eat anybody else
-0:04:29            Suddenly the kids pull a fast one and Sid is hanging by one leg.  Where did the log and the rope that accomplish this come from?  Neither are in the close-up shot just before
-0:12:23 Manny, Sid and Diego fall down the Eviscerator after all, and upon reaching the bottom, kinda lazily skip across the pond.  After a fall that far, they would either break right through the ice curve at the bottom or, if they made the curve, would shoot across the pond like bullets
-0:13:20 “If you can make it to the end of the valley, there’s a boat.  It can save you.”  A boat?  From where?  The grunting nomadic humans don’t have that capacity…this better not turn out to be a gigantic, unexplained remnant of tree trunk!
-0:17:48 Scrat comes across his acorn under the ice.  I’ll buy that somehow Scrat has such a sensitive nose he can smell the acorn under two inches of ice, but that he found said acorn out of what looks to be a flat square mile of unmarked ice?  No
-0:18:42 This is getting annoying, I’m sure, so I’ll hold back as much as I can.  As Scrat pushes his whole head through a hole only big enough for his nose, and then turns in a circle using his teeth to cut out the ice around his head, and then somehow gets the whole ensemble up onto the ice…his teeth aren’t long enough to fully cut the ice.  They would need to be about twice as long.  (In fact, the underwater shot proves I’m right–he’s started to turn but you don’t see his teeth protruding from under the ice!)  There.  I’m done.
-0:19:50 Is Sid really Manny’s friend?  It’s been established that he’s tactless, but during the montage where he changes pop song lyrics to sing about how all the mammoths are dead…that’s really mean
-0:22:30            Wouldn’t think I would have a gun-reloading nit in this movie, but…the two possums never seem to need to put stones in their peashooters, they just always have one more
-0:22:47 And right here, the peashooters become pea-machine guns, as the possums shoot, like, twenty or thirty shots apiece!  Without ever loading!
-0:23:42 Wow–right after Manny accepts that he’s the last of his kind, what does he run into but…another mammoth!  What are the odds!  And she’s a female!  Yay! 
-0:23:44 And oh, by the way, somehow this entire mammoth was hiding in a tree and he never realized she was there.  What amazing possum powers she has!
-0:25:10 And the Will Award goes to…the fact that Ellie truly, honestly believes that she is a possum, rather than a mammoth!  I would buy that she knew she was different, but to utterly believe it?  She’s not sort-of possumlike, she’s not just-slightly-removed…they’re possums and she’s a woolly mammoth.  I never bought it in the theater and I don’t buy it now. 
-0:25:50 The possums have only been traveling at night so that the birds don’t carry them off.  Is that really a problem for the actual possums, since they travel with a mammoth (whether she knows this or not?)  And why wouldn’t they make it in time if they only travel at night?  And if they only travel at night, and sleep during the day, why were the two possums messing with Sid and Diego during the day?
-0:26:25 As the one possum whips Sid with his tail, said tail becomes about three times as long as usual, just to reach Sid.  That’s a good trick
-0:31:20            Discussions abound about how thin the ice is as the group travels across a patch.  Seems like if the ice might be thin, you wouldn’t want two mammoths traveling side by side
-0:38:20            Possums are pretty resilient–Crash is thrown straight into a tree from a couple hundred feet away, leaving an impression in the bark, and breaks no bones whatsoever
-0:45:30 We hear a very slight flapping of wings, see a shadow, and suddenly Mama Eagle is home.  She must be a ninja eagle, to come in and land that quietly
-0:45:42 Well, this is strange.  Mama Eagle pokes a hole through her nest to get rid of Scrat.  Why endanger the integrity of the nest by making holes when she could just toss him out–and while I’m on the subject, why didn’t Mama Eagle eat Scrat?  How much available food is there, during an ice age?
-0:50:30 Did you see the part where they’re all trapped on the precariously balanced rock formation?  An interesting scene, if ever-so-slightly implausible…
-0:50:50 Diego tells Manny and Ellie to lock trunks–seems like locking tusks would be more effective, less slippery, so forth
-0:57:25 Sloths must be incredibly flame-retardant.  Sid bungees down within inches of boiling hot magma–enough to singe the hair on his head–yet suffers no damage!
-1:01:15 What did I say earlier?  “A boat?  From where?  The grunting nomadic humans don’t have that capacity…this better not turn out to be a gigantic, unexplained remnant of tree trunk!”  And here we have…sigh
-1:05:22 Scrat is back in the eagle’s nest, and whatdya know, no hole!  If the eagle had just tossed him out of the nest, she wouldn’t have had to go to all that repair trouble…however, that’s one strong nest.  As the dam breaks, we see Scrat being swept along on the thing, which somehow didn’t break into twigs when the water hit
-1:11:53 Ellie was underwater for a whole minute–she’s lucky she survived.  I’m not saying it’s impossible, but it is pretty lucky.  By the way, the moment she goes under I always hold my breath to see if I would make it to be rescued.  I do that in any movie when someone goes under.  Am I weird?  Does anybody else do this?
-1:19:48 Now that Manny and Ellie have decided to hook up, the whole mammoth herd trumpets in salute.  This same herd was absolutely silent when they first saw each other.  Why do they trumpet now?
Betcha there are things I missed–try www.slipups.com and we’ll see.
Meanwhile, come back in a week as we look at one of the best superhero movies ever–The Incredibles!  No capes!
See you in seven…

One Response to “Week Fifteen: #37 – Ice Age 2: The Meltdown”

  1. Tani Says:

    Don’t worry Will. I do that too. Somehow the actors or animation always have a larger lung capacity than I do though.

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