Ice Age: The Meltdown (U)

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The Independent Culture

There are some fantastic moments in this animated sequel, and just a bracing dash of the macabre to provoke smiles among the over-12s. It reintroduces the three amigos of the original, a melancholy mammoth (voiced by Ray Romano), a sloth (John Leguizamo) and a sabre-toothed tiger (Denis Leary), now desperate to seek the high ground before a melting glacier floods their valley. They do so in concert with a female mammoth (Queen Latifah) and a pair of mischievous possums, though the creature that steals the show is a sharp-toothed, non-speaking rodent named Scrat whose efforts to hold onto an acorn provide a masterclass in slapstick misadventure. I also enjoyed the comic-grotesque chorus of vultures that reprise a hearty "Food, Glorious Food" from Oliver! It is chucklesome and inventive stuff.