Thursday, October 30, 2014

Minor Meltdown in the Ice Age

  Minor Meltdown In the Ice Age

Hunter Pallasch

Nothing is more laughable than a cute squirrel that is constantly chasing around his precious acorn.  Children, and adults for that matter, enjoy seeing the constant frustration and failure of the little one.  However, in Ice Age: The Meltdown those scenes are just filler for a bigger and more important plot.  Due to the melting ice, thousands of animals all must work together to make sure they survive.  It is up to the group to look out for each other.  Teamwork is always a positive message that should be stressed to children.  On the flipside, many argue the film was a ploy by a political administration against global warming.  Ice Age: The Meltdwon is a great comedy that teaches some basic fundamentals of life or children and adults.
            The most prominent positive message in the film is the power of cooperation.  When the ice starts to melt, the animal kingdom is forced to adapt and respond.  They must all reach higher land and eventually end up in a tree limb that acts as a boat.  The film at this point starts to parallel the Biblical story of Noah’s Ark.  However, I do not see this as the message.  What the film teaches the viewer is that teamwork is effective.  While a vast majority of films represent this cliché message, Ice Age: The Meltdown takes it one step further.  Every creature, from mammoths to birds, work together to achieve a common goal.  The movie shows that it is possible to look beyond outward appearances.  It stresses the importance that cooperation makes strength.  Additionally, the film stresses that leading a large heard to work together can be done by anyone.  The two leaders of the pack are a wooly mammoth and a sloth.  Traditionally, they are not the most attractive or graceful animals, but that is what emphasizes the message; a team can be lead by anybody.  It does not fall in to the traditional stereotypes that the best-looking or physically strong lead.  It takes courage to rally the heard and accomplish a goal.
            In Ice Age: The Meltdown there is another message I believe the filmmakers are trying to promote; global warming.  It is not necessarily a negative message, but it can be controversial.  According to Louis Giannetti in Understanding Movies, “In short, every film has a slant, a given ideological perspective that privileges certain characters, institutions, behaviors, and motives as attractive, and downgrades an opposing set as repellent”(3).  In this film, the message is that global warming does not necessarily happen because of humans.  The Earth is seeing rising temperatures in a period without humans.  Ice Age: The Meltdown was released in 2006, about the time that global warming was becoming a hot (no pun intended) topic.  The problem with this message is that young children will not pick up on it that easy.  It is a big part of the plot but it is very subtle to associate the idea global warming and humans not being present in the film.  It does reach the older audience, starting with young adults, who see the film with children.  A good viewpoint to promote because it takes advantage of the time period the film was released.

            Ice Age: The Meltdown is a comedy full of meaning full life lessons and views.  It does come off however as a little too cliché.  It does not express a deeper meaning behind the idea that teamwork can accomplish more.  The movie does throw in a little message about diversity but it is not very prominent.  Additionally, the subliminal message about global warming is a good addition but does not blow come off as positive or negative, just controversial.  I give the film three out of five stars because the effort is there to be positive.  It does add in a curveball too.  Unfortunately, the film is nothing special and does the basics.


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