Disney/Pixar is gearing up for the summer release of its latest digitally animated feature—Cars. But they've got some serious competition on the CGI racetrack now. Blue Sky's latest animated adventure Ice Age: The Meltdown conquered the box office last weekend like a champ, pulling in $68 million.

Peter T. Chattaway (Christianity Today Movies) gave the film a mix of criticism and praise. Comparing it to Robots, he says both films "revel in clever, complex set-pieces and lowbrow, big-rear-end humor, but fall somewhat short when it comes to character development and interpersonal warmth. Still, if the new film doesn't quite resonate on the same emotional or even spiritual levels that the first film did, it does have a zany energy that sometimes transcends the humor of the first film."

Other Christian film critics are impressed with the production, but have a few reservations about the uninspired plot.

Steven D. Greydanus (Decent Films) begins by lauding the original Ice Age, noting that part of its appeal—compared to Monsters Inc. and particularly Shrek—is "its very lack of sophistication and irony, a refreshing change from the overly knowing tone of much family entertainment."

Of the sequel, he observes that "Technically, Ice Age2 is light-years ahead of its predecessor. … There's also a new creative exuberance and visual flair … . At the same time, Ice Age2 lacks what such a sequel most crucially needs: a reason to revisit the central characters, a fresh take on their relationships, new places for them to go emotionally or dramatically. In a word, the story is lacking."

David DiCerto (Catholic News Service) says "the story thins along with the ice. But in the thawing process, the laughs and zany ...

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