Australian Council on Children and the Media

Ice Age: The Meltdown

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Short takes

Parental guidance under 8 (Scary scenes)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ice Age: The Meltdown
  • a review of Ice Age: The Meltdown completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 6 April 2006.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Due to some scary scenes, parental guidance is recommended for children under the age of eight. Parents are reminded that children under the age of five can sometimes be disturbed by comic or slapstick violence.
Children over the age of 8 Most children over the age of eight could watch this movie with or without parental guidance.

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Ice Age: The Meltdown
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild scenes of menace
Length 90 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano) and his ‘herd’, Diego the tiger(Dennis Leary) and Sid the Sloth (John Leguizamo) have settled down to a comfortable life in a valley, protecting them from the harsh climes of the Ice Age. The arrival of ‘global warming’ and melting ice, places their valley under direct threat from an impending flood and they, along with the other animals, have three days to evacuate to the relative safety afforded them at the other end of the valley.

During their travels, Manny, Diego and Sid meet Ellie (Queen Latifah), a mammoth who thinks she is a possum, and her two ‘brothers’ Eddie and Crash. At Sid’s insistence, Manny begrudgingly allows Ellie and her brothers to join them in their journey. The group face many dangers along their way, including the vultures above, who are eagerly awaiting their demise, the sinister creatures lurking below the melting ice and the ever-approaching flood. They must also battle with their own fears, with Manny contemplating the possible extinction of his species, Diego combating his fear of water and Sid struggling to find his place and role in the ‘herd’. When at last the flood fills the valley, the newly formed family must join together and use their different strengths to save each other.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Global warming, animals in peril

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence in this movie, mostly set in a comic context. Parents are reminded that although comic violence may appear benign, and children usually enjoy it, over-exposure to comic violence can lead young children to believe that violence doesn’t really hurt. Violent scenes include:

  • Scrat the squirrel frequently falls from great heights, flies into cliff faces, and is attacked by other creatures
  • Sid is beaten with a stick when ‘mistaken’ for a piñata, hit repeatedly (albeit accidentally) in the head with a log and knocked unconscious
  • one of the possum brothers is shot like a sling-shot into a tree and knocked unconscious.
  • Manny fights underwater with the sea-creatures, during which they attempt to bite and ram him. He, in turn, hits back at them and they appear to drown.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above mentioned violent scenes, there are some scary scenes in this movie including the following:

  • as the animals evacuate, a turtle is shown to be left behind by the water. The turtle is dragged underwater, presumably by the sea-creatures and when his shell reappears, it is empty.
  • the sea creatures stalk and attack Manny’s group on two occasions. They all appear frightened during these attacks.
  • the group all end up hanging on the precipice of a rock collection, swinging out of control. While appearing scared, the scene is shown in a comic context.
  • Sid is kidnapped by a group of small sloths who intend to sacrifice him in a quiescent volcano. He appears frightened, but narrowly escapes. Again this seen is shown in a comic light.
  • as the flood approaches, all the animals panic and start rushing to climb the logs at the end of the valley. They appear frightened and the scene is chaotic. Ellie is trapped in a cave that is filling with water and while her friends try to rescue her, they too must battle the rising water and attacking sea-creatures.

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may also be scared or disturbed by the above mentioned scenes.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Some children between the ages of eight and thirteen could be concerned by:

  • the sea creatures stalking and attacking the group
  • the animals panicking and Ellie being trapped in the cave

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children over the age of thirteen years are unlikely to find any scenes in this movie scary.

Sexual references

None of concern.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern.

Use of substances

None of concern.

Coarse language

There is infrequent and mild coarse language and put-downs in this movie, including:

  • damn
  • crap
  • shut up

In a nutshell

The main messages from this movie are that you have to let go of your past to have a future and that you must face your fears. It also highlights that a family can be made up of many different types of people (or animals, in this case).

Values parents may wish to encourage include:

  • friendship and loyalty
  • believing in yourself and not being defined by other people
  • blended families working together and looking out for each other
  • facing your fears

This movie could give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their consequences, such as:

  • brothers fighting with each other
  • name-calling, teasing and putting people down

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