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by Scott Holleran
March 29, 2006
Box Office Mojo recently caught up with the voice of Ice Age: The Meltdown's sloth, Sid, John Leguizamo (Moulin Rouge!), who created the character for 20th Century Fox's original 2002 computer animated feature.
Box Office Mojo: You recently unveiled a 14-foot ice sculpture of Scrat [Ice Age's squirrely character] in Alaska. You went up there just for that?
John Leguizamo: Yes, I did! Seven hours in a puny [20th Century] Fox jet—you know how cheap Fox is—and we couldn't even stand up straight on the plane. Then, it was 17 below zero in Alaska. But I wanted to go for the ice sculpture. I wanted to bring my kids.
Box Office Mojo: Do you expect Ice Age: The Meltdown to make more than first movie?
John Leguizamo: I think so. Ice Age was a surprise hit. They just put it out there and, Bam!, it was a mega-Death Star.
Box Office Mojo: How much of Sid the sloth is improvised?
John Leguizamo: 50 percent. I just add a little flavor here and there, but it's very collaborative.
Box Office Mojo: Do you even see a director during a computer-generated picture?
John Leguizamo: Yeah, the director is definitely there, keeping the story alive. He's there in the recording session, telling you the story, telling you what changed last night in the script—the script changes on a daily basis—and if it fits emotionally. He keeps you updated. The story is much more about letting moments play themselves out like [the late Warner Bros. animation artist] Chuck Jones and less about the topical joke, especially with Blue Sky [Animation].
Box Office Mojo: How was Ice Age: The Meltdown director Carlos Saldanha different from Ice Age co-director Chris Wedge?
John Leguizamo: Carlos and Chris have very similar styles, obviously because they're both at Blue Sky. But they also both look for the vulnerability and tenderness in the story—and, of course, the physical gag.
Box Office Mojo: How long did you work on Ice Age: The Meltdown?
John Leguizamo: It was four years in the making, and I've been recording during those four years. I was first, then Ray, then Denis.
Box Office Mojo: How does this one compare with the original?
John Leguizamo: I like it, though it is different than the first one, which is dear to me. This one is more complex.
Box Office Mojo: Is another sequel in the works?
|Sid the Sloth|
John Leguizamo: They're writing it. I think Sid falls into an orgy and then he becomes a Mormon.
Box Office Mojo: You get your own features on the new Super-Cool edition DVD for Ice Age. Is that your own material?
John Leguizamo: Yes. I make up my own stuff. They liked what I did before so they just let me run with it.
• Review - Ice Age: The Meltdown