Ice Age (film)
Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Chris Wedge
Carlos Saldanha (Co-director)
|Produced by||Lori Forte|
|Screenplay by||Michael J. Wilson
|Story by||Michael J. Wilson|
|Music by||David Newman|
|Editing by||John Carnochan|
|Studio||Blue Sky Studios|
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Running time||81 minutes|
Ice Age is a 2002 American computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It was directed by Carlos Saldanha and Chris Wedge from a story by Michael J. Wilson. The film stars Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary and was nominated at the 75th Academy Awards for best animated feature.
The film was met with mostly positive reviews and was a box office success, starting a series with three sequels, Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and Ice Age: Continental Drift.
The film begins with a saber-toothed squirrel (known as Scrat) who is trying to find somewhere to store his prized acorn. Eventually, as he tries to stomp it into the ground, he causes a large crack in the ground that extends for miles and miles and sets off a large avalanche. He barely escapes, but finds himself stepped on by a herd of prehistoric animals. The animals are trying to avoid the ice age by migrating south, except for Manfred, an agitated mammoth who is heading north. Sid, a clumsy Megalonyx sloth left behind by his family, decides to go on by himself and angers Carl and Frank, two Brontops by ruining their salad and is attacked. Sid is soon saved by Manfred, who fights them off. Not wanting to be alone and unprotected, Sid follows Manfred.
Meanwhile, Soto, the leader of a Smilodon pride wants revenge on a group of humans by eating the chief's baby son, Roshan, alive. Soto leads a raid on the human camp, during which Roshan's mother is separated from the rest and jumps down a waterfall when cornered by Soto's lieutenant, Diego. For his failure, Diego is sent to find and retrieve the baby. Sid and Manfred spot Roshan and his mother near the lake, having survived her plunge. The mother only has enough strength to trust her baby to Manfred before she disappears. After much persuasion by Sid, they decide to return Roshan but when they reach the human settlement, they find it deserted. They meet up with Diego, who convinces the pair to let him help by tracking the humans. The four travel on, with Diego secretly leading them to his pack for an ambush.
While having small adventures on their way, they reach a cave with several drawings, drawn by humans where Sid and Diego learn about Manfred's past and his previous interactions with the humans, in which his wife and son were killed, leaving Manfred a cynical loner. Later Manfred, Sid, Diego and Roshan were almost to Half-Peak, but encounter a river of lava. Manfred and Sid, along with Roshan, make it safely but Diego struggles, about to fall into the lava. Manfred rescues him narrowly missing a fall into the lava himself. The herd takes a break for the night and Roshan takes his first walking steps to Diego.
The next day the herd approach the ambush, causing Diego to confess to Manfred and Sid about the ambush, and tells them to trust him. The herd battles Soto's pack and a short fight ensues. As Soto closes in for the kill on Manfred, Diego leaps and stops Soto, who wounds Diego in the process. Manfred knocks Soto into a rock wall, causing several sharp icicles to fall on Soto, killing him. Manfred and Sid leave Diego on his insistence and take Roshan back to his tribe. So Manfred and Sid manage to return Roshan to his father, and Diego rejoins them. The group begins to head off to warmer climates.
20,000 years later Scrat is frozen in an ice cube that washes up on the shore of a tropical island. The sun slowly melts the cube, bringing Scrat back to life but the acorn, which is just out of his reach, ends up being washed away by the tide. Scrat then explodes out of the ice cube in anger and hits his head repetitively on a tree, which drops a coconut. Believing it to be a giant acorn, Scrat's anger immediately turns to glee at this new find. He tries to pack it into the ground as he did previously with his other acorns, but in the process causes a large crack in the ground that makes its way up the side of a volcano and causes it to erupt.
The characters are all prehistoric animals. The animals can talk to and understand each other and are voiced by a variety of famous actors. Like many films of prehistoric life, the rules of time periods apply very loosely, as many of the species shown in the film never actually lived in the same time periods or the same geographic regions.
- Manfred "Manny", a woolly mammoth, is voiced by Ray Romano
- Diego, a Smilodon, is voiced by Denis Leary
- Sid, a giant ground sloth, is voiced by John Leguizamo
- Scrat, a "saber-toothed" squirrel, is voiced by Chris Wedge
- Soto, a Smilodon, is voiced by Goran Višnjić
- Zeke, a Smilodon, is voiced by Jack Black
- Oscar, a Smilodon, is voiced by Diedrich Bader
- Lenny, a Homotherium, voiced by Alan Tudyk
- Carl, a Brontops, is voiced by Cedric the Entertainer
- Frank, a Brontops, is voiced by Stephen Root
- Rachel, a female giant ground sloth, is voiced by Jane Krakowski
- Jennifer, a female giant ground sloth, is voiced by Lorri Bagley
Production and development
The film was originally to be directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, and produced in traditional animation by Fox Animation Studios, but the rise of CGI animation and Titan A.E. becoming a box office bomb, destroyed and shut down Fox's traditional animation division; hence, Bluth and Goldman transferred their duties for Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha from Fox's CGI division Blue Sky.
Ice Age was released into theaters on March 15, 2002 and was met with generally positive reviews from critics (making it the best reviewed film in it's later-existing franchise). Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 77% approval rating, based on 164 reviews. The site's consensus reads: "Even though Ice Age is treading over the same grounds as Monsters, Inc. and Shrek, it has enough wit and laughs to stand on its own." Similar site Metacritic had a score of 60% out of 31 reviews. The film was nominated an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, but lost to Spirited Away.
The film had a $46.3 million opening weekend, a large number not usually seen until the summer season, and way ahead of Fox's most optimistic projection of about $30 million. Ice Age broke the record for a March opening (first surpassed in 2006 by its sequel, Ice Age: The Meltdown) and was the then-third-best opening ever for an animated feature—after Monsters, Inc. ($62.6 million) and Toy Story 2 ($57.4 million). Ice Age finished its domestic box office run with $176,387,405 and grossed $383,257,136 worldwide, being the 9th highest gross of 2002 in North America and the 8th best worldwide at the time.
- Ice Age: The Meltdown was released on March 31, 2006. The film focuses on the melting of a dam (due to, as Sid puts it at the end of the first film, global warming) and the impending flood.
- Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was released on July 1, 2009. The film focuses on dinosaurs being discovered underground.
- Ice Age: Continental Drift was released in July 13, 2012. The film focuses on the continental drift on Earth.
- "Ice Age (2002)". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved October 18, 2012.
- "Ice Age". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- "The 75th Academy Awards (2003) Nominees and Winners". The Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. March 23, 2003. Retrieved March 8, 2013.
- AFI's 10 Top 10 Ballot
- "Ice Age enjoys mammoth opening weekend". Entertainment Weekly. 2002-03-18.
- "Ice Age (2002)". Box Office Mojo. Box Office Mojo, LLC. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- "Ice Age (gba) reviews". Metacritic. CNET Networks, Inc. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
- "Ice Age for Game Boy Advance". GameRankings. Retrieved 2009-07-23.
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- Official website
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- Ice Age at Rotten Tomatoes
- Ice Age at Metacritic
- Ice Age at Box Office Mojo