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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
A small rodent clutching an acorn by his foot, is hanging from large sharp teeth which frame the scene. Other prehistoric animals look on from behind him.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCarlos Saldanha
Produced by
  • Lori Forte
  • John C. Donkin
Screenplay by
Story byJason Carter Eaton
Music byJohn Powell
Edited byHarry Hitner
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 1, 2009 (2009-07-01)
Running time
94 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
Budget$90 million[1]
Box office$886 million[1]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a 2009 American computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the third installment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006). It was directed by Carlos Saldanha and co-directed by Mike Thurmeier. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Chris Wedge reprise their roles from the first two films and Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, and Josh Peck reprise their roles from The Meltdown, with Simon Pegg and Karen Disher joining them in the role of a weasel named Buck and a female sabretooth flying squirrel named Scratte respectively. The story has Sid the Sloth being taken by a female Tyrannosaurus after stealing her eggs, leading the rest of the herd to rescue him in a tropical lost world inhabited by dinosaurs beneath the ice.

The film was released on July 1, 2009, becoming the first Ice Age film and the first 20th Century Fox film to be released in 3-D.[2] Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it was positively received by audiences and earned $886.7 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing Ice Age film, the highest-grossing film from Blue Sky Studios overall, and the second-highest-grossing animated film at the time.[3][4] Two sequels, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course, were released in 2012 and 2016 respectively.


One year after the events of the second film, Manny and Ellie are expecting their child. Manny is determined to make life perfect and safe for both Ellie and the baby, as he doesn't want them to suffer the same fate as his previous family. At the same time, Diego debates leaving the herd because he thinks he's losing his edge and isn't meant for the family life. Sid begins to wish for a family of his own and takes three apparently abandoned eggs that he finds in an icy cave and calls them Egbert, Shelly, and Yoko. Manny tells him to put them back, but Sid ignores him and looks after the eggs, which hatch into baby Tyrannosaurus rex the next morning. Meanwhile, Scrat encounters a female flying sabertooth squirrel named Scratte, whom he battles with over the acorn.

Although Sid tries his best to raise the three dinosaurs, their rambunctious behavior scares away all the younger animals and ruins the playground Manny built for his child, angering Manny. Not long after, a female Tyrannosaurus rex, whose eggs Sid stole, returns and carries both Sid and her young underground, with Diego in pursuit. Manny, Ellie, Crash and Eddie follow as well and discover that the icy cave leads to a vast subterranean jungle populated by dinosaurs thought to be extinct. Here, an angry Ankylosaurus threatens The Herd despite Diego's efforts to fend it off. Then they are saved from a further crowd of angry reptiles by a deranged, quick-witted, one-eyed weasel named Buck.

Buck has been living in this jungle for quite some time and is fighting Rudy, a huge albino Baryonyx and the assumed “alpha dino”, intending to avenge the eye he lost to it when he was young with a knife he carved from one of Rudy's teeth. He agrees to lead The Herd through the jungle's perils to Lava Falls, where the dinosaur has taken Sid and her babies. In the meantime, Sid and the mother T-Rex try to outdo each other in feeding the offspring; he loses this contest but is welcomed into the family regardless. The next day, however, Sid is separated from the family and attacked by Rudy. Sid is knocked onto a loose rock slab that is floating on a river of lava and about to plummet over the falls.

As The Herd moves toward Lava Falls, Ellie suddenly goes into labor and a Guanlong pack strikes, causing a rock slide that separates her from Manny and Diego. While Manny makes his way up to her, Diego assists in the delivery and fends off further attacks. Meanwhile, Buck takes Crash and Eddie to rescue Sid. Just as he goes over the falls, the trio swoops in on a commandeered Harpactognathus only to be chased by a flock of Pterodactylus on the way and saves his life. Manny reaches Ellie just in time to hear the cry of a newborn baby girl. Manny initially wants to name the baby “Ellie” after her mother but Ellie suggests the name Peaches after the fruit and the code name she and Manny agreed to use to signal when the baby is coming. Sid is saddened at the fact that he never had a chance to say goodbye to "his" children as he returns to The Herd and learns of Peaches' birth.

Before they can leave the jungle, they are ambushed by Rudy, who begins to attack them at full force. Working together Manny, Sid, Diego, and Buck manage to trap Rudy by ensnaring him in vines. However, he quickly breaks free and resumes his onslaught. The Herd is saved by the timely arrival of the mother T-Rex, who charges at Rudy and knocks him off a cliff. As she and her children wish Sid well, Buck, now without a purpose in life since Rudy is gone, decides to join The Herd and live on the surface. However, a distant roar tells him that Rudy is still alive. Because of this he changes his mind and sends The Herd home, blocking off the path to the underground jungle at the same time. Manny and Ellie welcome Peaches into their frozen world and Manny admits to Sid that he did a good job looking after the dino children. Diego decides to remain with The Herd, while Buck stays underground, happily battling it out with Rudy and riding him (much to Rudy's chagrin).

Meanwhile, Scrat and Scratte, who have fallen in love with one another after Scrat saved her from falling into lava, decide to live in the jungle together. Unfortunately, Scrat's greed for his precious acorn overcomes his newfound romance with Scratte, and he ultimately chooses the acorn over her (along with getting tired of her bossy ways). The two battle once more for the acorn, which results Scrat being accidentally launched back to the surface while Scratte remains behind in the dinosaur world. Scrat taunts her about the acorn, but once again loses it after a large piece of ice knocks it out of his hands back into the jungle and out of his reach. Scrat screams in frustration having lost both the acorn and Scratte.



Blue Sky decided to do "more of a what-if adventure" in the third Ice Age installment, titled Ice Age: A New Beginning, "like finding the giant ape in King Kong or a Shangri-la in the middle of snow," and added the dinosaurs to the story. Character designer Peter de Sève welcomed the new plot addition, since he could not think of any other giant mammal to put into the story. The "lost world" approach led to colorful dinosaurs, because "the dinosaurs didn't have to be just brown, and you can take liberties because no one knows what color they were", according to de Sève. Rudy's design was inspired by the Baryonyx because of his crocodile-like look, which de Sève considered even more menacing than the T. rex.[5]

The film was released in RealD 3D where available. This sparked some controversy when Fox announced that it would no longer pay to supply 3-D glasses to theaters,[6] leading to a number of exhibitors threatening to show the film in only standard 2-D projection.[7]

The film's original trailer debuted with the film Horton Hears a Who! on March 14, 2008, then online on April 7, 2008. There are three others that have been released, with the third and fourth (which shows Buck) being the most closely resembling each other. Queen Latifah recorded a cover of the song "Walk the Dinosaur".


Box office[edit]

The film earned $196,573,705 in North America and $690,113,112 in other territories, which gives it a worldwide gross of $886,686,817 against a budget of $90 million. Worldwide, it is the third-highest-grossing film of 2009, the highest-grossing animated film of 2009, the highest-grossing Ice Age film, the 14th-highest-grossing animated film of all time.[8] It is also the highest-grossing animated film of 2009 worldwide.[9] It set a worldwide opening-weekend record for an animated feature ($218.4 million), previously held by The Simpsons Movie ($170.9 million). However, it was later surpassed by Incredibles 2[10][11][12][13] ($235.1 million) in 2018. It is the highest-grossing film of the Ice Age series,[14] and the fifth highest-grossing film distributed by 20th Century Studios (behind Avatar, Titanic, Star Wars: Episode I – The Phantom Menace and Bohemian Rhapsody).[15]

North America[edit]

The film made $13,791,157 on its opening day in 4,099 theaters.[1] It reached $41,690,382 on its first weekend, putting it at number 2 behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, marking the lowest-grossing first weekend for the franchise, although it had a Wednesday release and therefore burned off attendance until the weekend.[14][16] The film became 20th Century Fox's third-largest 2009 release in North America behind Avatar and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. It is the third-highest-grossing animated feature of 2009. It heavily out-grossed its predecessor, Ice Age: The Meltdown which earned $195,330,621 three years before,[14] to become the highest-grossing movie in the franchise, but it was behind the two first Ice Age movies in estimated attendance.[17]

Other territories[edit]

On its opening weekend it earned $151.7 million, which is the biggest opening for an animated feature[18] and the 13th-largest of all time.[19] Outside North America, it is the fifteenth-highest-grossing film of all time[9] and the second-highest-grossing animated movie of all time (out-grossing Finding Nemo, later out-grossed by Frozen).[20] Its highest-grossing market after North America was Germany ($82.2 million), followed by France and the Maghreb region ($69.2 million), and the UK, Ireland and Malta ($56.9 million).[21] It was the highest-grossing animated film of the year in all major countries, except Spain[22] and Australia.[17][23]

As of March 2012 it is the highest-grossing animated film of all time in Hungary,[24] Slovakia,[25] the Czech Republic,[26] Romania,[27] Bulgaria, where the film holds the opening-weekend record,[28] Finland,[29] Norway,[30] Denmark,[31] Estonia,[32] Latvia,[33] Lithuania,[34] Italy,[35] Greece,[36] Serbia and Montenegro,[37] Slovenia,[38] Croatia,[39] France and the Maghreb region,[40] the Netherlands,[41] Germany,[42] Austria,[43] Brazil,[44] Peru,[45] Uruguay,[46] and Venezuela.[47]

Critical response[edit]

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 46% based on 162 reviews and an average rating of 5.41/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs boasts some excellent animation -- in particular, the dinosaurs are wonderfully realized -- but its story is tired and monotonous."[48] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 50 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[49] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[50]

Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four claiming that "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the best of the three films about our friends in the inter-species herd of plucky prehistoric heroes. And it involves some of the best use of 3-D I've seen in an animated feature."[51] Lou Lumenik of the New York Post awarded the film 3 stars stating that the film is "much more of an emphasis on action in this nicely crafted, fast-paced sequel."[52] Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club graded the film a C+ claiming the sequel "throws its commitment to the era away with movie number three, a ploy sure to anger Ice Age purists everywhere."[53] Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer enjoyed the "film's animation art is Seuss-imaginative", but panned "the flatness of the story and indifferent voicework all the more obvious."[54]


The film was nominated in two categories at the 8th Visual Effects Society Awards, for "Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture" and "Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture."[55]

Home media[edit]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was released on high-definition Blu-ray Disc and standard DVD in North America on October 27, 2009, and in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2009. Two versions of the DVD exist: a single-disc DVD, and a "Scrat Pack" double DVD pack with three Scrat games.

The 3-disc Blu-ray combo pack includes a Blu-ray, the single-disc DVD, and a Digital Copy, as well as an Ice Age digital story-book maker, commentary by director Carlos Saldanha, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, the two Scrat shorts: Gone Nutty and No Time for Nuts (that each originally came on home video for both the first and second films), and a how-to-draw Scrat tutorial with the filmmakers.

On September 21, 2010, a 3-D DVD was released as a two-disc set, with the first disc being the TrioScopics 3-D (green-magenta anaglyph) version and the second disc being the 2D version.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience[edit]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience is a 14-minute 4-D film shown at various 4-D theaters over the world. It retells the condensed story of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs with the help of 3-D projection and sensory effects, including moving seats, wind, mist, snow and scents. Produced by SimEx-Iwerks, The 4-D Experience premiered in May 2012, at the San Diego Zoo 4-D Theater.[56][57] Since June 2012, it is being shown at the Roxy Theatre, at the Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia,[58] and since July 2012, at the Shedd Aquarium's Phelps Auditorium in Chicago.[59]

Video game[edit]

A video game tie-in was released on June 30, 2009, for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and Windows. Published by Activision, Eurocom developed the console and PC versions, while Artificial Mind & Movement developed the Nintendo DS version. The game allows players to play as one of the film's characters, discovering the underground world of dinosaurs and solving puzzles through more than 15 levels.[60]


The fourth film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, was released in 3D on July 13, 2012. It was directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier—the first time without Carlos Saldanha. The film takes place a few years after the events of the third film, with Peaches in her teenage years. Scrat's never-ending pursuit of acorns has world-changing consequences, separating Manny, Sid and Diego from the rest, forcing them to stand up to a pirate gang, led by Captain Gutt.

The fifth film, Ice Age: Collision Course, was released in 3D on July 22, 2016.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 8, 2009.
  2. ^ Fritz, Ben; Verrier, Richard (June 19, 2009). "Fox to buy 3-D glasses for 'Ice Age'". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 2, 2017. Dawn of the Dinosaurs," which comes out July 1 and is the studio's first 3-D movie.
  3. ^ Yukhananov, Anna (August 4, 2010). "'Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs' to show for Hoboken's Movies Under the Stars". The Jersey Journal. Retrieved January 4, 2013.
  4. ^ "Top five popular 3-D films". March 30, 2010. Retrieved January 4, 2014.
  5. ^ Wloszczyna, Susan (June 30, 2009). "'Ice Age' warms up to dinosaurs in third installment". USA Today. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  6. ^ Sperling, Nicole (April 1, 2009). "'Ice Age 3' at the center of a struggle over 3-D exhibition". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on July 9, 2012. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  7. ^ Taylor, Dawn (April 3, 2009). "Regal to Fox: No 3-D Glasses? Then No 'Ice Age 3-D' at Regal". Cinematical. Retrieved June 15, 2009.
  8. ^ "All Time Worldwide Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved August 27, 2009.
  10. ^ "Move Over, 'Minions.' 'Incredibles 2' Is Now The Second-Highest Grossing Animated Pic Of All-Time". Cartoon Brew. September 2, 2018. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  11. ^ Wochit Entertainment (July 7, 2018), Disney And Pixar's 'Incredibles 2' Continues To Break Records, retrieved March 26, 2019
  12. ^ Mendelson, Scott. "It's Time To Kill The 'Pixar Slump' Narrative". Forbes. Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  13. ^ Geisinger, Gabriella (July 11, 2018). "Incredibles 2: Is Incredibles 2 the highest grossing animated movie of all time?". Retrieved March 26, 2019.
  14. ^ a b c "'Ice Age' Smackdown". Box Office Mojo. July 6, 2009. Retrieved September 11, 2009.
  15. ^ "WORLDWIDE GROSSES". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved February 16, 2010.
  16. ^ "Weekend Report: 'Transformers' Fends Off 'Ice Age' in Close Independence Weekend". Box Office Mojo. July 6, 2009. Retrieved August 20, 2009.
  17. ^ a b Gray, Brandon (September 15, 2009). "'Ice Age 3' Climbs to Lofty Foreign Milestone". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved September 12, 2010.
  18. ^ Weekend Report: 'Transformers' Fends Off 'Ice Age' in Close Independence Weekend
  20. ^ Weekend Report: ‘Funny People’ More Pauper Than King of Comedy
  22. ^ Spain Yearly Box Office
  23. ^ Australia Yearly Box Office
  24. ^ Hungary Yearly Box Office
  25. ^ Slovakia Yearly Box Office
  26. ^ Czech Republic Yearly Box Office
  27. ^ Romania Yearly Box Office
  29. ^ Finland Yearly Box Office
  30. ^ Norway Yearly Box Office
  31. ^ Denmark Yearly Box Office
  32. ^ Estonia Yearly Box Office
  33. ^ Latvia Yearly Box Office
  34. ^ Lithuania Yearly Box Office
  35. ^ Italy Box Office Index
  36. ^ Greece Yearly Box Office
  37. ^ Serbia and Montenegro Yearly Box Office
  38. ^ Slovenia Yearly Box Office
  39. ^ Croatia Yearly Box Office
  40. ^ France and Algeria, Monaco, Morocco and Tunisia Yearly Box Office
  42. ^ Germany Yearly Box Office
  43. ^ Austria Yearly Box Office
  44. ^ Brazil Yearly Box Office
  45. ^ Peru Yearly Box Office
  46. ^ Uruguay Yearly Box Office
  47. ^ Venezuela Yearly Box Office
  48. ^ "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (Ice Age 3) (2009)". Rotten Tomatoes.
  49. ^ "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Reviews". Metacritic.
  50. ^ "Cinemascore". Archived from the original on December 20, 2018. Retrieved July 10, 2019.
  51. ^ Roger Ebert (June 29, 2009). "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Review". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  52. ^ Lumenick, Lou (July 1, 2009). "'Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs' Will Melt Your Heart - New York Post". New York Post. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  53. ^ "Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs". The A.V. Club. The Onion. July 1, 2009. Retrieved July 5, 2009.
  54. ^ "'Ice Age': The search for a plot". The Philadelphia Inquirer. June 30, 2009. Retrieved July 4, 2009.
  55. ^ "8th Annual VES Awards". visual effects society. Retrieved December 22, 2017.
  56. ^ Morrow, Morrow (May 24, 2012). "Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience". CNN. Archived from the original on May 26, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  57. ^ "Ice Age™ Dawn of the Dinosaurs 4-D Experience!". San Diego Zoo. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  58. ^ "Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience". Movie World. Archived from the original on September 4, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  59. ^ "SHEDD AQUARIUM AND TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX CONSUMER PRODUCTS GET COOL THIS SUMMER WITH NEW 'ICE AGE' IMMERSIVE 4-D ATTRACTION" (PDF). Shedd Aquarium. June 28, 2012. Archived from the original (PDF) on September 25, 2012. Retrieved September 27, 2012.
  60. ^ Activision Publishing (June 30, 2009). "Ice Age(TM): Dawn of the Dinosaurs Video Game Hits Store Shelves Worldwide Today". PR Newswire. Archived from the original on March 6, 2016. Retrieved September 26, 2015.

External links[edit]