Ice Age was released on March 15, 2002 as a computer-animated comedy-drama adventure film directed by Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha. It is the first of five films released in the Ice Age series, made by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It features the voices of Ray Romano, Goran Visnjic, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Chris Wedge.
The film is set during the days of the ice age; animals begin migrating south to escape the winters. Once Manny, a cranky mammoth, meets Sid, a loudmouthed ground sloth, and the two find a human baby named Roshan, they set out to return the baby. Joining them is a saber-tooth tiger named Diego, who is commanded by his pack leader, Soto, to bring the baby to him to enact revenge against the humans.
The film received generally positive from critics and critical acclaim from audiences. The film was a box office success, earning $383 worldwide against it's $59 million budget. The film won several film awards, including an Academy Award nomination.
Manny meets Sid
20,000 years ago, a grumpy mammoth named Manfred and a enthusiastic ground sloth named Sid are left behind during the migration for the ice age. Abandoned by his family, Sid attempts to migrate alone but runs afoul of his two rhinos best friends named Carl and Frank, who try to attack Sid but fail due to Manfred stepping in, only to leave Sid behind afterward. Sid stays with Manfred, referring to the mammoth as “Manny”, for protection, much to Manny’s dismay.
A tribe of humans camp near a waterfall, among them their leader, named Runar, with his wife Nadia and their infant son Roshan, before heading north to their settlement in the mountains. Soto, leader of a pack of saber-tooth tigers, watches the humans with his trusted lieutenant, a cat named Diego. Soto, seeking revenge against the humans for wiping out half of his pack, intends to devour Runar’s son Roshan in vengeance and plans an attack for the next morning. The attack takes place, with Diego pursuing Nadia, but she escapes with Roshan, jumping over the waterfalls so that Diego returns to Soto with no baby; the pack agrees to meet at Half Peak, where Diego will produce the baby for Soto.
Returning the Baby
Manny and Sid journey on, Manny bothered by the sloth’s constant talking, until the two find Nadia on a riverbank, weakened greatly by her jump over the falls, with hardly enough strength to pass her son to Manny before she disappears. Manny leaves, but Sid intends to return the baby to his “herd”, which Manny will not help with. The two meet Diego, who takes the baby, claiming that he intends to return him to the humans. Manny, unconvinced, decides to help Sid return the baby to his family, leaving the saber behind; the humans’ camp is abandoned and Manny reluctantly decides to head north to find the humans’ settlement at Glacier Pass and return the baby, taking Diego along as a guide.
The trio takes the baby up north and meets a fanatical flock of dodos on the way, from which they procure food for the baby. During the trek, however, Diego secretly meets up with two of his pack mates, who pass a message from Soto, demanding the baby; Diego sends them back with a message to Soto, promising the baby and Manny. The following morning, Sid takes the baby to a mud crater, where he meets two female sloths named Jennifer and Rachel, who he tries to court using the baby, which Manny takes back; Sid returns to the mud crater, only to find the sloths gone, Carl and Frank in their place. The rhinos pursue Sid, who runs into Diego and pleads to the saber to deter the rhinos: Diego pretends to have killed Sid to throw the rhinos off the trail and releases his grip once the rhinos leave; Diego then moves on with Manny and Sid. On the way, the group runs into a number of predicaments, from a changing landscape to freezing ice age blizzards. The group meets a saber-tooth squirrel named Scrat, who had seen a pack of sabers go by and tries to tell Manny before Diego surreptitiously flicks Scrat away.
Further on, Diego spots the humans close by and suggests a shortcut to waylay Manny and Sid to an ambush point; this shortcut takes them through an ice cavern which leads to a cave adorned with paintings, all featuring animals. Among the paintings is the image of a mammoth family, hunted by humans, which Manny views, revealing that the mammoths depicted were Manny’s family and Manny himself: Manny’s wife and child were hunted by humans, leaving Manny alive and embittered at the world for his loss. The baby reaches out to the painting, comforting Manny in that he lets go of his bitterness at having lost his wife and child.
Further on, the group grows closer to Glacier Pass when they reach a lava field, which they must cross. Diego nearly falls into the lava but Manny saves him, falling into the lava pit himself as the ice he is standing on breaks off. Manny is launched out of the lava pit unharmed, launched out with the ice he stood on. Diego, in wonderment at Manny’s actions, asks why Manny risked his life to save him, Manny replying that such sacrifices where what herds did. Meanwhile, Soto and his pack plan for the ambush on Manny, aided by Diego.
That night, while settling down by campfire, Diego begins to see the error of his ways in betraying Manny. After the others fall asleep, Scrat appears on the scene with his acorn, planning to thaw it from the ice, baking it instead by mistake into a hot kernel. The group continued on, reaching Half Peak, where Diego, feeling remorse for betraying Manny’s trust, confesses his plans to Manny, which angers the mammoth. Manny pins Diego to a rock wall, intending to kill him for his misdeeds, but Diego, having had a change of heart, agrees to help Manny escape the pack.
Leading the pack away from Manny, who they intended to ambush, Sid slides off on two pieces of bark with a decoy baby made of snow; the pack, however, catches up with Manny, who knocks them away with a log, trapping Soto's assistant named Zeke, who Sid stomps into a hollow tree. Soto catches up with them and corners Manny, asking Diego to help bring the mammoth down; Diego defects from Soto and defends Manny at his own expense as Soto brings Diego down, wounding him. Soto then turns to Manny, intending to attack him alone, but the mammoth, in vengeance, knocks Soto into an ice wall, which jars loose a number of hanging icicles, impaling him. Sid and Manny abadone the Sabers. Soto and Zeke's friends, Oskar and Lenny, mourn their killed leader as a result.
The Journey Ends
Manny, Sid and the baby are safe; Diego, however, is severely injured and appears to succumb to his wounds, leaving Manny and Sid to find the humans by themselves. The two find the humans, who ready themselves to attack when Manny produces Roshan, safe and sound. Grateful for Manny’s returning Roshan, Runar calls off the attack and bestows a beaded necklace to Manny in thanks before leaving with the baby. Manny and Sid leave and find Diego, who survived the attack due to his “nine lives”. The three become a herd and decide to head south together, ending the movie.
- Ray Romano as Manfred/Manny
- Goran Visnjic as Soto
- John Leguizamo as Sid
- Denis Leary as Diego
- Jack Black as Zeke
- Diedrich Bader as Oscar
- Alan Tudyk as Lenny and Dab
- Cedric the Entertainer as Carl
- Stephen Root as Frank and Start
- Chris Wedge as Scrat and a Dodo
- Dann Fink as aDodo (uncredited)
- Peter Ackerman as a Dodo
- P.J. Benjamin as a Dodo
- Josh Hamilton as Dodo and Aardvark
- Lorri Bagley as Rachel
- Jane Krakowski as Jennifer
- Denny Dillon as a Glyptodon
- Mitzi McCall as a Glyptodon
Originally, Sid was trying to avoid another sloth named Sylvia. He manages to lose her by putting her in the path of some migrating Glyptodon, who unknowingly carry her off when she got caught on their backs. Later, Sid makes it look like Diego had killed him, but she saw that he was faking, so she deserted him in anger and told Diego to eat the sloth. This segment was still used in the movie, but was used for Sid to avoid the two brontotheres who were still after him, as they fell for the trick. It was kept in the storybook version, however. The deleted scenes can be viewed separately, or in Nutty Movie Mode, both of which are included on Disc 1 of the two-disc Special Edition DVD.==Soundtrack== The film score was composed by David Newman.
Reviews were generally positive from critics. The films holds a 77% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 60 "mixed or average reviews" on Metacritic. However, audiences loved the film even more than the critics. The film has an audience rating of 82% on Rotten Tomatoes. The film also earned an "A" from CinemaScore.
The film made $46,312,454 on its opening weekend debuting at #1. It made $176,387,405 domestically and $206,869,731 elsewhere for a worldwide total of $383,257,136 worldwide. It became the 8th highest grossing film in 2002.
Ice Age received 28 nominations including an Oscar nomination for Best Animated Feature Film.
- While critics did give the film positive reviews, the audience loved the film even more.
- Was a box office hit when it was released in 2002.
- Grossed $383 million worldwide against it's $59 million budget.
- Only film in the Ice Age franchise where David Newman composed the musical score.
- Is the highest-rated Ice Age film with a 77% on Rotten Tomatoes and a 60 on Meatcritic.
- Often considered to be the best Ice Age film.
- The film's massive success helped launch Blue Sky Studios into a successful animation studio.
- Was originally going to be a dramatic, non-comedic hand-drawn animated film directed by Don Bluth, but was given to Blue Sky and they turned it into the computer-animated film that we all know.
- 20th Century Fox would only take this film if it was turned into a comedy.
- Many love this film for it's heartwarming story and it's well-written and likable characters.
- David Newman also composed Anastasia, another 20th Century Fox animated film.
- Every actor was encouraged to improvise as much as they can to keep the animation spontaneous.
- This was the only film to use Blue Sky Studios’ old “blue dash” logo as it only appears on trailers and posters (even on the poster to Robots), as later with the release of Robots, it would use the iconic one (the “blue circle shield”) logo.
- A special 2-disc "Super Cool Edition" Ice Age DVD was released on March 14, 2006, which includes a ticket to see Ice Age: The Meltdown.
- The first film to have a bittersweet ending. The bittersweet ending is when Diego gets killed by Soto and comes back to life.
- A scene from this film was featured in the 2010 film Diary of a Wimpy Kid.