The animated film Ice Age is set 20,000 years in the earth’s past when glaciers, snow and ice cover much of the land. To escape the cold, animals migrate south in search of food and warmer weather.
Not all the animals, however, are heading south. A woolly mammoth named Manny (voice of Ray Romano), who has his own agenda, is heading north accompanied by an accident prone, opportunistic giant sloth named Sid (voice of John Leguizamo), who has angered a couple of rhinos and decides that Manny would make the perfect body guard.
Meanwhile, a group of sabre-tooth tigers lead by the vengeful Soto (voice of Goran Visnjic) attacks a human camp to capture a human baby alive so that Soto can take his revenge for the hunting of other tigers. While Soto and others attack the men in the camp, sabre-tooth Diego (voice of Denis Leary) corners the mother and her infant on a cliff top above a ranging river, and in a bid to escape, the mother jumps into the raging torrent below. Both mother and infant are swept downstream where they are found by Manny and Sid. Before the exhausted mother disappears beneath the river, she manages to pass her infant over the bewildered animals for safe keeping and Sid decides that the only reasonable thing to do is to take the infant back to the human camp. However before Manny and Sid are able to travel too far, Diego turns up offering his superior tracking skills to find the humans, who he claims have moved camp. Of course, his true intentions are far from righteous.
As the unlikely trio travel to find the humans they have many encounters and adventures which change each of them in different ways.
Prehistoric times; revenge; extinction; death of family members
The film Ice Age contains frequent slapstick violence and some action violence with injury and death but no blood and gore depicted. Examples include:
- Sid is charged by two rampaging rhinos, and hides behind Manny with the two rhinos crashing into Manny. A push and shove match develops with the rhinos pushing Manny towards the edge of a cliff. Manny interlocks his tusks with the horns of one of the rhinos swinging the rhino around before releasing it sending the rhino flying through the air, while he uses his tusks like a forklift to pick up the second rhino and catapult it through the air.
- A sabre-tooth tiger talks about eating a human infant for breakfast and about how a group of hunters killed half of his pack and used their skins to keep warm.
- A pack of sabre-tooth tigers attacks a group of humans who ward off the tigers with spears; there is some snarling and crunching of spears but no injuries are depicted. A tiger corners a mother holding an infant and she hits the tiger across the face with a wooden club. A short time later the tiger corners the mother holding her infant on top of a cliff overhanging a raging river and she jumps into the water to escape.
- In one scene played for laughs to depict the extinction of the dodo bird we see: dodo birds falling into a volcanic crater, accidentally stumbling over a cliff face; we see a number of dodos knocked off a cliff face; actual deaths are not depicted.
- Manny is surrounded and attacked by a Soto and his pack of sabre-tooth tigers. Soto leaps at Manny, but Diego intervenes and attacks Soto. A tiger bites Manny on the foot while Manny uses a tree trunk to knock several tigers over a cliff face. Diego and Soto swipe at each other with their claws, with Soto hurling Diego against a rock knocking him unconscious. Soto is about to swipe Diego’s throat with his claws when Manny intervenes, using his tusks to throw Soto through the air and against a wall of ice. As the tiger lies on the snow, a row of sword-like icicles hanging above him begin to wobble. We do not see the icicles fall, but hear what sounds like swords cutting flesh with the inference clear that he is stabbed and killed by the falling icicles. When we next see Diego he appears to be injured and dying but in a later scene we see Diego alive and limping back to his friends.
Ice Age contains some low-level comical sexual innuendoes. Examples include:
- We hear Manny telling Sid “If you find a mate in life you should be loyal and in your case grateful”, to which Sid responds “I think mating for life is stupid, there’s plenty of Sid to go around”.
- Sid makes a comment about a female sloth going “praying mantis on me”.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Nudity and sexual activity
There is some sexual activity in this movie, including:
- Mild flirting between Sid and female sloths
Nothing of concern, although plenty of associated merchandise.
There are some occasional name calling and putdowns. Examples include:
- overgrown weasel; jerk; stinking drawl face; bone bag; little squirt; wormy; lumpy
Ideas to discuss with your children
Ice Age is an animated comedy adventure family film targeting children. The film is clever, funny and at times emotional, with some great characters. Although a little predictable, the storyline will easily entertain the target audience and well as older viewers. Parents of younger viewers should be cautioned that the film does contain scary moments. Under 7s may find the conflict between characters a little too intense and some of the film’s themes rather disturbing - animals that seek revenge via eating a baby; death of family members.
The main messages from this movie are:
- The importance of family
- Supporting and looking out for each other regardless of differences
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:
- Self sacrifice, cooperation and compassion: On a number of occasions Manny displayed self sacrifice by both putting the need of other above his own and by placing his own safety and life at risk to save others.
- Cooperation: It was by cooperating that Manny, Diego and Sid were able to overcome a variety of obstacle throughout their journey and succeed in their mission.
- Manny demonstrated great compassion towards the human baby in his care even though adult humans were responsible for the death of his own family.
This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children attitudes and behaviours, and their real-life consequences, such as:
- Parents may wish to discuss how the film represents the need for individuals from diverse backgrounds and cultures to be compassionate and understanding towards each other, and how these qualities can result in diverse groups overcoming insurmountable odds.