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Ice Age
Directed by: Chris Wedge
Carlos Saldanha
Written by: Michael J. Wilson
Michael Berg
Release date: March 15, 2002
Running time: 81 minutes Preceeded by: {{{previous film}}}
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Ice Age is the first Blue Sky Studios feature film, produced by Blue Sky and released by 20th Century Fox in the US on March 15, 2002. The film was so successful it prompted a sequel, Ice Age: The Meltdown. Seven years later, an additional film, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, was also released. A fourth and final installment is currently in production.

Twenty thousand years ago, the Earth was being overrun by glaciers, and creatures everywhere were fleeing the onslaught of the new Ice Age. In this time of peril, we meet the weirdest herd of any Age: a fast talking but dim sloth named Sid; a moody woolly mammoth named Manny; a devilish saber-toothed tiger named Diego; and an acorn-crazy saber-toothed squirrel known as Scrat. This quartet of misfits unexpectedly, and reluctantly, comes together in a quest to return a human infant to his father. Braving boiling lava pits, treacherous ice caves, freezing temperatures and a secret, evil plot, these "sub-zeros" become the world's first heroes!

PlotEdit

The film begins with a squirrel known as Scrat, who is trying to find a location to store his prized acorn. Eventually, as he tries to hide it, he causes an 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. Sid, a clumsy sloth left behind by his family, is attacked by two Brontops whom he angered. Sid is soon saved by Manfred, an agitated mammoth who fights them off. Not wanting to be alone and unprotected, Sid follows Manny. Meanwhile, Soto, the leader of a Smilodon pride wants revenge on a group of humans by eating the chief's son, Roshan, alive. There is an attack on the human camp, causing Roshan's mother to be separated from the rest when she falls over a waterfall. Soto's lieutenant, Diego, is sent to find and bring the baby back. Sid and Manny spot Roshan and his mother near the lake, having survived her trip over the waterfall. The mother only has enough strength to trust her baby to Manny before she disappears. After much persuasion by the sloth, they decide to return Roshan but when they get to the human camp, the humans are gone. 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 an ambush. Soon they reach a cave where Sid and Diego learn about Manny's past and his previous interactions with the humans, where his wife and son were killed, leaving Manny a cynical loner. At the end of the film, Diego, Manny and Sid battle Soto's pack and a short fight ensues. As Soto closes in for the kill on Manny, Diego leaps and stops Soto, who wounds Diego in the process. Manny, in vengeance, knocks Soto into a wall of rocks, where sharp icicles fall on Soto, killing him. Manny and Sid manage to return the baby to his tribe, and Diego rejoins them, as the group begins to head off to warmer climates.

SubplotEdit

There is also a subplot where an animal named Scrat makes many comical attempts to bury his beloved acorn. His misfortunes include getting chased by an enormous glacier, being struck by lightning, attempting to thaw out the acorn by a fire too long so that it accidentally took the form of a kernel of popcorn, and finally getting frozen in an ice cube along with his much sought after nut. 20,000 years into the future, the ice cube washes up on the shore of an island. The sun slowly melts the cube, thawing Scrat and the ice surrounding his acorn, which is barely out of reach, and ends up being removed from the ice cube 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 acorns, but in the process causes a volcanic eruption, mirroring the opening scene when Scrat causes a break in the ice with an acorn.

DevelopmentEdit

The film was originally to be directed by Don Bluth and Gary Goldman, and produced in 2D by Fox Animation Studios, but the rise of CGI animation and the failure of Titan A.E. destroyed Don Bluth's traditional animation division, hence Bluth and Goldman transferred their duties for Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha from Fox's CGI division Blue Sky.

Voice CastEdit

  • Manfred - Ray Romano
  • Sid - John Leguizamo
  • Diego - Denis Leary
  • Soto - Goran Visnjic
  • Zeke - Jack Black
  • Oscar - Diedrich Bader
  • Lenny - Alan Tudyk
  • Scrat - Chris Wedge
  • Carl - Cedric the Entertainer
  • Frank - Stephen Root
  • Rachel - Jane Krakowski
  • Jennifer - Lorri Bagley

Box OfficeEdit

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 million and grossed $383,257,136 million worldwide, being the 9th highest gross of 2002 in North America and the 8th best worldwide at the time.

SequelsEdit

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