Ice Age
The Coolest Event In 16,000 Years.
Film information

Directed by

Chris Wedge
Carlos Saldanha (co-director)

Produced by

John C. Donkin (Associate Producer)
David Kirschner (Producer)
Lori Forte (Producer)
(Executive Producer)
Hans Bauer (Co-Producer)

Written by

Michael J. Wilson (story and screenplay)
Peter Ackerman (screenplay)

Music by

David Newman


Renato Falcao

Editing by

John Carnochan


Blue Sky Studios

Distributed by

20th Century Fox

Release Date(s)

March 15, 2002

Running time

81 minutes




$59 million

Gross Revenue


Preceded by

The Book of Esther (2001)

Followed by

The Book of Ruth (2003)
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)

Ice Age is a 2002 animated film and the first feature film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the first installment of the Ice Age franchise.

The film follows three Paleolithical mammals attempting to return a lost human baby to its parents.

The film stars Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Chris Wedge. It was released in theaters on March 15, 2002.

The film received generally positive reviews from critics and audiences alike and was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

It was also a box office success, grossing $176 million in the domestic market and earning a worldwide total of $383 million.


A saber-toothed squirrel (known as Scrat) is trying to find a place 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. Sid, a clumsy ground sloth left behind by his family, decides to move on by himself but is attacked by two Brontops whom he angered by ruining their meal. Sid is soon saved by Manfred ("Manny"), an agitated mammoth who fights them off and is heading north. Not wanting to be alone and unprotected, Sid follows Manny. Meanwhile, Soto, the leader of a Smilodon pack, wants revenge on a group of humans for killing half of his pack, 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.

Later, Sid and Manny spot Roshan and his mother near the lake, having survived her plunge. The mother only has enough strength to entrust her baby to Manny before she disappears into the water. 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. Sid's Mud Bath with two girls.

After encountering several misadventures on their way, they reach a ice cave Manny, Sid, And Diego's Wilde Ride Frozen Water Slide Chase with several cave paintings made by humans. There Sid and Diego learn about Manny's past and his previous interactions with the human hunters, in which his wife and child were killed, leaving Manny a depressed loner. Later, Manny, Sid, Diego and Roshan almost reach their destination—Half-Peak, but encounter a river of lava. Manny and Sid, along with Roshan, make it across safely, but Diego freezes, about to fall into the lava. Manny saves him, narrowly missing certain death by falling into the lava himself. The herd takes a break for the night, and Roshan takes his first walking steps towards Diego, who starts to change his mind about his mission.

The next day, the herd approaches the ambush, causing Diego—now full of respect for Manny for saving his life—to change his mind and confess to Manny and Sid about the ambush. As the pair turn hostile towards him, Diego asks for their trust, and tries to foil the attack. The herd battles Soto's pack, but despite their efforts, Soto's associates manage to corner Manny. As Soto closes in for the kill on Manny, Diego sacrifices himself by jumping in the way and is injured as a result. Manny then knocks a distracted Soto into a rock wall, causing several sharp icicles to fall onto Soto, killing him. Horrified, the rest of the pack retreat. Manny and Sid mourn for Diego's injury, which they believe is fatal, and continue their journey without him.

Soon, Manny and Sid manage to return Roshan to his tribe, and to their surprise, Diego manages to rejoin them, in time to see the baby leave. The group then begin to head off to warmer climates.

20,000 years later, Scrat, frozen in ice, ends up on the shores of a tropical island. As the ice slowly melts, the acorn is washed away. Scrat then finds a coconut and tries stomp it into the ground, only to mistakenly trigger a volcanic eruption.


Main article: List of Ice Age characters

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.


Writing and character development Edit

Writer Michael J. Wilson stated on his blog that his daughter Flora came up with the idea for an animal that was a mixture of both squirrel and rat, naming it Scrat, and that the animal was obsessed with pursuing his acorn. The plan to have Scrat talk was quickly dropped, as he worked better as a silent character for comedic effect. The name 'Scrat' is a combination of the words 'squirrel' and 'rat', as Scrat has characteristics of both species; Wedge has also called him "saber-toothed squirrel." Scrat's opening adventure was inserted because, without it, the first real snow and ice sequence wouldn't take place until about 37 minutes into the film. This was the only role intended for Scrat, but he proved to be such a popular character with test audiences that he was given more scenes. The filmmakers made it so that many of the scenes with Scrat appear directly after dramatic moments in the film.

In a 2012 interview with Jay Leno, Denis Leary's character, Diego the Sabertooth Tiger, originally died near the end of the film. However, it was reported that kids in the test audience bursted into tears when his death was shown. Leary himself warned the producers that something like this would happen. When it was proven true, the scene was re-written to ensure Diego survived.

Originally, Sid the sloth was supposed to be a con-artist and a hustler, and there was even finished scene of the character conning some aardvark kids. His character was later changed to a talkative-clumsy sloth because the team felt the audience would have hated him. There was also an alternate scene of Sid in the hottub with the ladies which shows him saying to them "Let's jump in the gene pool and see what happens." One of the female sloths then kicks him in the groin. This was cut because it was not suitable for children and may have gotten the film a PG-13 rating. Other innuendos with Sid were also cut from the film. Sid was also supposed to have a female sloth named Sylvia (voiced by Kristen Johnston) chasing after him, whom he despised and kept ditching. All the removed scenes can be seen on the DVD.

The fat saber-tooth cat named Lenny was actually described as a scimitar cat in the film's Essential Guide book.

Casting Edit

For mammoth Manny, the studio was initially looking at people with big voices.[1] James Earl Jones and Ving Rhames were considered, but they sounded too obvious and Wedge wanted more comedy.[2][3] Instead, the role was given to Ray Romano because they thought his voice sounded very elephant-like. Wedge described Romano's voice as "deep and his delivery is kind of slow, but he's also got a sarcastic wit behind it."[3]

When John Leguizamo was cast as Sid, he tried 30 different voices for Sid. After viewing a documentary about sloths, and learning that they store food in their mouths; this led to Leguizamo wondering what he would sound like with food in his mouth. After attempting to speak as if he had food in his mouth, he decided that it was the perfect voice for Sid.

All the actors were encouraged to improvise as much as possible to help keep the animation spontaneous.

Animation Edit

The production team originally thought of turning the 20th Century Fox logo into ice when it appears before the film. Even though it can be seen in one of the trailers, they cut that out and placed the regular logo in the film, but pushed up a bit so it could only be seen in the bottom portion of it.

The drawings of characters during the end credit roll were all done by the children of the animators. The same is true of the picture that Sid draws of himself on a cave wall. Sid's drawing was done by 3 year old Will Shefelman, son of a story artist Dan Shefelman. The story artist working on the scene was having difficulty drawing like a 3 year old so he consulted an expert.

Release Edit

Box officeEdit

The film was released on March 15, 2002, and 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 and was the then-third-best opening ever for an animated feature—after [w:c:pixar:Monsters, Inc. Monsters, Inc.] and [w:c:pixar:Toy Story 2 Toy Story 2].

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.[4]

Critical reactionEdit

Ice Age was met with generally positive reviews from critics (making it the best reviewed film in it's later franchise). Rotten Tomatoes gave the film 77% approval rating, based on 164 reviews. The site's consensus reads: 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

that nominee also beat over Chihiro Ogino.

Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film 3 stars out of 4 and wrote

CinemaScore polls conducted during the opening weekend, cinema audiences gave Ice Age an average grade of on an A+ to F scale.

Home mediaEdit

Ice Age was released on DVD, VHS and D-Theater[5] on November 26, 2002.

Both releases included a short film Gone Nutty, featuring Scrat from the film.

The film was released on Blu-ray on March 4, 2008, and beside Gone Nutty, it included 9 minutes of deleted scenes.[6]

By March 15, 2020, Both 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment & Buena Vista Home Entertainment Want to Re-Release the Film on Blu-Ray & DVD.

Awards Edit

Academy Awards, USA 2003Edit



Best Animated Feature

Chris Wedge

AARP Movies for Grownups Awards 2003Edit


Movies for Grownups Award

Best Movie for Grownups Who Refuse to Grow Up

Academy of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror Films, USA 2003Edit


Saturn Award

Best Animated Film

Annie Awards 2003Edit



Outstanding Achievement in an Animated Theatrical Feature
Outstanding Character Animation

Mike Thurmeier

Outstanding Character Design in an Animated Feature Production

Peter DeSève

Outstanding Directing in an Animated Feature Production

Chris Wedge Carlos Saldanha(co-director)

Outstanding Music in an Animated Feature Production

David Newman

Outstanding Production Design in an Animated Feature Production

Brian McEntee

Outstanding Writing in an Animated Feature Production

Michael Berg Michael Wilson Peter Ackerman

Awards Circuit Community Awards 2002Edit

2nd place


Best Animated Feature Film

BMI Film & TV Awards 2002Edit


BMI Film Music Award

David Newman

Bogey Awards, Germany 2002Edit


Bogey Award in Platin

Broadcast Film Critics Association Awards 2003Edit


Critics Choice Award

Best Animated Feature

DVD Exclusive Awards 2003Edit


DVD Premiere Award

Best Overall New Extra Features, New Release

John C. Donkin Sean Anderson For the special edition. 

Best New, Enhanced or Reconstructed Movie Scenes

Carlos Saldanha(director) John C. Donkin(producer) For Gone Nutty (2002). 

Original Retrospective Documentary, New Release

Sean Anderson For "The Making of Ice Age". 

Best Audio Commentary, New Release

Chris Wedge Carlos Saldanha For the Special Edition. 

Gold Derby Awards 2003Edit


Gold Derby Award

Animated Feature

Golden Schmoes Awards 2002Edit


Golden Schmoes

Best Animated Movie of the Year

International Online Cinema Awards (INOCA) 2003Edit



Best Animated Feature

Chris Wedge

Italian National Syndicate of Film Journalists 2003Edit


Silver Ribbon

Best Dubbing (Migliore Doppiaggio)

Pino Insegno For The Lord of the Rings: The Two TowersFor the voices of Viggo Mortensen and Denis Leary

Kansas City Film Critics Circle Awards 2002Edit



Best Animated Film

Kids' Choice Awards, USA 2003Edit


Blimp Award

Favorite Movie
Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie

Denis Leary

Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie

Ray Romano

Motion Picture Sound Editors, USA 2003Edit


Golden Reel Award

Best Sound Editing in Animated Features

Sean Garnhart(supervising sound editor) Steven Visscher(supervising foley editor) Paul Urmson(sound effects editor) Lewis Goldstein(sound effects editor) Craig Berkey(sound effects editor) Frank Kern(foley editor) Kam Chan(foley editor) Albert Gasser(dialogue editor) Marissa Littlefield(dialogue editor) Nicholas Renbeck(dialogue editor) Kenton Jakub(dialogue editor)

Best Sound Editing in Animated Features - Music

Richard A. Harrison(music editor)

Online Film & Television Association 2003Edit


OFTA Film Award

Best Animated Picture

Lori Forte

Online Film Critics Society Awards 2003Edit


OFCS Award

Best Animated Feature

Phoenix Film Critics Society Awards 2003Edit


PFCS Award

Best Animated Film

Satellite Awards 2003Edit


Golden Satellite Award

Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media
Best Youth DVD

Washington DC Area Film Critics Association Awards 2002Edit



Best Animated Film

Young Artist Awards 2003Edit


Young Artist Award

Best Family Feature Film - Animation


  • The first sequel, Ice Age: The Meltdown was released March 31st 2006. The film focuses on the gang racing to escape an impending flood.
  • The second sequel, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was released July 1st 2009. The film focuses on the gang discovering dinosaurs underground.
  • The third sequel, Ice Age: Continental Drift was released July 13th 2012, ten years after the original. The film focuses on the gang surviving the continental drift on Earth.
  • A fourth sequel, Ice Age: Collision Course was released July 22nd 2016. The plot focuses on the gang facing some cosmic adventures.


  • Ice Age is the first Blue Sky Studios film to have humans, followed by Rio.
  • This is the only Ice Age film to have humans.
  • This is the first feature film by Blue Sky Studios.
  • This is the only Blue Sky Studios film to have the "Twentieth Century Fox Presents" credit.
  • This is the first Blue Sky Studios film to get more than one sequel.
  • This is the only Ice Age film to be released on VHS.
  • This is Blue Sky Studios' first film not to be scored by John Powell, as the film was scored by David Newman, followed by Epic.
  • This is the only Ice Age film to have the "Twentieth Century Fox Presents" credit.
  • This is the only Blue Sky Studios film not to have a Blue Sky Studios logo.
  • This is the only Ice Age movie not to be released the same year as a Pixar movie.



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