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Western Animation / Ice Age

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Ice Age is a computer-animated movie series made by 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. Beginning with the release of Ice Age in 2002, it is the series the now-defunct Blue Sky is best known for.

The films follow the adventures of an unusual herd trying their best to survive an era of history that always seems to bring catastrophic events. The main trio consists of an emotionally distant yet caring mammoth named Manny, a clueless sloth named Sid and a sabertooth tiger with a sweet spot named Diego, all the while a squirrel named Scrat just wants to eat an acorn.

The series has five main installments:

There are also three short films that are on the DVDs: Gone Nutty and No Time for Nuts, both short adventures starring Scrat, and Surviving Sid, obviously centered around Sid. And there's A Mammoth Christmas, a Christmas Special, as well as The Great Egg-Scapade, an Easter Special. It also has a series of tie-in games. There are also two 4-D exhibitions, one based off an extended version of No Time for Nuts and one based off the third film, which have been presented at various zoos and amusement parks.

Boom! Studios published Comic Books including:

  • Ice Age: Iced In (2012)
  • Ice Age: Playing Favorites (2012)
  • Ice Age: Where There's Thunder (2012)
  • Ice Age: Past, Presents, and Future! (2012)
  • Ice Age: The Hidden Treasure (2013)

Scrat Tales, a series of shorts focusing on Scrat and his son, debuted on Disney+ in 2022; it marked the final Ice Age project produced by Blue Sky Studios. The same year, a spin-off movie titled The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild premiered on the platform as well, produced by Bardel Entertainment.

Also in 2022, a short was uploaded by the Blue Sky team as their final piece of animation in which Scrat finally gets his acorn. This was made as a goodbye from the company as well as a symbolic Book Ends of sorts since Ice Age was their first major project and hit, the franchise having started with Scrat's antics.

The series provide examples of:

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    The series as a whole 
  • A Day in the Limelight: The two Scrat shorts and Surviving Sid are highly focused on the two characters.
  • All There in the Manual:
    • Background information provided in the books and other websites confirms that Manny's family died in the Troubled Back Story Flashback in the original and corroborates the belief that his first child was a son.
    • There is also confirmation for the human baby's name, which is Roshan. His parents are called Runar and Nadia.
    • The names of the two aquatic antagonists in the second film: Cretaceous and Maelstrom.
  • Anachronism Stew:
    • Crosses over with Misplaced Wildlife and Artistic License – Paleontology. The fourth film lampshades it, with Sid outright stating near the start that their fight against dinosaurs from the third film made no sense whatsoever.
    • Also, Pangaea? In the Ice Age?! Or Stonehenge, for that matter.
    • What about the characters celebrating both Christmas and Easter in the Ice Age, despite the fact that they are supposedly living before Christ when neither holidays existed. And Santa Claus was around back then...
  • Anachronistic Animal: The franchise features a number of relatively obscure prehistoric mammals and birds that were long extinct by the ice ages. This includes brontotheres, Moeritherium, Platybelodon, Chalicotherium, Gastornis, and Hesperornis. The movies also feature Mesozoic reptiles, but their presence is acknowledged as anachronistic: there are sea reptiles that were frozen for millions of years, and dinosaurs that live in an underground Lost World. The Series Mascot Scrat was a fictional species at the time the movies were released, but an uncannily similar species, Cronopio, was discovered since then — which lived in the Cretaceous period, over 90 million years before the ice ages; interestingly enough, another saber-toothed squirrel appears and becomes Scrat's love interest in the third film—the same one with the other dinosaurs—and is "appropriately" placed in the subterranean Lost World with the dinosaurs.
  • Animal Talk: The humans cannot understand animals, and the same with animals not understanding human language.
  • Anthropomorphic Shift: From the second film onwards. The first film depicts the animals living their animalistic lifestyle, with pretty much the only major human ability to be talking. The succeeding films slowly shift the animals' anthropmorphism to Partially Civilized Animal, capable of human-like ways of life. Though the main villains of the second and third films were actually more animalistic than the cast.
  • Art Evolution: Played With as it both evolves and devolves as the series progresses. While the overall animation does improve with each sequel, due mostly to advances in CGI animation technology as well as being made on bigger budgets, the character designs (mostly for the minor characters) becomes increasingly simplistic; for example, take a look at how more accurate the glyptodons look in the first movie, compared to how silly and cartoony they look afterwards.
  • Artistic License – Biology:
    • Scrat the saber-toothed squirrel. Real rodents lack canines, and at no point in history did they ever have.
    • The aardvarks are also shown having their mouth at the base of their snout and an elephant-like trunk, instead of a small mouth at the end of the long pig-like snout.
    • The dinosaurs in Ice Age 3, if compared to a mammoth, are far bigger than they were in real life, with Mama Rex topping 70 feet and Rudy a whopping 120 feet (real T. rex was a much smaller 25 feet and Baryonyx was actually smaller.)
    • Captain Gutt, an ape, ought to have human-like fingernails rather than pointed claws, and 5 fingers & toes instead of 4.
    • The Easter special depicts the glyptodonts as egg layers. Glyptodonts were large mammals related to armadillos, and did not lay eggs. Subverted when a chalicothere, a mammal related to horses, presents his egg and explains he adopted it.
    • Also in the Easter special, Clint says rabbits have button noses, which they don't. Especially odd since his and Squint's character designs have the correct slit-shaped noses of rabbits.
    • The earlier films were extremely good about depicting the mammoths running, no matter how urgent the situation — like modern day elephants, they moved at what was basically a fast walk. The later films just have them straight up gallop.
  • Artistic License – Geology: A bit downplayed, but the term "ice age" is somewhat loosely used throughout the series. While the movies perpetuate the common misconception that an ice age is a time period where an abundance of ice engulfs most of the Earth, it is actually a period of drastic temperature reduction in the Earth's atmosphere that can last for millennia, and the movies seem to actually take place in the midst of a glacial period that can occur during an ice age.
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Sid a couple of times through the series...
    Sid: We're gonna LIVE!
    *Everybody sees the water rising rapidly*
    Sid: We're gonna DIE!
  • Big Bad:
    • Soto in the first movie, and he is a very, very effective one, especially if one watches and is aware that he is setting up a gambit for Diego's death, due to Diego being a threat to his status as pack leader.
    • Captain Gutt in the fourth. Noticeably the first main antagonist since the first film to be truly malevolent, as the Big Bads of the last two movies were predatory animals who, while persistent, were acting on instinct, while both Soto and Gutt were acting on personal motives.
  • Belligerent Sexual Tension: Manny and Ellie in the second movie, Diego and Shira in the fourth.
  • Book Ends:
    • The first movie opens with Scrat somehow causing an ever-growing crack with the acorn. It ends with one too. And so does the third movie.
    • A meta example for Blue Sky as a whole. The first movie opens with Scrat somehow causing an ever-growing crack with the acorn. In a 30-second short that was posted online shortly after Scrat Tales came out, Scrat is about to do this all over again, before stopping himself and eating the acorn instead, ending on a lingering shot of the now eaten acorn.
  • Blonde, Brunette, Redhead: Sid (blonde), Manny (brunet), and Diego (redhead).
  • Breakout Character: Scrat appears in more advertisement and has more shorts than any other character in this film series, and he's not even a main character!
  • Brick Joke: In the second movie, Scrat's vision of Fluffy Cloud Heaven includes rows of dodos welcoming him — could they be the same ones that essentially extincted themselves in the first movie?
  • Butt-Monkey: Considering every movie in the series are slapstick comedies, almost everyone gets their turn at being the Butt-Monkey.
    • The majority of Sid's problems are self-imposed, either through not being properly careful, or through having delusions of grandeur. Not even his family wanted him.
    • But the award goes to Scrat. Nothing ever goes the poor guy's way. He exists only for the purpose of being a butt-monkey — er, squirrel. Thing. Butt-Saber-Toothed-Squirrel.
    • Louis isn't given a lot of respect by the Herd.
  • Call-Back:
    • The game Sid plays with the baby dinosaurs in the third movie is the same one he and Diego did with Roshan in the first movie.
    • Gupta appears to be wielding Buck's knife in the fourth film.
    • The 4th movie shows Sid's family that abandoned him in the first...for one short scene.
    • Manny saying "Get off my face!" to Uncle Fungus in four mirrors a similar situation from the original.
    • When Scrat falls to the center of the earth in the fourth movie, he passes Buck riding Rudy from the third movie.
    • Buck commandeering a pterodactyl like an aircraft is mirrored in the fourth movie by Granny commandeering her pet whale like a submarine.
    • Scrat proves Above the Influence when the sirens taunt him with Scratte — because he learned his lesson in the third movie!
  • Carnivore Confusion: The Predation Is Natural approach is taken with the saber-tooths, humans, and tyrannosaurs. The Predators Are Mean approach is taken by the antagonists Cretaceous and Malestrom from The Meltdown and Rudy from Dawn Of The Dinosaurs.
  • Cast Calculus: Changes with each movie.
    • Freudian Trio: Ice Age
    • The Magnificent Seven Samurai: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs
      • Manny, Diego, Sid, Ellie, Crash and Eddie, plus a new, seventh Ranger: Buck the Cloudcuckoolander weasel, though he doesn't stay with the group permanently and is remembered as an honorary member.
    • And the fourth gives us Teenage Peaches, Louis, Sid’s Granny, and Shira. Safe to say this group is no longer small.
  • Cats Are Snarkers: Diego.
    Sid: Hey, my feet are sweating.
    Diego: Do we need a news flash every time your body does something?
    Manny: He's just doing it for attention, just ignore him.
  • Central Theme: Friendship, forgiveness, redemption, and how the actions of one innocent person, kidnapped for the slaughter, can transform a trio of misfits into a true family. Love and forgiveness can create harmony in spaces where sin has crept in. Love is shown through acts of sacrifice/sacrificial love.
  • Chekhov's Skill:
    • The possum’s tails are used to stop predators in Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Crash’s tail slingshots berries while Eddie’s tail holds the rest as he fires. With just their tails, they leave half of the pterosaur flock knocked to the ground and one pterosaur stuck as a big bloated balloon floating around.
    • Ellie being the only tree-climbing mammoth thanks to her possum upbringing,helps her to save one of the Sid’s adopted dino eggs in Dawn of the Dinosaurs.
    • Diego's forcing a panicked Manny to flee towards the giant raft in Meltdown qualifies, as the other saber-tooths' plan to ambush the mammoth in the first film involved driving him to his death. Presumably Diego knows how to do that too.
    • In the original 2002 movie, Sid's proficiency at wintertime athletics allows him to distract Soto's pack.
    • Peaches' tree-swinging abilities and Louis's tunneling in the 4th movie help save Peaches from Gutt.
  • The Chew Toy:
  • Cloudcuckoolander:
    • Sid, of course. Very talkative, spacey, quite naive and kind of a ditz. With No Sense of Personal Space.
    • Ellie is a mammoth who thinks she's a possum, despite the obvious size difference between her and her "brothers." She loses this trait in the third movie and never regains it.
    • The Dodos plan to survive the Ice Age which they say will last for billions of years, with a stockpile of 3 watermelons.
    • Buck the weasel most likely lost part of his brain when he lost his eye.
    • Sid's Granny (played by Wanda Sykes) shows shades of this, though she does have several moments where she shows she's not entirely crazy.
    “I slept through the asteroid that killed the unicorns!”
  • Comic-Book Time: The animal characters never seem to age, even though by rights Crash and Eddie should be old now. Which leads to the puzzling thought about how old the characters actually are...
  • Companion Food: Scrat has an unbreakable bond with his acorn.
  • Conspicuous in the Crowd: Manny not only stands out because he's a woolly mammoth, towering over the other creatures, but he's also trundling against the flow of migrating creatures. One of them even gets snippy with Manny for "going the wrong way."
  • Continuity Nod:
    • In the second film, Diego asks Manny what's holding him back from moving on with Ellie, Manny's response? "My Family". Since the film doesn't mention that Manny's family was killed by humans in the first film, it also counts as Continuity Lockout since you have to watch the first film in order to understand what happened to Manny's family.
    • In the third movie comes through with a Callback to the Original Film. In the scene before Diego leaves Manny to go protect Ellie, he says five words that Manny knows very well from some years earlier: "You have to trust me." And the poignant expression in Manny's eyes seals the deal as you clearly can see that he is remembering that event all over again, and thus why he lets Diego go protect his mate.
    • As Scrat falls into the chasm in the opening of the fourth movie, we can see a glimpse of Buck and Rudy. And in the siren's nest, Scrat momentarily sees Scratte, before he shakes it away. Earlier on in the film, Diego briefly brings up his old pack.
  • Contrasting Sequel Antagonist: Throughout the franchise, the Big Bad of each film differs from the last.
    • Soto, the main antagonist of the first film, was the vicious and bloodthirsty leader of a pack of sabretooth cats who sought to kill an infant human in Revenge for said infant's tribe killing half of Soto's pack to use their pelts to keep them warm. Some people might see his hate as understandable, but he makes it clear that he sees the deaths of his pack as more of a blow to his ego than having any genuine care for them.
    • Cretaceous and Maelstrom were a pair of mindless aquatic predators from the age of the dinosaurs who, while no less terrifying than Soto, were basically Plot Irrelevant Villains who had no personal vendetta against the heroes and only saw them as another potential meal.
    • Rudy was a colossal albino Baryonyx who, while also a prehistoric reptile like Cretaceous and Maelstrom that had no personal vendetta against the herd, was a land-based predator seemingly possessing some level of sapience, as evidenced by his grudge against Buck for knocking out one of his teeth to use as a knife and grinning menacingly when he though he had crushed the weasel to death. Furthermore, Rudy is the only villain in the franchise who works independently, as opposed to the leaders Soto, Gutt, and Gavin were and the partners Cretaceous and Maelstrom were.
    • Captain Gutt was the first antagonist since Soto to be both an Ice Age-era mammal and the leader of a group of villainous animals, but unlike Soto, who at least has the benefit of a Freudian Excuse due to his desire to avenge his slain packmates, Gutt is shown from the start to be a selfish, greedy, power-hungry animal who values no life besides his own and who only sees his subordinates as a means to an end, openly berating Shira for not bringing down Manny when she had the chance and being an overall Bad Boss to his crew.
    • Gavin is a blend of all the qualities of the previous villains in the franchise. He is a ruthless reptilian predator like Cretaceous, Maelstrom, and Rudy but is notable for being the only reptile in the franchise (barring his children) capable of speech while the last three only communicated in growls, roars, or hisses. Like Soto and Gutt, he is the leader of a group that causes trouble for other animals and comes into conflict with the herd as a result. But unlike the previous antagonists, Gavin is convinced into pulling a Heel–Face Turn out of love for his children and becomes friends with the herd at the end of the film.
  • Crazy Survivalist:
    • Buck the Weasel, the delightfully deranged Rambo/Ahab counterpart.
    • The dodos are preparing for living billions of years underground with a stockpile of... three watermelons! They failed.
  • Crouching Moron, Hidden Badass:
    • Scrat sometimes. He defeats a school of piranhas on his own.
    • Sid becomes this in the first film when he pushes all the dodos out of the way to bring back the watermelon.
    • The dodos when they try to retrieve the melon from Sid.
    "Tae kwon dodos! ATTACK!"
  • Cruel and Unusual Death:
    • In the first film, Soto is Impaled with Extreme Prejudice by icicles, complete with stabbing sounds.
    • In the second film, Cretaceous and Maelstrom are crushed to death by a massive rock. This death is made even worse in the novelization, where it’s revealed that their remains were then eaten by The Lone Gunslinger and the vultures.
    • In the third film, the last few pterosaurs chasing the main characters don’t make the steep turn upwards in front of the lava fall.
    • Captain Gutt in the fourth film is the worst offender of this, he outright gets eaten alive by a siren, with other sirens seemingly coming in to enjoy their feast.
  • Deadpan Snarker:
    • All of the Herd, especially Diego.
    Sid: Hey, my feet are sweating.
    Diego: Do we need a news flash every time your body does something?
    Manny: He's just doing it for attention, just ignore him.
    • Shira shares this trait with Diego in the fourth film.
  • Decoy Convoy: Sid is seen making a run for Glacier Pass while carrying a bundle. The bundle surely must be the human infant that the Big Bad Soto wants so badly, so two of Soto's mooks pursue Sid. Sid escapes, and the nasty cats discover the bundle contains a only snow figure.
  • Decoy Protagonist: Scrat appears at the opening of each film, but isn't one of the main characters; just one used for comic relief that is mostly unrelated to the plot.
  • Defrosting Ice Queen: Shira is eventually worn down over the course of the fourth film, just as Diego was in the first film, and like him, she ultimately joins the group for good at the end.
  • Denser and Wackier: The first film was rather serious (a nomad human tribe being attacked by saber-toothed cats, a dying woman leaving a human baby in the care of prehistoric animals, a lot of implied death) with its comedic moments. The next ones? Not as much. And the plots of the later entries become more fantastical and unworldly; for starters, the third film has the Herd encountering live dinosaurs. The fifth movie tops it by introducing magic and aliens.
  • The Ditz: Sid, who is also a Genius Ditz occasionally, especially in the second movie.
  • Dumb Dinos: In general, the various dinosaurs and other Mesozoic animals come across as less intelligent than the mammals, and almost never talk — Cretaceous and Maelstrom in the second movie are more brutish forces of nature than characters, while Rudy the Baryonyx and the mother T. rex in the third are portrayed as a fair bit smarter than most — the T. rex eventually befriends the main characters while Rudy is smart enough to hold a mutual grudge with Buck. Gavin and his flock of dromaeosaurs in Collision Course are the only dinosaurs seen who are fully capable of speech.
  • Eye Awaken:
    • In Ice Age 2, one of the unfrozen sea reptiles.
    • In Ice Age 3, Rudy does this fairly often, even when knocked down.
  • Eye Scream:
    • Narrowly averted in the fourth film where Gutt swings his sword at Manny, which sweeps inches from his eye..
    • Played straight in the third film when Buck gets his eye ripped out by Rudy the Baryonyx.
  • Family-Unfriendly Death: Soto is killed by falling icicles, complete with stabbing sounds and winces from the other sabres. Also, Gutt from the fourth film is eaten alive by Sirens.
  • Fooled by the Sound:
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Manny and Diego, especially in the original film, where their friendship is put to the test — and once tested, remains strong — out of the herd in the newer movies, Diego and Manny's bond is the deepest.
  • Flanderization: While Sid has always been an idiot, he seems to get stupider and stupider in each film. In fact, he's gotten so stupid, he pretty much acts like a jerk in the sequels (even moreso than the original) and the movies try to justify it by saying he's too stupid to know any better.
  • Foreshadowing: In Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Ellie reacts to Manny's overprotectiveness of their unborn child by saying "Can't wait to see how you handle the teen years."
  • Four-Fingered Hands: Captain Gutt
  • Fresh Clue: When the trio of Sid, Manfred, and Diego arrive at the human camp in the first film, Diego remarks upon a piece of kindling: "It's still green. They broke camp less than two hours ago."
  • Getting Eaten Is Harmless:
    • In Ice Age 3, one of the baby dinosaurs swallows several animals at the playground, only to reluctantly regurgitate them later.
    • Also in the third is when Buck gets half swallowed by Rudy.
    • In Ice Age 4, Precious swallows Sid and Granny to take them to their destination.
    • In Ice Age 5, a raptor briefly swallows Granny, only to violently regurgitate her when she begins attempting to leave out the back entrance.
  • Graceful in Their Element: Sid is graceful on snow and ice, unlike Manny and Diego, but is awkward on earth. It even becomes a plot point towards the end of the first movie.
  • Harmless Freezing: Scrat in the closer to the first film, the antagonists Cretaceous and Maelstrom in the second.
  • Heel–Face Turn: Diego in the first film, Shira in the fourth.
  • Held Gaze:
    • The platonic version of this trope occurs in Ice Age after Manny has just rescued Diego from death at the lava fields.
    • This happens again during a tense situation between the mammoth and the saber-tooth in the third film, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs when Diego is attempting to convince Manny to let him go protect Ellie.
  • Hibernation/Migration Situation: Sid's family leaves him behind for the migration to escape the incoming ice age. He decides to leave on his own, when he meets Manny. The two begrudgingly decide to migrate together.
  • Homoerotic Subtext: We certainly get some moments with three male animals taking care of one baby.
    • The two Held Gaze moments between Manny and Diego.
    • When Diego meets Manny and Sid for the first time, he comments, "I see. Can't have one of your own, so you want to adopt".
    • In the third film when Diego and Manny are pressed up against each other, Diego says, "I feel all tingly!" Manny says, "Don't say that when you're pressed up against me!" "Not that kind of tingly!"
    • In the 4th Sid and Diego ''kiss''. Sirens Made Them Do It.
  • Honorable Elephant:
    • Manny, who chooses to spare Diego's life after learning about his ambush plan.
    • Ellie is this more so, especially after becoming the matriarch of the herd.
  • Humble Goal: Scrat wants nothing more than to enjoy his acorn in peace.
  • I Am Big Boned: Manny. He's not fat, it's all that fur. It makes him look...poofy.
  • Iconic Sequel Character: Elle, Crash, and Eddie were all introduced in the second movie, and have been part of the herd ever since after Ellie marries Manny.
  • Innocently Insensitive: Sid can come off like this sometimes, most notably in the third movie where he doesn't even give his friends one word of thanks for embarking on that perilous journey to save him, and instead complains about how hard watching his kids were — for one day! It's more about immaturity than simply being a jerk.
  • Insistent Terminology: Manny has poofy fur, he's not fat.
  • Interspecies Romance: Scrat the ground squirrel and Scratte the flying squirrel. Scratlantis shows creatures that resemble both Scrat and Scratte, which implies that it may be a case of Bizarre Sexual Dimorphism.
  • Jerkass:
    • Manny borders on this in the first film, but goes through character development and turns out to be a Jerk with a Heart of Gold once he opens up to Sid and Diego.
    • Fast Tony from the second film. Let's put it this way: upon learning his best friend is probably dead, the first thing he does is try to make a buck selling his now empty shell.
  • Jerk with a Heart of Gold:
    • Manny, and it's particularly evident after Character Development set in.
    • As insensitive and thoughtless Sid can be, he does still care about the herd, and in a way is the one that keeps them together.
    • Diego after his Heel–Face Turn. Originally hostile and sinister but he softens as he travels with Manny and Sid to return the baby to his human tribe.
  • Lighter and Softer: The sequels are notably more kid-friendly and are focused on humor.
  • Mama Bear:
    • "Momma" in Dawn of the Dinosaurs was prepared to tear the upper world a new one to rescue her three babies. Helps that she's a T-Rex.
    • Roshan's mother in the first film. She leaped over a waterfall to protect her son from the sabers.
  • Mammoths Mean Ice Age: The series features a number of woolly mammoths as characters, including Manfred as part of the core cast, which have come to be some of the most easily recognizable visual symbols of the movies.
  • Misplaced Wildlife: While most animals appearing in the film are based on North American species, dodos, Palaeotherium and Macrauchenia were restricted to the island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean, Europe and South America respectively.
  • Mix-and-Match Critter:
    • Hammerhead sloths. Yeah.
    • Aardvarks with giant anteater-like snouts and tails.
  • More Teeth than the Osmond Family: The piranhas in Ice Age 2; the sirens in Ice Age 4. Sid's Granny too, once she gets shark-teeth dentures.
  • Nice, Mean, and In-Between: Sid (nice), Diego (mean), and Manny (in-between). Although it's downplayed, as to an extent they all qualify as a Jerk with a Heart of Gold.
  • Oblivious Adoption: Ellie in the second movie; the baby dinos in the third (but justified by imprinting.)
  • Oblivious to Love:
    • Manny doesn't seem to be aware of his growing feelings for Ellie in the second film. Turns out he's quite aware — and still grieving the loss of his first family.
    • In the 4th film, Sid and Manny gang up on Diego after his first run-in with Shira; though the two are clearly laughing it up as much as they can, while Diego stubbornly denies it...although he probably realizes his attraction, at the very least at a subconscious level, if the "siren"'s taking the shape of Shira to lure him in is any indication. It works wonderfully well, until Manny wakes up from his own illusion.
    Manny: Denial is the clincher! You're in love, pussycat!
  • Outliving One's Offspring: Manny's family, including his child, are killed by hunters in his flashback when he's staring at the cave drawings.
  • Plummet Perspective: Happens in the first three movies, but shown only a few times in the fourth.
  • Record Needle Scratch:
    • Abruptly ends Scrat's stay in his Fluffy Cloud Heaven at the end of the second movie.
    • In the begin sequence of Dawn of the Dinosaurs, this ends the first encounter of Scrat and Scratte.
  • Road Runner vs. Coyote: Scrat and the Acorn.
  • Running Gag: Manny's not fat, it's his fur. It makes him look poofy. Taken to the next step in Collision Course, where static energy makes him even poofier!
  • Sabretooth Squirrel of Doom: Scrat is the one who sets off at least portions of the plot — particularly the second, fourth and fifth films. Most egregiously in the second, as he not only starts the titular Meltdown, but is also the one who resolves it too.
  • Sapient Eat Sapient: Nearly all animals are capable of conversing with one another, but nonetheless, carnivores are usually more than happy to eat both humans and other animals. Ironically, Manny only seems to become truly upset with Carl and Frank when they say they're not going to eat Sid after killing him.
  • Sea Monster:
    • Cretaceous and Maelstrom in the second film, a Globidens and Metriorhynchus. Both are wildly inaccurate. In reality, Globidens had a long tail and fed on clams, and Metriorhynchus had smooth skin, no fin on its back, and a fish-like tail.
    • Precious, Sid's Grandma's pet.
  • Second Love: Ellie is Manny's, because his first mate (and calf) were killed by human hunters.
  • Series Mascot: Scrat appears in all promotional material for the series.
  • Shout-Out:
    • Ice Age:
      • The alien ship seen in the cave is a reference to Star Trek. The baby even does the Vulcan salute as they pass by it.
      • During the ice slide scene, Sid says, "Captain, iceberg ahead!" — an obvious take on the Titanic.
      • Towards the beginning, a group of Moeritherium are stuck in a mud hole, referencing the Rite of Spring segment from Fantasia.
    • The Meltdown:
    • No Time for Nuts:
      • The corpse of the time machine owner resembles Doc Brown.
    • Dawn of the Dinosaurs:
      • Rudy is analogous to the title character of Moby-Dick, while Captain Ahab is represented by Buck.
      • When Crash and Eddie inhale the gas, they try to sing like the Chipmunks ... or at least a Chipmunk song.
      • Ellie slides down a dinosaur's back like Fred Flintstone, while yelling his catchphrase "Yabba-dabba-doo!". The quote is also played with seconds later by Manny.
      Manny: Don't ever yabba-dabba do that again!
      • After defeating a ppterosaur that tried to scare him and his brother, Crash personally farewells the distressed pterosaur with a phrase parodied from Terminator 2
      Crash: Hasta la Vista, Birdie!

      • When Buck mentions that he calls the dinosaur he fought Rudy, Manny wonders why he didn't call him something more terrible, like Tim.
      • Buck's analysis of the "crime scene" always ending with "leaving... a vegetable!"
      • This scene is also quite similar to the scene in Shaun of the Dead when Simon Pegg's (who voiced Buck) character is trying to make a plan upon realizing there's a zombie outbreak, with each proposition ending with "and wait for all of this to blow over". Could also double as Actor Allusion.
      • This line from Buck:
    • Continental Drift:
      • The leader of the hyrax army paints half his face blue, a clear reference to William Wallace in Braveheart. The army as a whole, with their Zerg Rush against the pirates and Sid's communication with them by dance, channels the Ewoks in Return of the Jedi.
  • Shown Their Work:
    • While they may not be anatomically or historically accurate, the obscurity of the animals in the series is outstanding. Some of which don't even appear in documentaries that much.
    • Dinosaurs and marine reptiles are clearly depicted as warm-blooded, roaming about in snowy environments and cold temperatures. Feathered dinosaurs would also show up in the franchise.
    • This is one of the few series to remember stegosaurs can stand on their hind legs, as displayed by the Kentrosaurus in the third film.
    • Gutt the Gigantopithecus is designed after an orangutan, which is the closest relative of Gigantopithecus.
    • Raz the Procoptodon has a single hoof-like toe on each foot which the genus is known for.
  • Smarter Than You Look: Sid occasionally, most notably in Ice Age: The Meltdown.
  • Sour Supporter: In the first film, Manny is snappy, extremely hard to please, and the opposite of optimistic. He also gets his fun from others' (namely Sid's) suffering, whenever he doesn't get angry at his idiotic antics. Despite that, Manny is as determined as the others to return the baby to his family and, among the three, is the most competent one. He mellows a great deal in the next three films — with the notable exception of the fourth when his overprotective tendencies cause him to relapse.
  • The Speechless: Despite being very noisy, Scrat. Also, the humans of the original movie, and Mama T. Rex in Dawn.
  • Super-Persistent Predator:
    • Rudy. Justified, as Buck took out one of his teeth.
    • The pack of pterosaurs chasing Crash and Eddie.
    • Cretaceous and Maelstrom. Played With in that while they menace Manny and friends twice, they do prey on whatever other animals they can find.
  • Strictly Formula: All of the films revolve around the main characters attempting to reach a location. Kind of expected, given that the characters aren't as human-like as those from Kung Fu Panda or Zootopia.
  • Tertiary Sexual Characteristics:
    • Scratte appears to be wearing blue eye shadow, but makeup won't exist for millions of years, so it's probably natural coloring. In other words, you could say it's all down to her biological makeup.
    • An extreme one with Diego and Shira, where Diego (and all sabers seen beforehand) are orange, while Shira is grey with black stripes.
  • That Reminds Me of a Song: Happens three times in the film series:
  • Too Dumb to Live:
    • The dodos. When the protagonists first encounter them, they're at regiment strength. After one rhubarb with the pathetic sloth Sid, they manage to topple off a precipice. Every last one.
    • Often (and hilariously) subverted by both Scrat and Sid, often just barely. One particular example involving Scrat is when he tries to bury his acorn at the top of a hollow tree...during a thunderstorm! Predictably, he gets zapped by lightning, leaving him smoked and covered in ashes.
  • Translation Convention
  • True Companions: The term "Herd" is used to describe the characters, and contrary to popular belief (ie Sid's) the sloth is not the to first to call them that, Manny termed them thus in the original movie after his rescue of Diego.
  • Unusual Animal Alliance: The main trio consists of a mammoth, a ground sloth and a sabre-toothed cat, who get together to return a human baby to his parents, and become True Companions along the way. They are joined by other mammoths, sloths, opossums and a weasel in the sequels.
  • Wasn't That Fun?:
    • In the first movie, after the animals all go hurtling through an Ice Helter Skelter and slam into a wall, Diego punches the air and asks who wants to go do it again.
    • In the third, when the herd is leaving the underground world, Buck states that they should have that adventure full of mortal peril again. Citing the whole situation as fun.
  • Vile Villain, Saccharine Show: Almost all of the villains can apply. Things are usually fairly nice seeming and happy until one of the baddies shows up:
    • Almost all the jokes stop during the duel with Soto in the first film.
    • In the second film the opossum brothers' cavorting on ice is abruptly interrupted by Maelstrom exploding through it, cracking open the river's surface and instigating a tense and frightening chase scene that ends with Manny, Cretaceous and Maelstrom sharing Death Glares with dark and foreboding music playing, with not a single humorous moment in the scene.
    • The final battle with Rudy in the third film has only a single quick funny moment with Sid tying the vines. Hell, Rudy is so scary he comes off more like an Eldritch Abomination rather than just a dinosaur like all the others, with every scene he's in being ominous and scary.
    • And in Continental Drift, while his crew has their quirks and funny times, Gutt himself is a very cruel and vicious ape. And he holds a grudge against Manny; a grudge so powerful, that Gutt eventually resorts to trying to kill Manny's family just to get back at him.
    Manny: Alright, Let them go!
    Gutt: [chuckles darkly]: I don't think so. You destroyed everything I had! I'm just returning the favor.
  • Villain Song: The vultures from the second movie use "Food, Glorious Food" from Oliver as theirs, and Captain Gutt from the fourth has his own sea shanty entitled "Master of the Seas".
  • Vitriolic Best Buds: Sid is this, to Manny and Diego. Despite their teasing, it's clear they truly care for him and feel bad when they hurt his feelings.

    Gone Nutty 
  • Canon Discontinuity: The short is not referenced in future material.
  • Consolation Backfire: The short ends with Scrat stranded on a small iceberd in the middle of the ocean. He pulls out his acorn, relieved that it's still with him. Then it scatters into ash.
  • Minimalist Cast: Scrat is the only character in the entire short.

    No Time for Nuts 
  • Adaptation Expansion: The short was expanded into a 14-minute long 4D film.
  • Ascended Extra: In the 4D version, Manny, Sid and Diego get more screen time and have dialogue.
  • The Cameo: Manny, Diego, Sid and Roshan make a cameo when Scrat time travels to the events of the first film. In the 4D version, Roshan is Adapted Out.
  • Excalibur in the Stone: Scrat finds it in Middle Ages England.
  • Extinct in the Future: Scrat ends up in the distant future in front of what appears to be a an enormous Oak Tree. However, it turns out just to be a memorial, complete with a plaque that reads "Here Stood the Last Oak Tree."
  • The Faceless: The human characters are never shown on-screen.
  • Gone to the Future: Scrat's last destination in time is the far future, home of the last oak tree.
  • Never the Selves Shall Meet: Averted when Scrat ends up meeting himself via use of the time machine. Hilarity Ensues when both Scrats start craving the time traveling one's acorn.
  • Off with His Head!: Scrat nearly got his head chopped off by a guillotine.
  • Temporal Duplication: Scrat encounters himself in the events of the first film. Exaggerated with the 4D expansion.
  • Time Machine: Scrat finds one.

    Surviving Sid 
  • A Day in the Limelight: Sid is the main character of this short.
  • Big Creepy-Crawlies: There are smore bugs covered by crackers.
  • Distant Finale: The end of the short flash forwards into the present day where a young beaver asks his father who created the Grand Canyon. His dad then says only nature can create something so beautiful, OR, a being with an infinite amount of wisdom. The camera than pans out to show Sid’s self-portrait on the same tree 20,000 years later.
  • Horrible Camping Trip: Sid takes a troop of kids on a camping trip which turns into this.
  • Know Your Vines: Sid confused poison oak with a traditional plant.

    A Mammoth Christmas 
  • Bait-and-Switch: Sid tells Peaches and the possums to stop right when he's about to walk off the edge of a cliff...because he's going to sneeze. After that, they promptly walk off.
  • Beyond the Impossible: Sid manages to destroy a rock just by flinging a star made of ice into it.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Prancer makes his entry by saving Sid, Peaches, Crash, and Eddie from falling.
  • Borrowed Catch Phrase: After Manny calls Santa a fat guy:
    Santa Claus: I'm not fat! It's this suit. It's poofy.
  • The Bus Came Back:
    • This is the second appearance of mini-sloths since The Meltdown.
    • It's also the second appearance of any human since the original film.
  • Calling the Old Man Out: Peaches calls out Manny after overhearing that her father doesn't believe in Santa.
    Peaches: If anyone deserves to be on the naughty list, Dad, it's you. (leaves in a huff)
    Ellie: She sure told you, didn't she?
  • Christmas Special: Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas, where the group heads to the North Pole to save Christmas, after they nearly ruined it to try and get Sid off the then non-existent naughty list, which Santa makes up on the spot.
  • Description Cut:
    Manny: I'm a grown-up. Grown-ups don't believe in the naughty list.
    (cut to Sid bawling about being on Santa's naughty list)
    Sid: WAAAAAH! I'm not getting Christmas! (continues blubbering)
  • I Never Said It Was Poison: When Christmas is nearly ruined:
    Santa Claus: Oh, look at this mess! Two hours to Christmas, and everything's ruined! My toys, my sleigh, all my hard work!
    Sid: Um, would this be a good time to talk about getting off the naughty list?
    Manny: Sid, there's no such thing.
    Santa Claus: There is now, Manfred. Thanks for the idea. [Santa magically makes his first ever naughty list]
  • I Will Show You X!: When Sid accidentally breaks Manny's Christmas rock:
    Sid: Okay, okay, let's just keep it together. It really is about the spirit of Christmas, isn't it?
    Manny: You're about to be a spirit of Christmas, Sid!
  • It Will Never Catch On: Manny states Christmas trees will never catch on. Later, Ellie scoffs at Manny's idea of Santa's "Naughty List", which Manny himself dismisses.
  • Missing Child: Ellie, Manny, and Diego suddenly find their daughter/niece nowhere to be found, along with her three foolish uncles.
  • My God, What Have I Done?: They don't say it, but this is clearly what's going through the group's minds when they accidentally ruin Christmas for everyone.
  • No Sense of Direction: Sid. He doesn't even realize if he is walking off a cliff!
  • Ocular Gushers: Sid after being told that he's on the naughty list. His tears end up freezing his feet solid.
  • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!:
    Manny: Well, if your name's on the naughty list...You don't. Get. Christmas.
  • Saving Christmas: A trip to the North Pole to get Sid off the naughty list turns into a mission to save Christmas after the group accidentally destroys Santa's workshop.
  • This Is Unforgivable!: Manny declares Santa is never going to forgive Sid for destroying the Christmas rock, right before making up the naughty list.
  • Yellow Snow: Sid comes across this at the North Pole and eagerly prepares to taste it. Prancer, knowing what it is, tells him not to.
  • You Are Grounded!: Manny says this after reuniting with Peaches. When Peaches apologizes, he clarifies he was talking to Sid, who comes out of hiding behind Peaches and apologizes.
    Manny: You are so grounded!
    Peaches: Sorry, daddy.
    Manny: I'm talking to Sid!
    Sid: Sorry daddy.

    The Great Egg-Escapade 
  • April Fools' Plot: The B-plot involves Crash and Eddie inventing April Fools' Day and searching for the hapless victim who gets to be the first "April Fool". It's Squint.
  • The Bus Came Back: Cholly the Chalicotherium, last seen in the second film, returns in the Easter special as an adoptive father of a bird's egg.
  • Cain and Abel: Between Squint and his twin brother Clint. Clint, who is a Nice Guy and a Mellow Fellow, does not approve of his brother's villainy and offers to help out the main cast, leading to tension between the two bunnies.
  • Cold-Blooded Torture: Some parent animals try to dismember Sid out of anger at him losing their eggs. After Manny tells them to stop, they suggest other forms of punishment for Sid if the sloth doesn't return their eggs (tarring and feathering him, feeding him to a horny toad).
  • Continuity Nod: When Sid starts his egg sitting service, he mentions the time he started a summer camp (The Meltdown, Surviving Sid) and the time he adopted dinosaur eggs (Dawn of the Dinosaurs).
  • Demoted to Extra: Peaches makes very few appearances in the special.
  • Easter Bunny: The special is essentially an origin story of the Easter Bunny. Sid gives Clint the role in return for helping him retrieve the stolen eggs.
  • Easter Special: Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade, where the group must retrieve eggs stolen by Squint for ransom, turning it into the first ever Easter egg hunt.
  • Explosive Breeder: Evoked when Clint mentions that his family has been in the valley for thirteen generations, almost four years.
  • It Will Never Catch On: At the end, Manny asks what do bunnies, eggs, and painting have anything to do with Easter.
  • Mining for Cookies: Chocolate is shown flowing out of the ground like a spring.
  • Missing Child: Several parent animals leave their eggs at Sid's daycare, only to later find all of them gone missing while Sid was sleeping. And then they find that Squint, a deranged ex-pirate, had stolen their eggs and is keeping them for ransom.
  • Raiders of the Lost Parody: One of the eggs is on a weighted Booby Trap like in Raiders of the Lost Ark. Manny and Diego replace it with a large chunk of chocolate, and it works... until Sid takes a bite out of the chocolate and triggers the trap. Cue rolling boulder.
  • Series Continuity Error: In Continental Drift, Manny calls Squint the Easter Bunny. Here, Sid creates the concept of the Easter Bunny (ironically, it's Squint's twin Clint who gains the title).
  • Sticky Situation: Crash and Eddie's first attempt to prank Peaches is to pour tree sap on a log bridge. Peaches crosses the bridge but doesn't get stuck(possibly because of how strong mammoths are)... but Crash and Eddie do, and get more tangled trying to get unstuck.
  • Struggling Single Mother: Ethel is a single Gastornis mom whose mate "flew the coop", and her Establishing Character Moment has her struggling to get her chicks to behave.
  • Wet Cement Gag: Done with chocolate, but the effect is the same; Scrat falls in a fountain of chocolate and it hardens around him, making him look like a chocolate bunny.
  • Written-In Absence: Despite taking place after Continental Drift, Shira and Granny are nowhere to be seen in the special. Shira's absence is at least justified by her sleeping in Diego's den, but there is no explanation for Granny's.