Taking place a few years after the events of Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Scrat's pursuit of the acorn has world-changing consequences, forcing Manny, Sid, and Diego on an adventure, where Sid reunites with his long lost family (well...mainly his loudmouth Granny, as his family promptly ditch him again for him to take care of the old coot), Diego finds his love interest, Shira, and they encounter exotic sea creatures and meet evil pirate ape Captain Gutt and his gang of pirates determined to stop them from returning home.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film became a box office success, grossing $877 million worldwide against it's $95 million budget.
This film is followed by Ice Age 5: Collision Course.
This film provides examples of:
- Adorkable: Louis the molehog.
- Advancing Wall of Doom: The stone wall.
- Advertised Extra: Drake and Nicki Minaj get a ton of focus in advertising due to being A-list rap stars, but their characters are very minor and largely irrelevant to the plot. This also comes into play with Sean William Scott and Josh Peck, both of whom get top billing despite Crash and Eddie being Demoted to Extra in this film (they’re billed higher than Peter Dinklage, who voices the Big Bad of the film).
- Agony of the Feet: Louis slams a heavy ice chunk on Gutt's foot to make him release Peaches.
- Amazingly Embarrassing Parent: Manny is this in some respects to Peaches.
- Artistic License – Biology: Apes have nails, not claws. That's one of the things that make them Old World simians, not lemurs or tarsiers.
- Artistic License – Geology / Freeze-Frame Bonus: The diagram of the Earth's core comes with the disclaimer "The inner core is 6,000 kilometers below the Earth's surface and composed primarily of molten iron. It is often drawn in textbooks to look like a floating pinball. Fun fact: it's near 7,000 C. down there, so bring your oven mitts! Blue Sky Studios takes no responsibility for the scientific accuracy of the information presented here."
- Atlantis: At the end of the movie Scrat arrives at Scratlantis... and then causes it to sink.
- A Boy and His X: Or, to be more accurate, an elderly sloth and her giant sperm whale.
- Bamboo Technology: This movie gives us sailing ships made of ice, complete with wooden cannons.
- The Cavalry: Subverted with the hyraxes. They do a charge against the pirates as if to battle them, only to then escape at the last minute with some flying leaves piloted by other hyraxes. However, it was all part of The Plan set up by Manny to trick the pirates into leaving their ship so they could then steal it.
- Chekhov's Gunman: Granny's pet, Precious (a giant whale) turns out to be real and the cavalry.
- Cool Old Lady: Sid’s Granny film is this.
- Crash-Into Hello: Peaches does this with Ethan, albeit accidentally.
- Demoted to Extra: Crash and Eddie have extremely small roles compared to the previous two films. They barely even appear and contribute to nothing to the plot.
- Does This Remind You of Anything?: With their world destroyed by Continental Drift, our heroes must take the last working ship and find a New World. And they do. One with a suspiciously-arranged rock structure. It's worth noting that practically the whole cast is comprised of known immigrant races at one point or another (Jewish, Italian, Irish, Hispanic, Black...)
- Enthralling Siren: Towards the beginning of the third act.
- Sirens Are Mermaids: Prehistoric amphibians, actually, but close enough.
- Five-Bad Band: Gutt serves as the Big Bad, with Shira and later Squint as The Dragon. Flynn and Dobson serve as The Brute, Raz as The Evil Genius, Squint as The Dark Chick even after he becomes first mate, and Silas and Gupta are largely the Team Pet.
- Flower in Her Hair: The mammoth girls all have a flower in their fur.
- Giant Enemy Crab: One briefly harasses the group during their first day at sea.Sid: Holy Crab!
- Glamour Failure: The sirens. Sometimes their real nature leaks through their disguises, which amusingly flicker off like a bad signal.
- Gun Ship Rescue: Granny's "pet" invokes this trope when it shows up near the end of the film to help rescue Manny and his friends from Gutt. It even launches a water attack which Sid utilizes into a makeshift weapon against the pirates, and later saves Manny from certain doom after he defeats Gutt.
- Gutted Like a Fish: This is how Captain Gutt got his name (and not, as Manny guessed, because of his stomach). It's the way he dispatches his victims.
- High-Heel–Face Turn: Shira, particularly after she sees how well Diego, Sid, and Manny get along with each other, contrasted with how Gutt treats his crew.
- I Will Find You: Stated word for word by MannyManny: STAY ALIVE! No matter how long it takes, I WILL FIND YOU!
- I'll Never Tell You What I'm Telling You!:
Manny: You two were supposed to be responsible uncles!Crash: What? I didn't see Peaches sneak off maybe 15 or 20 minutes ago.Eddie: Or that she went with Louis to the falls.
- By Crash and Eddie not just once but twice! First when they fall asleep when they're supposed to watch for Peaches and then when Manny asks about his daughter, they tell him her whereabouts without considering they were probably supposed to keep it a secret.
Eddie: [appears from the bushes] Who are we stalking?Crash: [appears from the bushes] Is it Ethan? I bet it's Ethan.Eddie: Hey, Weiner.Peaches: What are you guys doing here?Eddie: Manny told us to keep an eye on you.Crash: But that you don't see us.Eddie: Under any circumstance!Crash & Eddie: [slapping each other] Stupid! Stupid! Stupid!
- Then again some time later, after accidentaly revealing themselves:
- Just Desserts: Captain Gutt is eaten by the sirens, although it's left vague whether or not he survived. And even if he did, he doesn't have his crew or his ship anymore, rendering him harmless, and no chance of longer survival.
- K-I-S-S-I-N-G in a Tree: When Manny and Sid discover Diego has fallen for Shira, they taunt the sabretooth with this old classic.
- Killer Rabbit: Squint the rabbit pirate. He's insane, vicious, bloodthirsty...and adorable! Don't tell him that though, or you're bunny chow.
- Knight of Cerebus: Downplayed, as the film remains pretty light and he doesn't drain the comedy from a scene, but Gutt is the first true antagonist of the series since Soto. He's even worse than Soto as he does what he does for greed, power, and revenge, whereas Soto wanted to avenge his fallen pack. Due to the resources he commands, he's also a much more powerful threat than Soto was.
- Know Your Vines: Diego knows his berries. Sid knows better. So he thinks.
- Maniac Monkeys: Captain Gutt, the main villain, is a prehistoric ape pirate captain.
- Monster-Shaped Mountain: In a Companion Cube variant, the island of Scrat-lantis is shaped like a giant acorn when seen from the right angle.
- Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: Sid fails to carry out his part of the plan to steal the pirate ship because he couldn't resist eating a random berry he finds. Manny even calls him out on it later, but Sid can't do anything because said berry paralyzed him.
- Not Distracted by the Sexy: Used with Scrat against the Sirens. While they nearly successfully lure the other characters with various appealing opposite-sex characters, when they try it on Scrat with Scratte, he looks for a moment, only to then turn away to continue searching for the acorn treasure. They then immediately turn into acorns, which then does get his attention. It backfires when Scrat accidentally kills the siren while trying to bury the "acorn." This causes all the other sirens to attack him, but Scrat escapes.
- Oh, Crap!: Several characters have this look throughout the film, such as when the continent first starts breaking apart, and later when Precious shows up.
- Out-of-Character Alert: This is how Manny realizes he's seeing fakes of his family.
- Overprotective Dad: Manny is this towards Peaches. Though in his defense, given what happened to his previous family as revealed in the original film, it's completely justified.
- Pale Females, Dark Males: Peaches' love interests have darker fur than her.
- Parenthetical Swearing: Used in the fourth film.
- Parting Words Regret: After her father embarrasses her in front of all the teen mammoths, Peaches furiously states to Manny "I wish you weren't my father!" Shortly afterwards, the continent plates divides and separate Manny, Sid, and Diego away from Ellie and Peaches. As the iceberg holding her father drifts from the view, Peaches sobs and blames herself for getting separated from her father since the last thing they did was argue.Peaches: (sobbing) Mom, this is all my fault! If I had just—
Ellie: Peaches! This is not your fault, okay?
Peaches: What if I never see him again? And the last thing we did was fight!
Ellie: Hey, your father is the toughest, most stubborn mammoth I've ever met! He'll come back for us. (wraps her trunk around Peaches) That's a promise.
- The Pig Pen:
- Granny apparently hasn't taken a bath in decades, and when she floats in the water she leaves a large oily sheen, and a dozen fish immediately float belly-up (including a shark).
- Sid's uncle Fungus, who is a moldy green colour, and makes a velcro-like sound as Manny peels him off his face.
- Pirate Girl: Shira, a female white sabretooth tiger pirate. Also Raz, the short-faced kangaroo.
- Revenge: Gutt tries to do this with Manny after the latter breaks his first ship and steals his second one.Gutt: That mammoth has taken my ship, my bounty, and now the loyalty of my crew! I will destroy him! And everything he loves!
Manny: Alright! Let them go!
- Gutt later beats Manny and the gang to the continent and takes Ellie & Peaches hostage, stating that Manny took everything he had from him, and the evil ape intended to do the same.
Gutt: (chuckles darkly) I don't think so. You destroyed everything I had! I'm just returning the favor.
Manny: NO! (tries to charge at Gutt, but the crew rapidly lassoes him)
Gutt: I warned you...
- Louis then steps up to the ape just as all seems lost.
- Ridiculously Cute Critter: The hyraxes.
- Self-Deprecation: Sid tells Granny that she'll love hanging out with him and the herd, because they've survived the ice age and "fought dinosaurs, which didn't really make any sense, but it was fun!"
- Solar-Powered Magnifying Glass: Sid's little brother Marshall uses a piece of clear ice in this manner to burn an ant hill. We then pull back to see Sid's Granny doing the same thing to Marshall's head.
- Shout-Out: The hyraxes are obviously references to the Ewoks in Star Wars VI, and to the celts in Braveheart.
- Suddenly Fluent in Gibberish: Manny at first tries talking with the hyraxes, but realizes they have no idea what he's saying. Sid says he'll try, and starts using gibberish to talk to them. They then seem to understand what he's saying, and agree to help Manny rebel against Gutt.Diego: That they got?
- Sword Drag: Gutt scrapes his claws against the ground at one point.
- Tailfin Walking: Averted with Flynn the elephant seal, who flops and hops while remaining upright (he even has a posterior), but played straight with Scrat when he's trawled through a mess of sea-junk and winds up half-gobbled by a fish, and has to walk around with its tail for a bit.
- Tempting Fate: Happens at least twice or thrice.
Sid: You know, my mother once told me that bad news was just good news in disguise.Diego: Was this before she abandoned you?Sid: Yes it was. But the point being is that even when old things look bad, there's a rainbow round every corner. 'And nothing but smooth sailing ahead!''As Sid speaks, strong wind blows at him. The trio find a huge thunderstorm of clouds behind them.Manny: "Smooth sailing", Sid?!
- The first time with Diego roaring into the wilderness, then asking Mother Nature if that's all she's got. A giant log then appears out of nowhere and hits him. Which is actually a "car" driven by Sid's family so they can drop Granny off with Sid.
- The second time when Sid also asks something similar after they survive a lot of large waves while out at sea. He was clinging to a giant crab prior to this, and then it turns out the crab's leg was the only part of it still on their iceberg/ship.
- The third is when Manny Sid & Diego are drifting on the ice chunk. Sid tries to give some advice by saying:
- The Power of Friendship: Diego tells Shira about this, and why he left his pack. She later sees Manny try to stop the ship so he could get on, as well as the teamwork they show throughout the time they're fighting the pirates.
- By contrast, Gutt is a ruthless slave driver, and only wants the strongest animals, and doesn't care too much for failures.
- Time Skip: A sizable one has occurred since the third film, enough for Peaches to grow from newborn to teenager.
- Took a Level in Badass: Louis. Throughout the whole movie he is timid and shy. But at the climax he fearlessly challenges Captain Gutt to a one-on-one battle. Noted that Gutt can keep two mammoths captive with ease, and aside from claws has multiple deadly weapons; not mention Gutt was pretty much an equal fighter towards Manny, a full grown mammoth. So where Louis was heading, whether he knew or not how dangerous Gutt was, he had serious balls to do this.
- Unusual Euphemism: This film gives us this line:"Holy Crab!"
- Villain Song: "Master of the Seas", sung by Gutt and his crew.
- Villainous Breakdown: After Manny steals his ship, Gutt is so furious, it's quite obvious he's lost a huge amount of his sanity. He later beats Manny and the gang to the continent and takes Ellie & Peaches hostage, stating that Manny took everything he had from him, and the evil ape intended to do the same.
Gutt: Told ya, Tubby. You shouldn't have messed with the Master of the Seas!
- Later, during the battle when Precious vanquishes his crew, only Gutt dodges them, now not caring about his crew. Then he attempts to kill Ellie but not before Peaches kicks him to the wall. Finally losing what's left of his sanity, Gutt then blocks Manny's path to return to his family, just as a landmass sends both of them hundreds of feet high.
- Villainous Face Hold: Captain Gutt lifts Shira's face up using one of his claws while he threatens her for failing to kill Manny, Sid and Diego.
- Walk the Plank: The Pirates intend to get rid of Sid and Granny that way.
- What Did You Expect When You Named It ____?: At the end of the movie, Scratlantis.
- What the Hell, Hero??: A few scenarios:
Ethan: Yo, that was insane! Hey Peach, loosen up; have some fun.
- Manny calls out on Sid when the sloth fails to carry out his part of the plan to steal the pirate ship because he couldn't resist eating a random berry he finds, which paralyzes him.
- Peaches calls out on Ethan and his gang when they refer to barely escaping a cave in as "fun."
Peaches: "Fun?" "FUN?!" You call that "fun"? I'm outta here.
Steffie: Come on, I mean do you really want to go back to hanging out with a weird molehog freak than getting along with us?
Ethan: I mean, it's bad enough that your family's half possum—
Peaches: "Bad enough?!" There's nothing bad about being part of my family. I like hanging by my tail! And if you geniuses are normal, the species is gonna end up extinct!
Katie: Ah, yeah? Well, your species is gonna be extinct first.
Buddy: Haha, burn!
Ethan: We're the same species, geniuses.
Buddy: What... double burn!
- WHAM Line:
- At the climax, Manny and the gang finally arrive back at the continent, but the land bridge is destroyed with no sign of Ellie and Peaches. Manny sadly closes his eyes in despair...when he hears his daughter calling is name in the distance and they see her in the distance joyfully calling for him. Then as they draw closer, the reunion quickly turns to horror as Captain Gutt emerges from the fog and grabs Peaches by the throat, holding a dagger near her neck!
Gutt: Welcome home, Daddy!
Peaches: LET GO OF ME!
- Partially played for laughs, but the following line from the sequence with the Sirens is also a fitting example: