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Western Animation / Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

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"We've been living above an entire world, and we didn't even know it!"
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the sequel to Ice Age: The Meltdown, and the third film in the Ice Age franchise, released on July 1st, 2009.

The third movie involves a Lost World filled with DINOSAURS! It turns out there is an entire prehistoric world that somehow survived by being located underneath the surface of the Earth. Manny and Ellie are expecting their first child, and Manny becomes compulsively over-protective of her as he tries to be readily prepared for when the time comes. Sid is jealous and raises three abandoned eggs. They turn out to be baby T-rexes, and when their real mother finds out they were stolen, she takes her three babies and Sid underground, and Sid's friends all go to his rescue. There they meet a seasoned, slightly insane adventurer weasel named Buck (Simon Pegg), who becomes their guide in surviving this new world, and with an agenda of his own.

Reviews for the film were mostly mixed from critics, but it was well-received by the general public and was a blockbuster success. The film grossed $196 million domestically and $886 million worldwide against its $90 million budget, making the highest-grossing film in the franchise.

This film is followed by Ice Age: Continental Drift.

This film provides examples of:

  • Accidental Pervert: Sid tries to milk a muskox to feed his "kids", except...
    Sid: (running away from the enraged muskox) I THOUGHT YOU WERE A FEMALE!!!!
  • Actor Allusion: When the eggs hatch and the hatchlings start playing with Sid, the song "Walk the Dinosaur" comes on. The song appeared in John Leguizamo's first movie, Super Mario Bros. (1993) (even if he didn't admit it at first).
  • Aerial Canyon Chase: Includes plane noises.
  • Ambiguously Gay: Buck makes a crack that he knew a giant moth creature when he was a caterpillar, before he "came out." He means he knew the moth from before his metamorphosis, but his tone suggests it's a Double Entendre referring to something else about the moth.
  • Animals Not to Scale:
    • Many of the dinosaurs are portrayed as if Manny were the size of a human, and are therefore roughly double in height compared to real life. This is exaggerated with the Brachiosaurus, which are close to Godzilla-sized as a result.
    • Rudy is meant to be a Baryonyx, but is portrayed as being significantly larger than a T. rex, when the reverse is true in reality (Baryonyx being estimated at around two tons, and Tyrannosaurus being estimated at over nine tons).
  • Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Buck listing the rules for getting his help.
    Buck: He who has gas, travels at the back of the pack!
    Eddie: Aw... [hangs head, walks to the back of the pack]
  • Ascended to Carnivorism: The Ankylosaurus that attacks the herd is depicted with sharp teeth like a carnivorous dinosaur, despite being a herbivorous dinosaur. That said, many herbivorous reptiles do have sharp teeth for cutting tough plants, and the beast did try to smash Crash and Eddie while they were playing dead as oppose to eating them on the spot, so...
  • Attack! Attack... Retreat! Retreat!: Crash and Eddie charge toward a carnivorous plant while carrying sticks like swords and yelling battle cries...then run away screaming from the plant's attacking vines.
  • Attack of the 50-Foot Whatever: The dinos are scaled as if the about 11-foot-tall mammoths were the size of a human, making Mama T. rex and Rudy around 40 to 50 feet tall (real life Tyrannosaurus was 13 feet tall at the hips, Baryonyx was 9 feet tall, and for comparison Spinosaurus was 15 feet tall). And that's not getting into the very-oversized Ankylosaurus and Pachycephalosaurus, the Stegosaurus-sized Kentrosaurus, and the Godzilla-proportioned Brachiosaurus. Pretty much the only animals decently sized are Triceratops, Iguanodon, Guanlong, and Troodon.
    • Mama is stated to be about 80 feet long, and Rudy about 40 feet longer (coming out to 120 feet long). The mammoths to be barely as tall as the theropods' feet.
  • Argument of Contradictions: Happens between Sid and a beaver child and its mother when Sid's dinosaur-"kids" harass the other kids on the playground built by Manny.
    Beaver mother: Aren't you going to do something?!
    Sid: Why? My kid had it first!
    Beaver child: Did not!
    Sid: Did, too!
    Beaver child: Did not!
    Sid: Did, too!
    Beaver child: Did not!
    Sid: Liar, liar, fur on fire!
  • Awe-Inspiring Dinosaur Shot: Subverted; the gang is initially awed at the sight of an underground world where dinosaurs have survived. The dinosaurs, not so much, as an Ankylosaurus immediately attacks them on sight not long after this, and then surrounded by a crowd of herbivorous dinosaurs who do not like the presence of the Pleistocene group and are prepared to attack them before Buck shows up to save the gang.
  • Bad Ass Minds Think Alike: Upon grabbing berries to use against a pack of pterosaurs, Crash and Eddie donít hesitate in what do to at first as almost instantly, Eddie uses the others tail to fire while his brother aims. Smoothly knocking down several pterosaurs throughout the canyon and finishing with a balloon.
  • Beneath the Earth: The dinosaurs' Lost World is directly under the icy surface world.
  • Big Damn Heroes: Twofold during the climax: first Diego saves Buck from being eaten by Rudy, then Momma Dino saves Sid by pushing Rudy into a chasm.
  • Bread, Eggs, Milk, Squick: As Buck prepares to transfer Ellie to the other side of the Chasm of Death:
    Buck: Now then, eyes forward. Back straight. Oh, and if you breathe in the toxic fumes, you will probably die.
    Ellie: Toxic fumes?!
  • Butt Sticker: Sid is stuck on Mannyís butt for a few seconds after Sid accidentally forces Manny off a cliff. Manny is fine, but Sid falls off his butt with a dazed look.
  • Call-Back: The Ankylosaurus that pursued the main cast early on reappears briefly as the group flee from Rudy, itself cowering in terror.
    Diego: Wuss.
  • Chased Off into the Sunset: Played with, the movie ends with Buck realizing his nemesis Rudy (the great white Baryonyx) is still alive, and goes back to continue fighting him.
  • Chest Monster: This movie has a giant carnivorous plant that disguises itself as an innocuous fruit bush.
  • Clean, Pretty Childbirth: The baby mammoth Peaches is born, then shown dry and fluffy within seconds after birth. Given that modern-day elephants are born in an absolutely torrential downpour of blood and fluids, and it's a movie for kids, this is probably for the best.
  • Cliff Stack: At least once at the start of the film when Manny is transporting water with the others, Crash, Eddie, and Sid.
  • Covers Always Lie: The poster prominently depicts Scrat staring down the mouth of a dinosaur. Scrat has little to no interaction with the dinosaurs in this film — instead, most of his screen time is dedicated to his rivalry/romance with Scratte. This actually derives from a teaser trailer, featuring Scrat falling into the underground world and hanging from the tail of Momma as she roars at him, with the same mouth-first view.
  • Crafted from Animals: Buck's knife, which was created from the tooth of Rudy. Unlike several other instances of this trope, Rudy was no worse for wear for not having the tooth.
  • Cutlass Between the Teeth: Buck holds his knife with his teeth when he swims through the carnivorous plant's digesting fluids.
  • Dating Catwoman: Scrat and Scratte spend most of the movie fighting over an acorn, but go through a Relationship Upgrade and put the acorn behind them. It doesn't last.
  • David Versus Goliath: Buck is a weasel not much larger than Crash and Eddie who can go toe-to-toe with Rudy, a savage dinosaur bigger than the mammoths, Mama T-Rex, and even some of the long-necked sauropods seen in the film.
  • Did Not Get the Girl: Scrat and Scratte go through a Relationship Upgrade, but it ultimately falls apart when Scrat picks his acorn over Scratte.
  • Did You Die?: When Buck is telling the story of his encounter with Rudy, Crash or Eddie asks, "Did you die?" Buck answers, "Sadly yes... but I lived!"
  • Die Laughing: The way to the subterranean world goes through a crevasse full of toxic fumes, which is revealed to have very similar properties to Joker's laughing gas in that it causes anyone who inhales it to laugh until they stop breathing.
  • Disney Villain Death: Momma Dino knocks Rudy into a chasm to stop him from eating Sid. Subverted in that he survives the fall.
  • Dynamic Entry: "Way To Go, Momzilla!"
  • Eat My Dust: A gazelle mocks Diego after outrunning him.
    Gazelle: Eat my dust, Diego!
  • Eaten Alive: Little Johnny the aardvark gets eaten by one of the baby T. rex. Thankfully, the baby T. rex spits him out.
  • Edible Theme Naming: Sid finds three unhatched dino eggs that he adopts as his children. He draws faces on them and names them Eggbert, Shelly, and Yoko.
  • Eyelash Fluttering: Scratte flutters her eyelashes titillatingly in slow motion when Scrat sees her for the first time.
  • Feed It a Bomb: A hungry Pterosaur flies up closer to Crash and Eddie, screeching loudly to frighten the possums and snare them. As he screeches with his maw wide open, he's fed one of their last gas-bomb berries as it goes right down his throat and explodes.
  • Feeling the Baby Kick: Ellie is pregnant throughout the film and the signs that her baby is about to be born come in the form of kicks that she feels throughout the film... Which unfortunately pop out at the worst possible moments while the Herd attempts to rescue Sid from the dinosaur world.
  • Fireworks of Love: Invoked. At the exact moment that Scrat and Scratte have their first kiss, a massive lava geyser goes off in the background. To further hammer in the invocation of this trope, small sparks from the lava geyser come showering down on the area around Scrat and Scratte kissing in romantic fashion immediately after said geyser has finished going off (complete with said geyser's finishing revealing a heart shaped natural environmental design) in a style somewhat similar to the remnant sparks of a firework.
  • Fluffy the Terrible: Rudy, the fearsome white Baryonyx. Lampshaded by Manny:
    Manny: Oh, good. Good. I was worried it'd be something intimidating, like... Sheldon, or Tim.
  • Foreshadowing: Manny says in the film that one day Sid will "find a girl with low standards, and no real options...". In the fifth movie, Brooke, a female sloth, appears who is attracted to Sid instantly. There also don't seem to be any other sloths in Geotopia, where she lives.
  • Good Lips, Evil Jaws: The good Mommy dinosaur vs the Albino dino monster.
  • Groin Attack: Buck implies he once castrated a T-rex with a clam shell.
    Buck: Now let me tell you about the time I used a sharpened clam shell to turn a T-rex... into a T-Rachel.
  • Hartman Hips: Scratte.
  • Heart in the Wrong Place: When the acorn is abandoned by Scrat and Scratte, it drifts out to sea and washes up inside an intact ribcage on the beach, right where people who believe this trope expect a heart to be.
  • Hungry Jungle: Not only is the Mesozoic Lost World this in general, but it includes the aptly-named "Jungle of Misery" inhabited by flesh-eating plants.
  • I Choose to Stay: When offered the chance to return to the surface world with the herd, Buck briefly considers it before deciding to stay in the prehistoric world.
  • I Don't Like the Sound of That Place: The path to Sid.
  • Inflating Body Gag: As a charging pterosaur prepares to eat the possums, they shoot an explosive berry right in its open mouth, making a hilarious outcome.
  • Instant Birth: Just Add Labor!: Ellie gives birth in the middle of a Guanlong fight, screaming and wincing, and Peaches comes out already clean, happy and sleepy. One of the most exaggerated Hollywood births ever.
  • Jerkass Realization: Both Manny and Diego have this as they spend the first night in the valley. Manny for his insensitive remarks towards Sid which led to this whole mess, and Diego for his selfishness in leaving the herd.
  • Kill It Through Its Stomach: Buck successfully frees Manny and Diego from the Man-Eating Plant by entering through its mouth and forcing it to vomit, using Wire Dilemma as a Rule of Funny. Not only does the plant regurgitate the two, but it explodes into a gooey mess.
  • Last-Minute Baby Naming: Manny and Ellie have apparently not decided on what to name their child. After the baby mammoth's birth, Manny suggests they name her Ellie, but Ellie decides on the name "Peaches", which had been their code word for Ellie to tell Manny she was going into labor.
  • Laughing Gas: The way to the subterranean world goes through a crevasse full of toxic fumes, which is revealed to have very similar properties to Joker's laughing gas in that it causes anyone who inhales it to laugh until they stop breathing. Although the laughter may not have been caused directly by the gas but by the Helium Speech effect, prompting the victim to start laughing at their own voice. It caused the characters who inhaled the fumes to sound like chipmunks, which they found incredibly funny.
  • Let's Get Dangerous!:
    Buck: It's time to get...Buckwild!
  • Lighter and Softer: Compared to the somber, dramatic Ice Age and the perilous, apocalyptic Meltdown.
  • Living Dinosaurs: Discovered in a Lost World Beneath the Earth.
  • Man-Eating Plant: Or mammal-eating plant.
  • Meadow Run: Spoofed when Scrat is "reunited" with his acorn after running away from Scratte, and the acorn falls down a hill in slow motion towards Scrat who is also running in slow motion.
  • Midair Repair: Buck performs mouth-to-mouth on a pterosaur knocked unconscious by a mid-air collision with another pterosaur.
  • Mirror-Cracking Ugly: Sid falls through into a cave because of this.
  • Mistaken for Pregnant: Sid mistakes a female beaver's fat for a baby bump. Said beaver promptly nails him with a stick.
  • Moby Schtick: The film plays this out with Buck and Rudy.
  • Monster Delay: Rudy doesn't appear in full for most of the film. Only certain parts of him are seen in a few glimpses (such as his feet or eyes), and he's often obscured by shadows or clouds in wider shots. It's only until the climax that the audience gets a decent look at him when he finally attacks the Herd.
  • Narm: Discussed in-universe. One of the opossums asks why the Chasm of Death is called the Chasm of death, so Buck replies that the original name was "Big Smelly Crack", but nobody could stop giggling about it.
  • New Baby Episode: A recurring theme in this movie is that Ellie is pregnant and may go into labour at any time. At the end of the movie, a baby named Peaches is born.
  • No Time to Think: Buck ends up facing a Wire Dilemma while inside the carnivorous plant, with only minutes before he, Manny, and Diego are digested. After doing the classic "Eenie-Meenie-Miney-Mo" (in a muffled voice due to being under the digestive juices), he just shrugs and cuts one of the "wires".
  • Not Really a Birth Scene: Ellie is giving birth while Diego fights off some Guanlong trying to kill her. At one point Diego is the one appearing to go through labor pains, and then the camera pulls back to show him pushing a pair of Guanlong off a ledge.
  • Open Mouth, Insert Foot: During the Not Really a Birth Scene, Ellie's telling Diego to push, and he claims that she has no idea what he's going through. When the camera reveals Diego is pushing back a pair of Guanlong, there's a moment of silence as he processes what he just said before sheepishly apologizing.
  • Outliving One's Offspring:
    • Manny, who witnessed the deaths of his first mate and son, is essentially waiting for the bubble to pop. Then his new mate goes into labor during a dinosaur attack.
    • At least two kids are Swallowed Whole by one of the dinosaur babies. Although they turn out to be alive, the parents are appropriately horrified.
  • Painful Adhesive Removal: Scrat gets stuck to the trunk of a tree and with the nut stuck to his chest, when Scratita shows up. She smiles seductively at him, then yanks the nut off his chest and his fur with it, like she was waxing him. He screams, of course.
  • Platonic Declaration of Love: Between Crash and Eddie while they're falling from the sky.
    Eddie: I love you, dude!
    Crash: I know!
  • Plot-Mandated Friendship Failure: Diego and Manny have a rift in their friendship when the former decides he's leaving the herd, which greatly offends the latter. The rift starts to close when Diego offers to protect Ellie from the Guanlong, and he and Manny finally reconcile when the saber declares he's staying.
  • Post-Climax Confrontation: Following the climatic battle with Rudy, during the very last scene before the end credits, Scrat finds his acorn again, only for him to end up fighting Scratte for it one final time. Said Final Battle results in Scrat and his acorn getting propelled back up into the above-ground Ice Age world by an airborne rock and Scratte getting permanently stranded in the subterranean dinosaur world upon falling off of said airborne rock, concluding their subplot for good.
  • Rapid-Fire Nail Biting: One of the possum twins bites off his own nails, then his brother offers him one of his hands so he can continue biting
  • Raptor Attack: Averted, for Guanlong (a primitive tyrannosaur) is used as a substitute for raptors. Played straight with the Troodon, which look more like Coelophysis and lack feathers, and the Archaeopteryx, which has a lizard-like head and is flightless.
  • Rescue Romance: Scrat and Scratte's relationship really kicks off after he rescues her from death by lava when they are hanging by a thin root on a cliff.
  • Red Wire Blue Wire: Hilariously spoofed in the carnivorous-plant action-sequence. Buck cuts the red wire, but that causes more digestive juice to flow, so he barely cuts the blue wire just in time, causing the plant to explode.
  • Rhetorical Question Blunder: When Sid is on the playground that Manny built for his yet unborn child.
    Manny: Sid, I don't want you touching anything. This place is for kids. Are you a kid?
    Sid: Uh—
    Manny: Don't answer that!
  • Safety Freak: Manny has baby-proofed the playground he made for his kid by putting snowballs on pointy branches and breaking icicle tips. He even puts a snowball on a birdís beak.
  • Sand In My Eyes: Invoked and subverted by Diego after Peaches is born, as well as Crash and Eddie.
  • Scene of Wonder: When Manny, Ellie, and the possums go through the underground caverns to find Sid, they walk into a hidden world full of dinosaurs. All of them take in the atmosphere, but they donít do it for long as an angry Ankylosaurus attacks them.
  • Screw This, I'm Outta Here: When the Herd track down Momma to the hole, Crash and Eddie decide to write off Sid as dead and leave, but Ellie stops them.
    • The pteranodon that assists the mammals gets asked about starting its own family by Buck. The question is enough to snap the reptile out of its perched trance, quickly realizing that it doesnít need to be here anymore and takes off.
    Crash: Well, he's dead.
    Eddie: Real shame.
    Crash: He will be missed.
  • Sherlock Scan: Buck tries to make it seem like he has this, but it is really but another product of his madness. At one notable occasion, Buck uses his supposed awesome deduction skills to deduce from a broccoli on the ground that Sid had gone Ax-Crazy and beat down Momma with the broccoli and turned the giant dinosaur into a vegetable. After being told this was implausible because Sid was not violent, he remakes his theory to that Sid was eating the broccoli when he was eaten by Momma, thereby turning the broccoli into a vegetable.
  • Shout-Out:
    • After inhaling the laughing gas, Crash and Eddie promptly start singing a part of Alvin and the Chipmunks' Christmas Donít be late with "Christmas time is Here."
    • When Ellie takes a slide down a Brachiosaurus's neck, she goes "Yabba-dabba-doo!"
    Manny: Don't ever yabba-dabba-do that again!
  • Stock Dinosaur Archetypes: Tyrannosaurus is depicted as a fearsome, yet maternal and sympathetic role with a mother and her three young who eventually warm up to Sid, with the mother still being feared by the other dinosaurs. The antagonistic predator instead goes to a Baryonyx named Rudy whose main trait is having a grudge against Buck for knocking out one of his teeth. Almost every dinosaur is unpleasant, though they're more territorial than leaning on Prehistoric Monster; Triceratops don't tolerate the presence of other animals other than herd members, Ankylosaurus attacks the main herd upon first notice, and the Guanlong are opportunistic pack hunters. The exceptions are Brachiosaurus, which doesn't mind the herd sliding at its tail and back, and "pterodactyls" which are placid enough to be tamed and ridden upon by Buck, albeit briefly.
  • Take That!: Possibly one against Jurassic Park III. In the third JP, a Tyrannosaurus is killed after a brief fight with the Spinosaurus. Well, at the end of the third Ice Age, Mama (a Tyrannosaurus) turns up just at the last moment and attacks Rudy (an overgrown Baryonyx, related to Spinosaurus), effortlessly charging him, slamming him through the jungle and knocking him off a cliff. He doesn't actually die, but it was an incredible asskicking for the supposed Big Bad of all dinosaurs in the series.
  • Taking the Kids: The storyline with Sid, Mama Dino and the baby dinos is a parody of this trope, with Sid and Mama Dino playing the divorced parents fighting for custody.
  • Terror-dactyl: A flock of blue, aggressive pterosaurs appear.
  • Tempting Fate: In the Jungle of Misery, Diego warns Manny when the latter is trying to pick some fruit. Manny scoffs that he'll be afraid of a "pretty flower''. Cue carnivorous plant...
  • That Came Out Wrong:
    • When Manny and Diego are inside the carnivorous plant, they have this awkward exchange as the plant's digestive juices start to rise:
      Diego: I feel all tingly.
      Manny: Don't say that when you're pressed up against me.
      Diego: Not that kind of tingly!
    • After seeing Peaches for the first time, Buck innocently asks a pterosaur "Have you ever thought about having kids?" The pterosaur gives Buck an awkward glance, then quickly takes off.
  • Third Is 3D
  • The Vamp: Scratte, who might also count as a squirrel version of Lady in Red.
  • The Voiceless: All of the dinosaurs.
  • Uvula Escape Route: Buck tells the rest of the gang the story of how he lost his eye and obtained his tooth dagger, which entails him having to escape from a dinosaur's mouth by swinging on its uvula.
  • Verbal Tic: Listening closely to Buck reveals that the weasel is somehow prone to neglecting the usage of the letter H in his speech...which is probably due to Simon Pegg (his voice actor) being English.
  • Vine Tentacles: The giant carnivorous plant that almost devours Diego and Manny has several vine tentacles that it uses to keep Crash and Eddie away from it when they try to rescue their friends. Buck then uses the vines to swing his way up and spiral into the plant from the top and get inside its stomach.
  • Wham Line: Followed by a Wham Shot. The rest of the herd become affected by the fumes in the Chasm of Death and laugh themselves silly, against Buck's commands. Buck then shows Ellie (and the viewers) why the chasm lives up to its name.
    Ellie: They're just laughing. What's so bad about that?
    Buck: (points to skeletons below) They died laughing!
  • Who Is Driving?: Buck captures a pterosaur and commandeers it like an aircraft, along with possums Crash and Eddie, in a tow to rescue Sid. This trope plays with all three of them looking down to check on Sid as they escape; apparently, the pterosaur can't be trusted to fly by itself.

Alternative Title(s): Ice Age 3 Dawn Of The Dinosaurs


Laughing Chasm

The group goes through a crevasse full of toxic fumes, which is actually laughing gas.

How well does it match the trope?

5 (6 votes)

Example of:

Main / LaughingGas

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