Alternative Character Interpretation: Soto's "I was beginning to worry about you" comment when Diego returns to the pack for the mammoth trap could be seen as Soto possibly caring for Diego as if he was his own son.
To be fair, it was not evident how Diego could possibly die from that bit of clawing as well, since neither injury nor even blood was shown. It was more likely that Diego used it as an opportunity to avoid the human tribe.
Awesome Art: Regardless of how you feel about the sequels, there's no denying how much effort is put into the art and animation.
Badass Decay: Some fans feel that Diego's been hit with this as the films themselves have grown Lighter and Softer, usually starting in Continental Drift.
Base-Breaking Character: Manny in the first one. Most people liked him in the first one while some thought he was too much of a jerk. However, as he's softened, he's not exactly become a hated character, but he's been complained about for being boring and being too much of an Overprotective Dad.
Fans of the first film are split on whether Don Bluth's version would have been better or not.
Cargo Ship: Scrat and his acorn. Also, Buck and his pineapple "wife".
Contested Sequel: All of them, especially the third. Some consider it an absolute disaster, others call it the best of the trilogy. The sequels are contested especially by those who can see past Fox's intentions of trying to create a Cash Cow Franchise to match DreamWorks' Shrek. Continental Drift is seen as forgivable with some, if only because of Wanda Sykes as Sid's granny and a fun villain. You will be hard pressed to find anyone defending Collision Course though. Meltdown is arguably the least contested, with many are off put by its lighter tone while others find it is serious enough and was the movie that continued the story the most naturally.
Crack Pairing: Many, but notable ones include Sid and Ellie/Sillie and OT3s like Manny/Ellie/Diego. Supreme crack pairings include Peaches x anyone, but these have been mainly only discussed, though Sillie has been written once.
Rudy/Buck is another example, though it also crosses over with Foe Yay Shipping. Sid/Diego probably counts as well, since there is really no viable reason to pair Diego and Sid together, let's be honest, it's Pair the Spares if anything else.
Critic-Proof: All sequels have gotten a rotten rating on Rotten Tomatoes but, until Collision Course, have all done pretty well at the box office.
Draco in Leather Pants: Some fans like to over-romanticize Soto as this. One person to such an extent that the Sub-Zero Heroes become Ron The Death Eaters, Diego especially, because of the whole "brother with Soto" fanon.
Ensemble Dark Horse: Buck is definitely this, being one of the most badass characters in a children's film ever. This might have something to do with the fact that he's a one-eyed weasel scarcely larger than Crash & Eddie, who's hunting analbino Baryonyx bigger than a Tyrannosaurus.
Also, Soto being Not Quite Dead pops up somewhat commonly in fanfiction.
One bit of fanon is that somehow, in some way, Soto and Shira are related to each other by being either father/daughter or siblings.
The implication that Runar's tribe killed Manny's family. It's never truly established as being this in the film, but fan reading of canon often goes with this conclusion.
The implication that the two rhinos at the beginning of the first film are a gay couple. Blue Sky has given no official confirmation for this, but most fans (casual and hardcore) tend to read them as a couple, but it's still fanon. And oddly enough the world of Ice Age fanfic ignores them as well, when the fanfiction realm is well-known for its love of slash pairings. Make of that what you will.
Fanon Discontinuity: All of the sequels get this to some degree among different groups of fans, but Collision Course gets the absolute worst of it, as noted under Sequelitis. Most fans just stop at the third film, which most felt was a sufficient conclusion to the original trilogy and didn't need any more story.
Peaches/Ethan has become this, despite Peaches seeing Ethan as shallow in the fourth film and going off with Louis at the end. Although Peaches/Louis is still pretty popular, even after Peaches married Julian in the fifth film.
Sid/Diego is not an uncommon ship in the fandom and has persisted for quite some time (even with Diego and Sid gaining canon girlfriends) as an Opposites Attract sort of dynamic, built on the foundation of Vitriolic Best Buds with an added dash of Foe Yay from their interactions in the first film.
Faux Symbolism: Manny rescuing Diego from the fiery flames of the lava. Not to mention that Roshan's role in the film is a "Peace Child" between the humans and the animals, and it's his innocence that helps redeem Diego, helps Sid find a new family, and gives Manny closure after his family's death, and reconciliation with the people who destroyed his life. It's one aspect of the Original movie - that is, Roshan's importance - that is often glossed over, but he changed all of the characters taking care of him because of his love and innocence, was central to character and plot resolutions and by the end Manny, Diego and Sid are a herd because of Roshan bringing them together as true friends.
Franchise Original Sin: The first film contained a decent amount of Toilet Humor (Sid stepping in the glyptodont poop), adult humor (Sid saying that a girlfriend would "go all praying mantis" on him, amongst other things), and modern references (During the montage, a glacier was seen acting like a passing bus). However, this was underplayed compared to the sequels (In the case of the modern reference, it was just there for a quick joke), and the first film still had enough heart to make up for all of it.
Fridge Horror: Manny's introduction. Why was he walking the opposite direction of the other animals migrating away from the freeze? It's because he felt life wasn't worth living anymore after the deaths of his original family, and was ready to commit suicide by freezing to death.
Diego's line "can't have one of your own, so you want to adopt", while only meant at the time as snark, becomes much harsher after the reveal that Manny's mate and child were killed by humans.
Before the heroes enter the ice cave in the first film, Sid is joking around by pretending to be impaled in the neck with an icicle. How does Soto die again?
Germans Love David Hasselhoff: The first four Ice Age films have had decent box office runs in North America, but, at least in the case of the sequels, were overshadowed by the films from Pixar and Dreamworks Animation. Overseas, the series has been very successful, with thefirstfourfilms in the series being the highest grossing animated films worldwide in the years in which they were released.
The movies, especially the first one, gained a lot of popularity in Norway. One reason in particular being famous comedian Dagfinn Lyngbø voicing Sid with his distinct Bergen dialect, who've more than once been recognized as making Sid several times funnier than the original.
Genre Turning Point: The first film was the first major CGI movie that wasn't made either by Pixar or Dreamworks Animation, being a 20th Century Fox production (even if Pixar's owner Disney later bought the rights when they bought Fox in 2019). As such, it proved that CGI movies were no longer just a minor novelty from two competing companies and helped make CGI films into a big figure in the mainstream box office.
Ray Romano manages to pull off a genuinely heartfelt performance as Manny.
We also have Jack Black in an early voice role, being almost completely unrecognizable as Zeke. Since Ice Age, he's gone on to prove his skills as a voice actor in other animated films like Shark Tale and especially the Kung Fu Panda series.
In 2002, there were no known mammals extinct or extant that closely resembled Scrat. Come late 2011, one was described and named Cronopio. (However, it was not a squirrel, but part of a now-extinct mammal group, the dryolestoids. Furthermore, it lived in the Mesozoic Era, not the Cenozoic as most of the other animals in the films are.)
The first movie had a T. rex frozen in ice as a gag. In Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the heroes find a lost world of surviving dinosaurs below ground. It led to fan speculation that the "meltdown" in the second movie actually freed the dinosaurs in the third movie.
The first movie also had a UFO frozen in ice as a random sight gag, but fast forward to the premise of the fifth movie...
During the scene with the cave paintings, Sid comments that you never see any sloths in them. In 2020, rock art was discovered in Columbia depicted what many have interpreted as a ground sloth.
Memetic Loser: Roshan, better known these days as the "Ice Age Baby", has become jokingly loathed by memers since early 2020 as they often portray him getting brutally tortured or killed due to him falling into the Uncanny Valley.
Periphery Demographic: Though the films, most notably the sequels, are ostensibly aimed at younger audiences, the movies — for example, the first one — have attracted a lot of teen and adult fans, who enjoy the Original for its depth, humour, dramatic elements, and tearjerking moments. The sequels have admirably brought in teen and adult fans as well, and one reason the movies have such a demographic is because young fans of the Original realised that the sequels kept up with the Original in some regards (i.e. emotional plots and captivating characters), since some of the teen/adult audience watch the sequels in hopes of seeing characters like Roshan again or just revisiting the herd.
Zeke is voiced by Jack Black, who would later be the main character in his ownDream Works animated film series. The third of which came out the same year as the last film of this series.
Lenny and Dab the dodo are both voiced by future Disney good luck charm Alan Tudyk. He also voices characters in The Meltdown and Continental Drift (the latter of which came out the same year as the first Disney animated movie to feature him, Wreck-It Ralph).
Saved by the Fans: Scrat was originally going to be killed off after his brief scene in the opening of the first movie, but the overwhelming response to advance footage led the filmmakers to add more scenes with him, and he continued to appear throughout the franchise, becoming not only the de-facto mascot of the series, but of Blue Sky Studios as well.
Sequelitis: The majority consensus is that the film series worsens in quality with each film. Each film has a progressively lower rating on Rotten Tomatoes, with the first film ranking at 77% and even getting nominated for the Best Animated Feature Oscar; meanwhile, the last installment, Collision Course ranks at an abysmal 18%.
Signature Scene: The "Send Me on My Way" Migration Montage that has Manny, Sid, and Diego traveling towards Glacier Pass basically sums up what the Ice Age films are all about. The herd occasionally playing charades while heading to where they decided to go, with Scrat during this sequence is also quite memorable.
Signature Song: The ending of "Ellie Remembers" (or in "Goodnight Sweet Possums") from The Meltdown has been adopted as the main theme of the films (it's heard in such poignant moments like the birth of Peaches, the end of Dawn of the Dinosaurs and Continental Drift. "Mammoths" has become the secondary theme of the series.
So Okay, It's Average: This is how some critics have felt about all films, even the original to a lesser extent.
They Copied It, So It Sucks!: As noted above, most of the first films criticism focuses on that its pretty similar to Shrek and Monsters, Inc., the former for Manny and Sid respectively recalling Shrek and Donkey as both being pairs of a giant grumpy but good hearted beast pestered by an unwanted companion and the latter for its baby returning plot.
Manny's relationship with Ellie, down to having a calf with her, could have been much more emotionally moving and impactful than it is, considering that he's already seen his first mate and child killed, a fact which is central to his entire character, a fact that is only really brought up in the second film as a major reason for Manny's hesitation towards starting a new relationship but was sadly not elaborated on later films.
That entire herd of mammoths that appear at the end of the second movie? Never followed up on.
Tough Act to Follow: While the sequels have their fans, most will agree that none of them hold a candle to the first movie.
The humans in particular are pretty off-looking. Theres a reason why Roshan eventually became a Memetic Loser, though he at least is the most endearing example, as the other humans, um,well...
That being said, to be fair, it's more justified than most examples considering that these humans are most likely meant to be Neanderthals or some other early hominin rather than modern-day Homo sapiens.
Sotos pack havent aged well either as they, despite being highly stylized, look less consistent compared to Diego as he keeps appearing in the series, coupled with Shiras introduction in the fourth film. Soto himself escapes this as he does look similar to Diego, and Lenny to a lesser extent in that hes actually a scimitar cat whose proportions besides his inaccurately larger size are pretty much the right ones for his species.