Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
A small rodent clutching an acorn by his foot, is hanging from large sharp teeth which frame the scene. Other prehistoric animals look on from behind him.
Theatrical release poster
Directed byCarlos Saldanha
Screenplay by
Story byJason Carter Eaton
Produced by
Starring
Edited byHarry Hitner
Music byJohn Powell
Production
companies
Distributed by20th Century Fox
Release date
  • July 1, 2009 (2009-07-01) (United States)
Running time
94 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$90 million[1]
Box office$886.6 million[1]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a 2009 American computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the sequel to Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) and the third installment in the Ice Age film series. It was directed by Carlos Saldanha. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, and Chris Wedge reprise their roles from the first two films and Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, and Queen Latifah reprise their roles from The Meltdown, with Simon Pegg joining them in the role of a weasel named Buck. The story has Sid the Sloth being kidnapped by a female Tyrannosaurus after stealing her eggs, leading the rest of the herd to rescue him in a tropical lost world inhabited by dinosaurs underneath the ice.

The film was released on July 1, 2009, becoming the first Ice Age film and the first 20th Century Fox film to be released in 3D.[2] It received mixed reviews from critics, and has grossed $886.6 million worldwide, making it the third-highest-grossing film of 2009, the highest-grossing animated film of 2009, the highest-grossing Ice Age film and the highest-grossing film from Blue Sky Studios.[3][4] Two sequels, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course, were released in 2012 and 2016, respectively.

Plot

While looking for his beloved acorn, Scrat encounters a female flying saber-tooth squirrel named Scratte, whom he falls in love with. But when he finds Scratte holding a acorn he gets greedy and steals it from her. Scratte then starts to cry making Scrat give back the acorn, but due to his obsession with acorns, refuses to let go. While doing so, he accidentally throws her off the cliff. He jumps to save her, but she tricks him and steals back the acorn while he falls from the cliff. Meanwhile, Manny and Ellie are married and expecting their first child. Manny is determined to make life perfect and safe for both Ellie and the baby, as he doesn't want them to suffer the same fate as his previous family. At the same time, Diego debates whether he should leave the herd because he thinks that he's losing his edge as a hunter and isn't meant for the family life. Sid begins to wish for a family of his own and adopts three apparently lost eggs that he finds in an icy cave. Manny tells him to put them back, but Sid ignores him and looks after the eggs, which hatch into baby Tyrannosaurus rex the next morning. Meanwhile, Scrat manages to grab Scratte's tail and try to steal back the acorn but fall into a tar pit. However, they manage to survive by getting into a tar pit bubble, Scrat and Scratte race to get the acorn. Scrat wins and later falls into the icy cave.

Although Sid tries his best to raise the three dinosaurs, their rambunctious behavior scares away all the younger animals and ruins the playground Manny built for his child, angering Manny. Not long after, a female Tyrannosaurus, whose eggs Sid stole, returns. When Sid refuses to return the babies, she carries both Sid and her young underground, with Diego in pursuit. Manny, Ellie, Crash and Eddie follow as well and discover that the icy cave leads to a vast subterranean jungle populated by dinosaurs thought to be extinct. Here, an angry Ankylosaurus threatens The Herd despite Diego's efforts to fend it off. Then they are saved from a further crowd of angry reptiles by a deranged, quick-witted, one-eyed weasel named Buck.

Buck reveals that he has been living in this jungle for quite some time and is fighting Rudy, a huge fearsome, ill-tempered and hostile albino Baryonyx feared by the inhabitants of the jungle, intending to avenge the eye he lost to him years prior during an ill-fated encounter. He agrees to lead The Herd through the jungle's perils to Lava Falls, where the mother T-Rex has kidnapped Sid and her babies. In the meantime, Scrat continues his battle of getting his acorn back from Scratte, resulting in a chase in the Chasm of Death and a tango dance battle. As Scratte tries to fly away with Scrat's acorn, Scrat manages to grab Scratte's tail and hang from a cliff with lava at the bottom. Scrat later uses a fainted Scratte to save each other and the acorn from the lava. Scratte later falls into Scrat's arms and the two fall in love with each other and share a kiss. Meanwhile, Sid and the mother Tyrannosaurus try to outdo each other in feeding the offspring; Sid loses this contest but is welcomed into the family regardless. The next day, however, Sid is separated from the Tyrannosaurus family and is attacked by Rudy. He is knocked onto a loose rock slab that is floating on a river of lava and about to plummet over the falls.

As the herd moves toward the lava falls, Ellie suddenly goes into labor and a pack of Guanlong attack them, causing a rock slide that separates her from Manny and Diego. While Manny makes his way up to her, Diego assists in the delivery and fends off further attacks. Meanwhile, Buck takes Crash and Eddie to rescue Sid. Just as he goes over the falls, the trio swoops in on a commandeered Harpactognathus, narrowly saving Sid's life. Manny reaches Ellie just in time to hear the cry of a newborn baby girl. The couple agree to name the baby "Peaches". Sid is sad at the fact that he never had a chance to say goodbye to the T-Rex children as he returns to The Herd and learns of Peaches' birth. Scrat and Scratte have some romantic moments together, both forgeting about the acorn.

Before they can leave the jungle, they are ambushed by Rudy. Working together, Manny, Sid, Diego, and Buck manage to trap Rudy by ensnaring him in vines. However, he quickly breaks free and resumes his onslaught. The herd is saved by the timely arrival of the mother Tyrannosaurus, who charges at Rudy and knocks him off a cliff where he falls to his presumed death. As she and her children wish Sid well, Buck, now without a purpose in life since Rudy is gone, decides to join The Herd and live on the surface. However, a distant roar tells him that Rudy is still alive. Because of this he changes his mind and sends The Herd home, blocking off the path to the underground jungle by severing the vines supporting a skeleton bridge that causes a cave-in at the same time. Manny and Ellie welcome Peaches into their frozen world and Manny admits to Sid that he did a good job looking after the baby dinosaurs. Diego decides to remain with the herd, while Buck stays underground, happily battling with Rudy. Meanwhile Scrat and Scratte decide to live in the jungle together. Unfortunately, Scrat's greed for his precious acorn overcomes his newfound romance with Scratte, and he ultimately chooses the acorn over her (along with getting tired of her bossy ways). The two battle once more for the acorn, which results in Scrat being accidentally launched back to the surface while Scratte falls back in the dinosaur world, making it her new home. Scrat taunts her about the acorn, but once again loses it after a large piece of ice knocks it out of his hands, much to his frustration.

Cast

Main article: List of Ice Age characters

Production

Blue Sky decided to do "more of a what-if adventure" in the third Ice Age installment, "like finding the giant ape in King Kong or a Shangri-la in the middle of snow," and added the dinosaurs to the story. Character designer Peter de Sève welcomed the new plot addition, since he could not think of any other giant mammal to put into the story. The "lost world" approach led to colorful dinosaurs, because "the dinosaurs didn't have to be just brown, and you can take liberties because no one knows what color they were", according to de Sève. Rudy's design was inspired by the Baryonyx because of his crocodile-like look, which de Sève considered even more menacing than the T. rex.[6]

Release

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs held special screenings on Father's Day, June 21, 2009, in 330 theaters across the United States, exclusively in 3-D.[7] That day was chosen due to the film featuring a theme of fatherhood.[8] Widely, it was released on July 1, 2009.[7]

The film was released in RealD 3D where available. This sparked some controversy when Fox announced that it would no longer pay to supply 3-D glasses to theaters,[9] leading to a number of exhibitors threatening to show the film in only standard 2-D projection.[10]

Home media

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was released on standard DVD and high-definition Blu-ray Disc in North America on October 27, 2009.[11] Two versions of the DVD were released: a single-disc DVD, and a "Scrat Pack" double DVD pack with three Scrat games. The 3-disc Blu-ray combo pack included a Blu-ray, the single-disc DVD, and a Digital Copy, as well as an Ice Age digital story-book maker, commentary by director Carlos Saldanha, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, the two Scrat shorts: Gone Nutty and No Time for Nuts (that each originally came on home video for both the first and second films), and a how-to-draw Scrat tutorial with the filmmakers.[11]

A Blu-ray 3D version of the film was exclusively available with purchase of select Panasonic's television sets between May 16 and July 10, 2010,[12] and was widely released on August 30, 2010.[13] On September 21, 2010, a 3-D DVD was released as a two-disc set, with the first disc being the TrioScopics 3-D (green-magenta anaglyph) version and the second disc being the 2-D version.

Reception

Box office

The film earned $196,573,705 in North America and $690,113,112 in other territories, which gives it a worldwide gross of $886,686,817 against a budget of $90 million. Worldwide, it is the third-highest-grossing film of 2009, the highest-grossing animated film of 2009, the highest-grossing Ice Age film, the 14th-highest-grossing animated film of all time.[14] It is also the highest-grossing animated film of 2009 worldwide.[15] Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs also surpassed Finding Nemo to have the highest international gross for an animated film.[16] The film grossed $218.4 million during the opening weekend, and was the highest-grossing opening for an animated film.[17][18] It would hold that record for less than a decade until it was surpassed by Incredibles 2 in 2018.[19]

North America

The film made $13,791,157 on its opening day in 4,099 theaters.[1] It reached $41,690,382 on its first weekend, putting it at number 2 behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, marking the lowest-grossing first weekend for the franchise, although it had a Wednesday release and therefore burned off attendance until the weekend.[20][21] The film became 20th Century Fox's third-largest 2009 release in North America behind Avatar and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. It is the third-highest-grossing animated feature of 2009. It heavily out-grossed its predecessor, Ice Age: The Meltdown which earned $195,330,621 three years before,[20] to become the highest-grossing movie in the franchise, but it was behind the two first Ice Age movies in estimated attendance.[22]

Other territories

On its opening weekend it earned $151.7 million, which is the biggest opening for an animated feature.[23] Its highest-grossing market after North America was Germany ($82.2 million), followed by France and the Maghreb region ($69.2 million), and the UK, Ireland and Malta ($56.9 million).[24] It was the highest-grossing animated film of the year in all major countries, except Spain[25] and Australia.[22][26]

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 46% based on 165 reviews and an average rating of 5.4/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs boasts some excellent animation -- in particular, the dinosaurs are wonderfully realized -- but its story is tired and monotonous."[27] On Metacritic, the film has a score of 50 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".[28] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.[29]

Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four claiming that "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the best of the three films about our friends in the inter-species herd of plucky prehistoric heroes. And it involves some of the best use of 3-D I've seen in an animated feature."[30] Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club graded the film a C+ claiming the sequel "throws its commitment to the era away with movie number three, a ploy sure to anger Ice Age purists everywhere."[31] Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer enjoyed the "film's animation art is Seuss-imaginative", but panned "the flatness of the story and indifferent voicework all the more obvious."[32]

Accolades

The film was nominated in two categories at the 8th Visual Effects Society Awards, for "Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture" and "Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture."[33]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience is a 14-minute 4-D film shown at various 4-D theaters over the world. It retells the condensed story of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs with the help of 3-D projection and sensory effects, including moving seats, wind, mist, snow and scents. Produced by SimEx-Iwerks, The 4-D Experience premiered in May 2012, at the San Diego Zoo 4-D Theater.[34][35] Since June 2012, it is being shown at the Roxy Theatre, at the Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia,[36] and since July 2012, at the Shedd Aquarium's Phelps Auditorium in Chicago.[37]

Video game

Main article: Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (video game)

A tie-in video game was published by Activision. The game allows players to play as one of the film's characters, discovering the underground world of dinosaurs and solving puzzles through more than 15 levels.[38]

Sequels

Main article: Ice Age (franchise)

The fourth film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, was released in 3D on July 13, 2012. It was directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier—the first time without Carlos Saldanha. The film takes place a few years after the events of the third film, with Peaches in her teenage years. Scrat's never-ending pursuit of acorns has world-changing consequences, separating Manny, Sid and Diego from the rest, forcing them to stand up to a pirate gang, led by Captain Gutt.

The fifth film, Ice Age: Collision Course, was released in 3D on July 22, 2016.

See also

References

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