10 Best Characters From the ‘Ice Age’ Movies

Movies


After spending a few decades developing CGI for movies and commercials, Blue Sky Studios broke into the film scene with 2002’s Ice Age. It focused on a herd of Ice Age mammals who come together to return a human baby to his tribe. Thanks to its likable characters and a good sense of humor, the original Ice Age movie spawned multiple sequels where the characters adapt to new changes in the environment and their personal lives.


These changes to the characters helped keep audiences invested in their stories with each movie. While their writing never reached the same heights as what Pixar and DreamWorks were putting out at the time, the Ice Age still left an impression thanks largely to the hilarious and instantly unforgettable characters. From the main trio of Manny, Diego, and Sid to the many supporting characters that came with each new entry, the Ice Age movies have a truly impressive ensemble of characters.


10 Peaches

Played by Keke Palmer

Image via Blue Sky Studios

The daughter of Manfred (Ray Romano) and Ellie (Queen Latifah), Peaches (Keke Palmer) has quite an exciting life. She was born underground in a land full of dinosaurs and survived two major natural disasters during her lifetime. Despite these stressful situations, Peaches manages to have a relatively normal adolescence and even gets married.

Peaches doesn’t become a proper character until Ice Age: Continental Drift, but the franchise does a good job of characterizing her for the final two films. She has many fears that are relatable to older children, such as maintaining a social life and worrying about her future independent of her parents. Palmer’s performance isn’t one of the strongest in terms of vocal range, but she does a good job conveying Peaches’ uncertainty as life continues to throw more and more challenges at her.

Ice Age: Continental Drift poster

Ice Age: Continental Drift

Scrat’s continuous pursuit of an infernal acorn has world-changing consequences for Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) when the continents split apart. The continental crack-up separates Manny and his friends from the rest of the herd, including Manny’s mate, Ellie (Jennifer Lopez) and rebellious daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer). The pals are desperate to return home, but a pirate (Peter Dinklage) and his ragtag crew stand in their way.

Release Date
June 27, 2012

Director
Steve Martino , Mike Thurmeier

Rating
PG

Runtime
94

Watch on Disney+

9 Gladys

Played by Wanda Sykes

Granny from Ice Age: Continental Drift angrily pointing at someone off-camera
Image via Blue Sky Studios

One day, Sidney’s (John Leguizamo) deadbeat family tracks him down to dump his elderly grandmother, Gladys (Wanda Sykes), on him. She settles in as part of the herd, quickly getting on everyone’s nerves thanks to her senile antics. Over time, her unorthodox style proves rather helpful to the group.

Gladys is one of the funniest elements in the later Ice Age movies, largely thanks to Wanda Sykes’ performance. She is one of the best actresses for voicing sassy, take-no-nonsense characters, and her energy makes Gladys’ scatterbrained antics all the more memorable. Her relationship with Sid is also pretty interesting: most of the time, she is the demanding grandmother who wants Sid to do everything for her, but she occasionally has a kind thing to say, especially regarding Sid’s found family.

8 Captain Gutt

Played by Peter Dinklage

Captain Gut baring his teeth in anger in Ice Age 4: Continental Drift
Image via Blue Sky Studios

The self-styled master of the sea, Captain Gutt (Peter Dinklage), is a Gigantopithicus who commands a mixed herd of vicious pirates. Sailing aboard an iceberg ship, he and his crew plunder and kill anyone they can so Gutt can hoard all the food for himself. After the herd rejects his offer to join his crew and makes off with his ship, Gutt declares that he’ll chase them down and kill them.

After two movies where the villains were predators acting on instinct, it was a fun mix-up for the fourth film to feature an intelligent antagonist. Gutt leaves a pretty strong mark thanks to his grotesque design and ruthless commitment to enacting his revenge. The always-reliable Peter Dinklage sounds like he’s having genuine fun voicing these lines, which adds another layer of life to the character.

7 Soto

Played by Goran Višnjić

Soto the sabretooth looking intently off-camera in Ice Age
Image via Blue Sky Studios

Upon meeting a tribe of human hunters, Soto (Goran Višnjić) lost half of his tribe. To get revenge, he plans to distract the hunters so his second in command, Diego (Dennis Leary), can steal the infant son of their lead hunter for Soto to kill. If he fails to bring the baby back alive, Soto warns Diego that he’ll take Diego’s life as a substitute.

Soto is among Blue Sky’s more intimidating villains. His actions perfectly reflect those of a predator: he remains laser-focused on his goal of vengeance while combining cunning intellect with physical strength to keep his pack in line and kill any challenger. Višnjić’s performance adds to this with a soft, menacing tone that’s always ready for a fight.

Ice Age 2002 Poster

ice age

Twenty-thousand years ago, Earth is a wondrous, prehistoric world filled with great danger, not the least of which is the beginning of the Ice Age. To avoid a really bad frostbite, the planet’s majestic creatures – and a few small, slothful ones – begin migrating south . The story revolves around sub-zero heroes: a woolly mammoth, a saber-toothed tiger, a sloth and a prehistoric combination of a squirrel and rat that is known as Scrat.

Release Date
March 10, 2002

Rating
PG

Runtime
81 minutes

Watch on Disney+

6 Sid

Played by John Leguizamo

Sid sticking his face from a pool of water in Ice Age: The Meltdown
Image via Blue Sky Studios

While migrating with his family, Sid, the giant ground sloth, finds himself constantly being abandoned by them through increasingly complex methods. Eventually, he wakes up to find himself alone and stumbling from one bad situation into another. Fortunately, he also meets a lone mammoth named Manfred, and the two form the most unlikely of friendships.

Sid may be the most divisive character among the original Ice Age trio, thanks to his polarizing voice and the quality of his jokes, but there’s a lot of positive to balance this out. Sid is the most positive-thinking of the herd and always does his best to brighten the spirits of those in need. Later films also explored Sid’s desire for companionship after watching his friends find mates, which helps to make him feel more relatable.

5 Ellie

Played by Queen Latifah

Ellie the mammoth looking surprised Ice Age The Meltdown
Image via Blue Sky Studios

Separated from her family as a calf, Ellie grows up believing she is an opossum after growing up alongside a kind family. She eventually learns the truth after meeting Manny and joins his herd alongside her adopted brothers, Crash (Seann William Scott) and Eddie (Josh Peck). Ellie became the motherly voice of reason in the herd and had a daughter with Manny, Peaches.

Ellie was a wonderful addition to the cast in Ice Age: The Meltdown, thanks to the warmth she brings to the group and her evolution between films. She begins very playful and curious about the world, but after learning the truth about her origins, she matures and helps to balance out the more eccentric personalities around her. Queen Latifah’s stellar performance changes to reflect these changes, from young and wide-eyed to wise and calm.

Ice Age The Meltdown poster

Ice Age: The Meltdown

With global warming threatening their once-icy domain with widespread flooding, Manny (Ray Romano), Sid (John Leguizamo) and Diego (Denis Leary) set out to find a safe haven. Along the way, another mammoth (Queen Latifah), who thinks she is an opossum, joins the travelers on their perilous quest.

Release Date
March 29, 2006

Rating
PG

Runtime
83

Watch on Disney+

4 Diego

Played by Denis Leary

Diego the Smilodon looking concerned in Ice Age: The Meltdown
Image via Blue Sky Studios

Tasked with retrieving the infant son of the leader of a tribe of humans, Diego runs into trouble when Manny and Sid find the baby. Noticing that Sid wants to return the baby to his father, Diego offers to be their guide so that his pack can kill them as well. However, he develops a strong friendship with the herbivores and ultimately betrays his pack to join their herd.

Diego’s development goes through some interesting hurdles as the franchise goes on, from accepting and overcoming his fears and insecurities to finding a partner in a female Smilodon, Shira (Jennifer Lopez). His role in the herd is as a sort of second-in-command to Manny, often taking charge of situations when Manny can’t and serving as a confidant when he needs to talk. Diego also has a fun love-hate relationship with Sid: he finds most of his antics annoying but acknowledges and values his optimism.

3 Manny

Played by Ray Romano

Manny the mammoth looking unimpressed in Ice Age
Image via Blue Sky Studios

When human hunters kill his mate and child, Manny becomes closed off and antisocial, preferring to migrate in the opposite direction of everyone else. Through his interactions with Sid and Diego, he softens and becomes a natural leader for his new herd. In time, he starts a new family with Ellie, which comes with a series of new troubles that he might not be ready for.

Manny is easily the best of the main Ice Age trio, thanks to how well-executed and emotional his character development is. His story touches on themes of overcoming grief and loss to create a new future, which is a timeless message for young children and adults alike. Romano’s voicework is perfect for an everyman sort of character and excels whenever he’s given the chance to delve into Manny’s emotional state or frustration, often leading to good comedy. The Ice Age movies declined in quality as they went on, but Manny remained a highlight of the series.

2 Buck

Played by Simon Pegg

Buck the weasel smiling excitedly in the Ice Age franchise
Image via Blue Sky Studios

Many years ago, a weasel named Buck (Simon Pegg) stumbled into a subterranean world inhabited by dinosaurs and encountered an albino Baryonyx whom he named Rudy. Buck lost an eye in the encounter but fashioned a dagger from one of Rudy’s teeth. Since then, the two have been locked in a deadly rivalry that has kept Buck from rejoining the rest of the mammals on the surface.

Years of isolation and living in a hostile environment have caused Buck to lose his mind and develop many eccentric and crazy quirks. Simon Pegg’s famous comedic chops make Buck an instant scene-stealer, resulting in dozens of hilarious bits, from talking to a rock like it’s a cellphone to attempting to strangle his foot during a puppet show. Outside the comedy, Buck is still a skilled tracker and fighter who can hold his own against the strongest of dinosaurs.

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs poster

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

After Sid (John Leguizamo) pilfers some dinosaur eggs, Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and the rest of their prehistoric pals enter a mysterious, underground world to rescue the hapless sloth. During the course of their mission, the gang encounters many creatures great and small, including hungry carnivores and a relentless, dinosaur-hunting weasel named Buck.

Release Date
June 26, 2009

Cast
Eunice Cho , Karen Disher , Harrison Fahn , Maile Flanagan , Jason Fricchione , Bill Hader

Rating
PG

Runtime
112

Watch on Disney+

1 Scrat

Played by Chris Wedge

Scrat the squirrell holding his nut and looking back in Ice Age
Image via Blue Sky Studios

No matter where the herd travels, they always come across an accident-prone saber-toothed squirrel called Scrat (Chris Wedge). He only cares about finding a good place to bury his prized acorn, but his attempts always lead to cataclysmic events that drive the herd’s quest for survival. Meanwhile, Scrat continues to suffer for his beloved acorn, but no matter how many times he gets bashed, smashed, and crushed, he always gets up to look for a new hiding place.

Scrat is probably the funniest character in the Ice Age series, let alone all of Blue Sky’s films, and quickly became the company’s mascot. Though he never speaks, the animators do a phenomenal job of giving Scrat a lovable underdog personality and subjecting him to hilarious and creative forms of slapstick. Finally, Wedge finds the right mix of terror, pain, and anger to make Scrat’s screams and grunts sound as hilarious as his actions. Scrat stars in Blue Sky’s official farewell, a 30-second short where he finally gets to take a bite of the acorn. It speaks volumes that the studio’s final effort would star Scrat, a scene-stealing figure that became synonymous with the Ice Age franchise and Blue Sky Studios itself.

Ice Age: Collision Course poster

Ice Age: Collision Course

Manny the mammoth starts to worry when his daughter Peaches announces her engagement. Still unlucky in love, Sid the sloth volunteers to plan the couple’s wedding. To Manny’s dismay, nothing can stop the upcoming nuptials, except maybe the end of the world. When Scrat accidentally launches himself into outer space, he sets off a chain reaction that sends an asteroid hurtling toward Earth. Now, the entire herd must leave home to explore new lands and save itself from Scrat’s cosmic blunder.

Release Date
June 23, 2016

Director
Mike Thurmeier , Galen T. Chu

Rating
PG

Runtime
94

Watch on Disney+

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