Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, also known as Ice Age 3, is a 2009 3-D computer animated film. It is the third installment of the Ice Age series, produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. A sneak preview was shown in selected theaters on Father's Day in the United States. The film features the voices of Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg, and Chris Wedge. The story has Sid being taken by a female Tyrannosaurus rex after stealing her eggs, leading the rest of the protagonists to rescue him in a tropical lost world inhabited by dinosaurs beneath the ice. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, Dawn of the Dinosaurs became the third highest grossing animated film of all time with $886.7 million worldwide, behind only Toy Story 3 with $1.063 billion and Shrek 2 with $919.8 million.
Ellie (Queen Latifah) and Manny (Ray Romano) are expecting their first child, and Manny is obsessed with making life perfect and safe for the family, since his first experiences as a husband and father went bad when his family was killed by hunters. At the same time, Diego (Denis Leary) finds himself unable to catch a cocky gazelle (Bill Hader) he has been stalking and decides to leave the herd, believing that he is losing his predatory nature as a tiger. Sid (John Leguizamo) grows jealous of Manny and Ellie and "adopts" three apparently abandoned eggs that he finds in an icy underground cavern and call them Eggbert, Shelly, and Yoko. Manny tells him to put them back (saying Sid would never make a good parent, saying, "First sign: Stealing someone else's eggs. Second sign: One of them almost became a omelette"), but Sid instead looks after the eggs, which hatch into baby Tyrannosaurus the next morning.
Although Sid tries his best to raise the three dinosaurs, their rambunctious behavior scares away all the other animals' young and ruins a playground Manny built for Ellie's baby. A female Tyrannosaurus, Momma, whose eggs Sid stole, soon returns and carries both Sid and her young underground, with Diego in pursuit. Manny, Ellie, Crash, and Eddie (Seann William Scott, Josh Peck) follow as well and discover that the icy cavern leads to a vast jungle populated by dinosaurs thought to be extinct. Here, an Ankylosaurus threatens the herd despite Diego's efforts to fend it off; they are saved from a further crowd of angry reptiles by an insane, one-eyed weasel named Buckminster, or Buck (Simon Pegg).
Buck has been living in this jungle for some time and is chasing Rudy, a large albino Baryonyx, with the intention of avenging the loss of his right eye at Rudy's hands. He agrees to lead the herd through the jungle's perils to Lava Falls, where Momma has taken Sid and her babies. At one point, they have to cross the "Chasm of Death" which is filled with gas fumes (a mixture of helium and laughing gas, causing anyone who breathes in it to laugh uncontrollably while speaking in a high-pitched voice). Although the gas is not the actual cause of death, victims usually cannot stop laughing and thus die while trying to cross the chasm. Eventually the group manages to cross the chasm. In the meantime, Sid and Momma try to outdo each other in feeding the offspring; he loses this contest, but is soon welcomed into the family regardless. The next day, however, Sid is separated from the family and attacked by Rudy. Sid 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 Lava Falls, Ellie goes into labor and a Guanlong pack strikes, causing a rock slide that separates her from Manny and Diego. Manny doubles back to protect her and Diego fends off further attacks, while Buck takes Crash and Eddie ahead to rescue Sid. Just as he goes over the falls, the trio swoops in on a commandeered Pteranodon only to be chased by a flock of Quetzalcoatlus on the way and saves his life. Manny reaches Ellie, and there is suddenly a reaction, the cry of a newborn baby, then he sees that it is a girl. He wants to name her Ellie, or Little Ellie, but Ellie instead names her Peaches after the fruit (and the codeword they had chosen for Ellie to use if she went into labor during the trip). Sid is saddened at the fact that he never had a chance to say goodbye to "his" children as he returns to the herd and learns of Peaches' birth.
As they venture back to the tunnel, they are shocked to discover Rudy lurking inside of the entrance. Rudy exits the tunnel and attacks at full force; Buck lures Rudy away from the group and is nearly eaten himself, before Diego saves him at the last second. Manny, Sid, Diego, and Buck manage to ensnare Rudy and knock him unconscious, but as they begin to leave, Sid trips over one of the ropes and breaks it. Rudy quickly recovers and escapes, and is about to attack Sid when Momma arrives on the scene, charging at Rudy and knocking him off a cliff before roaring her victory. 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; he changes his mind and sends the herd home, blocking off the path to the underground jungle at the same time, so nobody else can go down there anymore. Manny and Ellie welcome Peaches into their frozen world and admit that Sid did a good job looking after Momma's children (though Manny tells Diego that he will never let Sid babysit Peaches). Diego decides to remain with the herd, while Buck stays where he wants to be: underground, battling it out with Rudy.
Scrat and Scratte
Like the previous Ice Age films, the film opens with the saber-toothed squirrel Scrat (Chris Wedge), who does everything he can to retrieve his precious acorn. This time, he falls in love with his female counterpart Scratte (Karen Disher), with the song "You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine" by Lou Rawls playing in the background, but an acorn appears instead after the music stops. The two fight over the acorn with Scratte is flung off the ground. As Scrat tries to save her, the two hold onto the acorn and the music starts back. Suddenly, she demonstrates her ability to glide like a flying squirrel, leaving Scrat falling to the ground. The two eventually fall in love after Scrat saves her from falling to her death in the lava river while she is unconscious. He even chooses to focus his attention on her instead of the acorn until the end of the film, when he tires of her finicky nature and reverts to his old ways. The ensuing fight between the couple leads to a volcanic explosion (caused by Scratte, due to slamming the acorn into the ground like Scrat had done before, though he tried to warn her of what would happen if she did) that hurls Scrat and the acorn back to the surface, leaving Scratte trapped underground. However, as Scrat is about to enjoy his acorn, a stray piece of ice falls on him and knocks the acorn back into Scratte's hands. He screams in frustration, having lost both his acorn and Scratte.
Cast overview, first billed only:
Eunice Cho ... Madison (Diatryma Girl) (voice)
Karen Disher ... Scratte (voice)
Harrison Fahn ... Glypto Boy (voice)
Maile Flanagan ... Aardvark Mom (voice)
Jason Fricchione ... Adult Molehog Male (voice)
Bill Hader ... Gazelle (voice)
Kelly Keaton ... Molehog Mom / Shovelmouth Mom (voice)
Joey King ... Beaver Girl (voice)
Queen Latifah ... Ellie (voice)
Denis Leary ... Diego (voice)
Allegra Leguizamo ... Aardvark Girl (voice)
John Leguizamo ... Sid (voice)
Lucas Leguizamo ... Aardvark Boy / Beaver Kid #2 (voice)
Clea Lewis ... Start Mom (voice)
Jane Lynch ... Diatryma Mom (voice)
Directed by Carlos Saldanha
Produced by Lori Forte
John C. Donkin
Written by Michael Berg