17 years ago on this day, Ice Age was released to theaters, and while it was a great little movie in its own right, it was its running gag character who became the breakout star. That would be Scrat, the prehistoric squirrel doomed to keep trying–and trying, and trying, and TRYING–to bury his acorn, only to be foiled miserably, painfully and hilariously over and over again.
Amazingly, Scrat was originally only going to appear in the film’s opening sequence and then immediately get killed when he got stepped on by one of the main characters. Test screenings found that audiences found the gag overly mean-spirited, and Scrat was thankfully allowed to live, even though his life has been predestined by some sick-minded higher power to be nothing but failure for all eternity.
I say “eternity” because Scrat may very well be immortal. Despite very briefly ending up in heaven. Scrat has survived being struck by lightning, being trampled over, avalanches, floods, dinosaurs, piranha attacks, and a time machine adventure in which he accidentally encountered the Titanic. In other words, he’s pretty much the closest thing we have to a modern day Looney Tunes character.
So, hang in there, Scrat! You are half of my namesake, and I salute you!
Have a nutty night, Avocados!