Ice Age opened on this day twenty years ago. It’s a wonderful film with beautiful animation, great comedy, and poignant storytelling. It was the first movie from Blue Sky Studios, and at the time had the best opening weekend ever for an animated feature not produced by Disney or Pixar.
The breakout character, of course, was Scrat…and his name isn’t even mentioned in the movie! As a fun little bit of trivia, Scrat was originally only going to be used for the film’s opening sequence, and then (as a dark joke) get killed by a stomping foot. But early test audiences absolutely loved him and were sad to see him die, so he evolved into a running gag. And the rest, as they say, is prehistory.
I can recall going to Ice Age in theaters. It was a Wednesday afternoon (the 20th of March) and there were a lot of kids there for a weekday because it was apparently a school field trip of some sort. The entire audience, myself included, erupted at Scrat’s antics. I’m not sure when in my life up until that point I had ever laughed at the cinema that hard. The worse Scrat’s situation gets, the louder he screams, and the louder he screams, the funnier it gets. To this day I still hate myself for giving Ice Age a lukewarm review in my local paper (because it “wasn’t as good as what Pixar was doing,” fuck me for trying to be like a “critic”). I love this film and it was one of my favorites as a teenager. It was also, along with Return to Never Land, one of the films from that year that really made me cry.
Ice Age also has a pretty great score by David Newman, with an awesome, bouncy theme which sadly wasn’t used in any of the film’s sequels for whatever reason…
As an aside, Scrat is currently owned by Disney. Don’t ask me why I felt the need to point that out. I just feel the need to point out that they DO have the rights to him. No idea why I’m doing that.
AND, as another fun bit of trivia, when it premiered in theaters, Ice Age was the only place you could watch the final Attack of the Clones trailer…
Have a NUTTY day, Avocados!