Ice Age

Movie review by
Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
Ice Age Movie Poster Image
Clever, funny, touching; like a great road movie.
  • PG
  • 2002
  • 85 minutes
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 5+
Based on 27 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 42 reviews

We think this movie stands out for:

A lot or a little?

Parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Positive messages

Different species can bond and work together for a righteous cause. Members of a herd, even a herd with diverse species, must save and sacrifice for one another: “that’s what you do in a herd.” Through example, even a villain can learn respect and empathy for others. Themes include courage and teamwork.

Positive role models & representations

The heroic animals (a woolly mammoth and a sloth) are unselfish, resourceful, tenacious, and compassionate. The villainous animals (rhinos and tigers) are malevolent and corrupt.

Violence & scariness

Frequent animated action/violence: rhinos rampaging in several sequences; scary saber tooth tigers on the attack numerous times, their victims include a tribe of humans whom they stalk and assault, killing many. The tigers fight other animals and humans as well as each other. A human mother is seen desperately trying to save her baby from the tigers. After she gets him to safety, she disappears into the sea and is never seen again. There are several threatening avalanches; an erupting volcano with the lava that endangers the heroes; characters falling from cliffs or sliding down mountainsides; and one character is impaled on icicles. 

Sexy stuff

None

Language

A few humorous references to diapers and pooping.

Consumerism
Drinking, drugs & smoking

None

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that Ice Age is an animated feature aimed at young children that seems to have more than its share of scary scenes and frightening creatures. A mother drowns while trying to save her infant. Fang-toothed tigers are continually shown in close-up while on the attack. Murderous rhinos chase the earth’s most vulnerable beings. Nature’s calamities (avalanches, erupting volcanoes) are overpowering and threaten everything in their paths. Animals are depicted as killers simply for the sake of evil, rather than as a means of survival.The human tribes featured are powerless in the face of a dangerous natural world.

User Reviews

Parent of a 2 and 2 year old Written bypiper0137 November 2, 2009

definitely for ages 8 and up

After watching snippets of "Ice Age 3" on a flight back to L.A., we thought our girls might like the first "Ice Age," not realizing how much...
Parent of a 5, 8, and 10 year old Written byheckyeah September 18, 2010
need to be rated G because when there was giving the baby i was crying like a baby.
Teen, 15 years old Written byarthur16morgana January 14, 2011
okay i love this movie.sid is hilarious.and diego is awesome. and so is manny. but i just love the squirrel (forgot his name) but what i would do while watching...
Teen, 15 years old Written byHiddenWolf May 4, 2011
I love this movie and the saber toothed tiger Diego is my favorite character. I think parents are alittle to sensitive with kids movies anymore. One wrong move...

What's the story?

ICE AGE is a clever, funny, and touching story of an unlikely trio of animals who band together to return a human baby to his family. The story is set when glaciers covered much of the earth, 20,000 years ago. As all of the other animals migrate south in search of food, three characters are moving in the opposite direction. They are a wooly mammoth named Manny (voice of Ray Romano), a sloth named Sid (John Leguizamo), and a saber tooth tiger named Diego (Denis Leary). In classic road movie fashion, they don't like or trust each other very much at the beginning and the journey becomes a psychological one as they share experiences and confidences that make them see each other and themselves very differently.

Is it any good?

This movie is a solid choice for kids old enough to handle the cartoonish violence. It doesn't reach the level of Shrek for wit, there is no romance to keep the grown-ups happy, and the plot has no surprises. But it's told with terrific energy, imagination, visual invention, and humor and it moves along very quickly. Interestingly, the three lead voices are provided by performers who began as stand-up comics rather than actors. Their voices are edgy and distinctive, perfectly matched with their characters.

The computer animation in Ice Age is truly magnificent, from the majestic ice-covered mountains to the texture of the fur and feathers, the glint of the sun on ice, and soft sparkle of the snowflakes falling at night. The pristine settings convey a sense of vastness and promise that will make grown-up viewers pause to think about whether civilization has been all that civilized. All ages will enjoy the facial expressions, body language and -- I have to say it -- performances of the ice age mammals, so vivid and so true that you may forget that they are pixels, not people.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what Manny says about members of a herd being willing to risk their lives for each other in Ice Age. Why was it so important for Manny to return the baby, even though the humans had hunted his herd? How did that help to heal some of Manny's sadness?

  • Why did Diego change his mind about Manny? Why did Manny change his mind about Sid? Was it because of something Sid did or because of something Manny learned about himself, or both?

  • What is different about the way that Diego and Manny react to human attacks?

  • How do the characters in Ice Age demonstrate courage and teamwork? Why are these important character strengths?

Movie details

Character Strengths

See which skills this movie can help your kid develop.

Themes & Topics

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