Making the Grades
It's a big, cold world out there and everyone needs a friend -- even if they don't know it. Manfred (voice by Ray Romano) is an ill-tempered wooly mammoth dealing with issues from his past. While the rest of the animal kingdom is moving south, Manny is heading north -- away from everybody and everything.
But his solitude is interrupted when he runs into Sid (John Leguizamo). The chatty, slow-moving sloth missed his morning wake-up call and has been left behind in the family tree. After ruining dinner for a couple of testy rhinos, Sid is more than happy to tag along with the really large mammal. To make matters worse, the improbable pair soon stumbles upon a little, lost human. Determined to return the infant to its "herd" before winter sets in, the hairy herbivores accept a questionable offer from Diego (Denis Leary), a smooth-talking saber-tooth tiger who promises to help find the toddler's parents. However, the crafty carnivore has some dangerous detours planned for the prehistoric do-gooders and their tasty little trust.
While the theory of evolution may still be under debate, this film along with several other recent releases proves that animation has progressed to a whole new epoch. With the help of computer generation, artists have created fantasy worlds in movies like Shrek, Monsters Inc., and Dinosaur. Still, Ice Age animators are quick to note that not all the magic happens inside the mainframe. Using some traditional methods before moving to the processor, these artists bring characters to life with this specialized art form. Visitors to the movie's official website [www.iceagemovie.com] can watch it all happen.
However, Ice Age is more than technical wizardry. Aided by a passel of gifted actors who lend their voices, the characters face age-old problems like the loss of loved ones, peer rejection, and what to have for dinner. While scenes of cartoon violence may push the comfort level (especially for young children), the lumbering mammoth and his sluggish pal will likely entertain older siblings with lessons on friendship, cooperation and trust.
Discussion Ideas After The Movie
Teaching ideas and topics to discuss about Ice Age.
Many animals live in herds, packs or other groups. What are the benefits of this arrangement? Does this work-together principle work for humans too?
During the Ice Age many animals became extinct because they were unable to adapt to changes. As humans, how do we adapt to our physical surroundings? What things can we do to meet other challenges like social and family change?
For more information on the sloth, mammoth, and saber-tooth tiger, check out the Discovery Channel website.