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Thursday, July 9, 2009

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaur - A Review

I took my niece to see this film in 3D earlier this week. It was fun and that’s about all it was.

This franchise has come a long way since the first movie which featured Manny the Mammoth, Sid the Sloth and Diago the Saber Tooth Tiger in their quest to reunite a human child with its “herd” and in the process the unlikely trio become a herd of their own kind. So already we see that this series is about multiculturalism!

Two movies later (and I confess, slap me on the hand, I am yet to see part two) we find Manny and his Mrs Mammoth expecting a baby. Diago is getting cold feet about becoming an “uncle” and Sid is feeling a bit pushed out of the “Herd” as the baby cometh.

The catalyst is clear when Sid discovers, in an ice cave, three great big eggs which he decides to adopt as his own and, you guessed it, the eggs are of the T-Rex variety which leads to a whole lot of trouble when the baby T’s tear apart Manny’s baby nursery, eating a few innocent prehistoric toddlers and regurgitating them along the way!

When Momma Rex comes to the surface in search of her sharp mouthed babies, Sid is dragged off into a Lost World under the ice and this time it’s Manny, Mrs Manny, Diago and two possums who go in search of Sid in a land where suddenly Manny isn’t the biggest thing in the world anymore!

This film is mostly a harmless bit of fun but a few words of warning…

Maybe it’s the conspiracy theorist in me but apart from the endorsement for multiculturalism there seems to be a recurring theme of accepting new “norms”… such as the idea that a Man can have a baby, which has been achieved in recent times by unorthodox means. When I first read that a medically transgendered individual had given birth to a child my gut response was “Ew, gross” because, lets face it, its not exactly normal. However this film subtly encourages the idea that its perfectly normal using scenes like one in which Sid is hugging the eggs and his shadow cast on the wall shows him patting a pregnant belly.

I would be nuts to suggest such a concept if this was isolated, but it isn’t! Films like Shrek the Third (and previous Shreks) are doing this sort of Social Engineering all the time, incorporating Men dressed as women and a Pinocchio who wears a thong. It pays to be aware that although these are great fun to watch, these movies are ever so subtly undermining your child’s perception of what is normal and acceptable.

There is also the Scrat the Saber Toothed Squirral sub-sub-plot which has underlined every Ice Age flick to date. A plot that generally has little to nothing to do with the main story but is clearly filler material! This time Scrat’s main focus is not only retrieving The Acorn but also keeping it from a new nemesis – a female squirrel! Don’t read the rest of this paragraph if you don’t want to know what happens next, but you probably figured out already that they fall in love and Scrat temporarily forgets about the acorn in pursuit of his new found romance until his new mate turns out to be the one who wears the pants in the relationship (or in this case a tail). He finds himself yearning for the days when it was just him and his precious Acorn, so as soon as he gets the chance he climbs out the window and leaves her… cute? Yes. Correct? No!! This also serves to undermine marriage, enforcing the idea that once you settle down, your wife becomes a nag and you become her slave – a common theme in an untold amount of films! This suggests the only way to find happiness in an unhappy relationship is to leave… what do you suppose this does to the children of divorcees, on a subconscious level, who are viewing these sorts of films?

There was one last thing that stuck out (and this time maybe I am being too sensitive) but as the party explore the Brave lost World below, they are guided by a one eyed weasel who, as he tells the story of how he narrowly escaped the clutches of the carnivore that took out his eye he knocked out one of the brutes teeth which he now brandishes proudly as a shiny enamel plated sword – justifying it with “Its like that old saying, ‘An eye for an eye, a tooth for a butt, a butt for a… well, its just a saying, a stupid saying actually’” (non-verbatim by the way)- Citing Exodus 21:24. It just didn’t sit right with me because it is not a stupid saying… it is the corner stone of God’s justice system which he proclaimed to the Israelites and without which our modern courts are left with arbitrary standards by which to base our laws…

Too far?


I’m not saying "This film is of the Devil, don’t let your kids see it!” I grew up in the 80’s where everything was of the Devil and I could get possessed by playing with a Cabbage Patch Kid! But I am encouraging you, at the very least, to keep these things at the back of your mind so you can equip your children with some balance after you take them to see it… just don’t make the mistake I did and take your three year old niece to a 3D movie without first checking whether the glasses will fit her or no! The poor thing had to sit there holding them to her face for the entire 93 minutes!

So, just because it was no where near as good as the first movie, I give it a 5 out of ten for both entertainment and plot!


  1. Nice. Also the idea that just deciding to be a parent on your own when you haven't met anyone yet is cool (unless you are stupid and irresponsible like Sid..)

    And Manny being told that even if he was a slack husband or partner for bringing his pregnant spouse into a dangerous situation, this didn't matter so much because it meant he was an awesome and fantastic friend!

  2. Excellent points!

    Isn't it funny though that we have both managed to address these social concerns without once pointing out the elephant in the room - that this movie also promotes Evolutioary thinking!

    Thanks for reading :)


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