Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)


Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)

After the events of "Ice Age: The Meltdown", life begins to change for Manny and his friends: Scrat is still on the hunt to hold onto his beloved acorn, while finding a possible romance in a female sabre-toothed squirrel named Scratte. Manny and Ellie, having since become an item, are expecting a baby, which leaves Manny anxious to ensure that everything is perfect for when his baby arrives. Diego is fed up with being treated like a house-cat and ponders the notion that he is becoming too laid-back. Sid begins to wish for a family of his own, and so steals some dinosaur eggs which leads to Sid ending up in a strange underground world where his herd must rescue him, while dodging dinosaurs and facing danger left and right, and meeting up with a one-eyed weasel known as Buck who hunts dinosaurs intently.
IMDb   6.9 /10
Metacritic   50 %
TheMovieDb    6.7 /10
FilmAffinity   6.4 /10
Director Carlos Saldanha
Director Mike Thurmeier
Writer Michael Berg
Writer Peter Ackerman
Writer Mike Reiss
Writer Yoni Brenner
Writer Jason Carter Eaton
Writer Peter Gaulke
Release Date2009-06-26
Runtime1h 34mins
GenreAnimation, Adventure, Comedy, Family, Fantasy
Content RatingPG (PG)
Awards3 wins & 13 nominations.
CompanyTwentieth Century Fox Animation, Blue Sky Studios
CountryUSA, UK, Australia
Madison (Diatryma Girl) (voice)
Scratte (voice)
Glypto Boy (voice)
Aardvark Mom (voice)
Adult Molehog Male (voice)
Gazelle (voice)
Molehog Mom / Shovelmouth Mom (voice)
Beaver Girl (voice)
Ellie (voice)
Diego (voice)
Aardvark Girl (voice)
Aardvark Boy / Beaver Kid #2 (voice)
Start Mom (voice)
Diatryma Mom (voice)

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a 2009 American computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by Blue Sky Studios and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It is the third installment in the Ice Age series and the sequel to Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006). It was directed by Carlos Saldanha and co-directed by Mike Thurmeier. Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary and Chris Wedge reprise their roles from the first two films and Queen Latifah, Seann William Scott, and Josh Peck reprise their roles from The Meltdown, with Simon Pegg and Karen Disher joining them in the role of a weasel named Buck and a female sabretooth flying squirrel named Scratte respectively. The story has Sid the Sloth being taken by a female Tyrannosaurus after stealing her eggs, leading the rest of the herd to rescue him in a tropical lost world inhabited by dinosaurs beneath the ice.

The film was released on July 1, 2009, becoming the first Ice Age film and the first 20th Century Fox film to be released in 3-D. Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it was positively received by audiences and earned $886.7 million worldwide, making it the highest-grossing Ice Age film, the highest-grossing film from Blue Sky Studios overall, and the second-highest-grossing animated film at the time. Two sequels, Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course, were released in 2012 and 2016 respectively.


Some time after the events of the second film, Manny and Ellie are married and expecting their first child. Manny is determined to make life perfect and safe for both Ellie and the baby, as he doesn't want them to suffer the same fate as his previous family. At the same time, Diego debates whether he should leave the herd because he thinks that he's losing his edge and isn't meant for the family life. Sid begins to wish for a family of his own and takes three apparently abandoned eggs that he finds in an icy cave and calls them Egbert, Shelly, and Yoko. Manny tells him to put them back, but Sid ignores him and looks after the eggs, which hatch into baby Tyrannosaurus rex the next morning. Meanwhile, while looking for his beloved acorn, Scrat encounters a female flying sabertooth squirrel named Scratte, whom he falls in love with & battles with over his acorn when he finds she has it. The battle continues until they go though the ground and enter a lost world where they continue their fight.

Although Sid tries his best to raise the three dinosaurs, their rambunctious behavior scares away all the younger animals and ruins the playground Manny built for his child, angering Manny. Not long after, a female Tyrannosaurus rex, whose eggs Sid stole, returns and carries both Sid and her young underground, with Diego in pursuit. Manny, Ellie, Crash and Eddie follow as well and discover that the icy cave leads to a vast subterranean jungle populated by dinosaurs thought to be extinct. Here, an angry Ankylosaurus threatens The Herd despite Diego's efforts to fend it off. Then they are saved from a further crowd of angry reptiles by a deranged, quick-witted, one-eyed weasel named Buck.

Buck has been living in this jungle for quite some time and is fighting Rudy, a huge fearsome, ill-tempered and hostile albino Baryonyx and the assumed “alpha dino”, intending to avenge the eye he lost to it. He agrees to lead The Herd through the jungle's perils to Lava Falls, where the dinosaur has taken Sid and her babies. In the meantime, Sid and the mother T-Rex try to outdo each other in feeding the offspring; he loses this contest but is welcomed into the family regardless. The next day, however, Sid is separated from the family and attacked by Rudy. Sid is knocked onto a loose rock slab that is floating on a river of lava and about to plummet over the falls.

As The Herd moves toward Lava Falls, Ellie suddenly goes into labor and a Guanlong pack strikes, causing a rock slide that separates her from Manny and Diego. While Manny makes his way up to her, Diego assists in the delivery and fends off further attacks. Meanwhile, Buck takes Crash and Eddie to rescue Sid. Just as he goes over the falls, the trio swoops in on a commandeered Harpactognathus only to be chased by a flock of Pterodactylus on the way and saves his life. Manny reaches Ellie just in time to hear the cry of a newborn baby girl. Manny initially wants to name the baby “Ellie” after her mother but Ellie suggests the name Peaches after the fruit and the code name she and Manny agreed to use to signal when the baby is coming. Sid is saddened at the fact that he never had a chance to say goodbye to "his" children as he returns to The Herd and learns of Peaches' birth.

Before they can leave the jungle, they are ambushed by Rudy, who begins to attack them at full force. Working together Manny, Sid, Diego, and Buck manage to trap Rudy by ensnaring him in vines. However, he quickly breaks free and resumes his onslaught. The Herd is saved by the timely arrival of the mother T-Rex, who charges at Rudy and knocks him off a cliff. As she and her children wish Sid well, Buck, now without a purpose in life since Rudy is gone, decides to join The Herd and live on the surface. However, a distant roar tells him that Rudy is still alive. Because of this he changes his mind and sends The Herd home, blocking off the path to the underground jungle at the same time. Manny and Ellie welcome Peaches into their frozen world and Manny admits to Sid that he did a good job looking after the dino children. Diego decides to remain with The Herd, while Buck stays underground, happily battling it out with Rudy and riding him (much to Rudy's chagrin).

Meanwhile, Scrat and Scratte, who have fallen in love with one another after Scrat saved her from falling into lava, decide to live in the jungle together. Unfortunately, Scrat's greed for his precious acorn overcomes his newfound romance with Scratte, and he ultimately chooses the acorn over her (along with getting tired of her bossy ways). The two battle once more for the acorn, which results Scrat being accidentally launched back to the surface while Scratte remains behind in the dinosaur world. Scrat taunts her about the acorn, but once again loses it after a large piece of ice knocks it out of his hands back into the jungle and out of his reach. Having lost both the acorn and Scratte, Scrat screams in frustration.


  • Ray Romano as Manny, a woolly mammoth and the leader of The Herd. He is also Ellie's husband and Peaches' father.
  • John Leguizamo as Sid, a giant ground sloth and the founder of The Herd. He is also the adoptive father of the three baby dinos.
  • Denis Leary as Diego, a saber-toothed tiger and a member of The Herd.
  • Simon Pegg as Buck, a one-eyed weasel and a dinosaur hunter who joins The Herd.
  • Queen Latifah as Ellie, a female woolly mammoth, Manny's wife, Peaches' mother and Crash and Eddie's foster sister.
  • Seann William Scott as Crash, an opossum, Eddie's biological brother and Ellie's foster brother.
  • Josh Peck as Eddie, an opossum, Crash's biological brother and Ellie's foster brother.
  • Chris Wedge as Scrat, a saber-toothed squirrel.
  • Karen Disher as Scratte, a female saber-toothed squirrel and Scrat's love interest.
  • Frank Welker as Momma and Rudy
  • Bill Hader as Gazelle
  • Joey King as Beaver Girl
  • Jane Lynch as Diatryma Mom
  • Kristen Wiig as Pudgy Beaver Mom
  • Carlos Saldanha as Dinosaur Babies / Flightless Bird
  • Eunice Cho as Madison (Diatryma Girl)
  • Maile Flanagan as Aardvark Mom
  • Christian Pikes as Little Johnny, an aardvark
  • Clea Lewis as Start Mom
  • Devika Parikh (additional voices)


Blue Sky decided to do "more of a what-if adventure" in the third Ice Age installment, titled Ice Age: A New Beginning, "like finding the giant ape in King Kong or a Shangri-la in the middle of snow," and added the dinosaurs to the story. Character designer Peter de Sève welcomed the new plot addition, since he could not think of any other giant mammal to put into the story. The "lost world" approach led to colorful dinosaurs, because "the dinosaurs didn't have to be just brown, and you can take liberties because no one knows what color they were", according to de Sève. Rudy's design was inspired by the Baryonyx because of his crocodile-like look, which de Sève considered even more menacing than the T. rex.


Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs held special screenings on Father's Day, June 21, 2009, in 330 theatres across the United States, exclusively in 3-D. That day was chosen due to the film featuring a theme of fatherhood. Widely, it was released on July 1, 2009.

The film was released in RealD 3D where available. This sparked some controversy when Fox announced that it would no longer pay to supply 3-D glasses to theaters, leading to a number of exhibitors threatening to show the film in only standard 2-D projection.

Home media

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was released on high-definition Blu-ray Disc and standard DVD in North America on October 27, 2009. Two versions of the DVD were released: a single-disc DVD, and a "Scrat Pack" double DVD pack with three Scrat games. The 3-disc Blu-ray combo pack included a Blu-ray, the single-disc DVD, and a Digital Copy, as well as an Ice Age digital story-book maker, commentary by director Carlos Saldanha, deleted scenes, making-of featurettes, the two Scrat shorts: Gone Nutty and No Time for Nuts (that each originally came on home video for both the first and second films), and a how-to-draw Scrat tutorial with the filmmakers.

A Blu-ray 3D version of the film was exclusively available with purchase of select Panasonic's television sets between May 16 and July 10, 2010, and was widely released on August 30, 2010. On September 21, 2010, a 3-D DVD was released as a two-disc set, with the first disc being the TrioScopics 3-D (green-magenta anaglyph) version and the second disc being the 2D version.


Box office

The film earned $196,573,705 in North America and $690,113,112 in other territories, which gives it a worldwide gross of $886,686,817 against a budget of $90 million. Worldwide, it is the third-highest-grossing film of 2009, the highest-grossing animated film of 2009, the highest-grossing Ice Age film, the 14th-highest-grossing animated film of all time. It is also the highest-grossing animated film of 2009 worldwide. The film grossed $218.4 million during the opening weekend, and was the highest-grossing opening for an animated film.

North America

The film made $13,791,157 on its opening day in 4,099 theaters. It reached $41,690,382 on its first weekend, putting it at number 2 behind Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, marking the lowest-grossing first weekend for the franchise, although it had a Wednesday release and therefore burned off attendance until the weekend. The film became 20th Century Fox's third-largest 2009 release in North America behind Avatar and Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. It is the third-highest-grossing animated feature of 2009. It heavily out-grossed its predecessor, Ice Age: The Meltdown which earned $195,330,621 three years before, to become the highest-grossing movie in the franchise, but it was behind the two first Ice Age movies in estimated attendance.

Other territories

On its opening weekend it earned $151.7 million, which is the biggest opening for an animated feature. Its highest-grossing market after North America was Germany ($82.2 million), followed by France and the Maghreb region ($69.2 million), and the UK, Ireland and Malta ($56.9 million). It was the highest-grossing animated film of the year in all major countries, except Spain and Australia.

Critical response

On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 46% based on 162 reviews and an average rating of 5.41/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs boasts some excellent animation -- in particular, the dinosaurs are wonderfully realized -- but its story is tired and monotonous." On Metacritic, the film has a score of 50 out of 100 based on 25 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews". Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A−" on an A+ to F scale.

Roger Ebert gave the film three and a half stars out of four claiming that "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the best of the three films about our friends in the inter-species herd of plucky prehistoric heroes. And it involves some of the best use of 3-D I've seen in an animated feature." Keith Phipps of The A.V. Club graded the film a C+ claiming the sequel "throws its commitment to the era away with movie number three, a ploy sure to anger Ice Age purists everywhere." Carrie Rickey of The Philadelphia Inquirer enjoyed the "film's animation art is Seuss-imaginative", but panned "the flatness of the story and indifferent voicework all the more obvious."


The film was nominated in two categories at the 8th Visual Effects Society Awards, for "Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture" and "Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture."

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs - The 4-D Experience is a 14-minute 4-D film shown at various 4-D theaters over the world. It retells the condensed story of Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs with the help of 3-D projection and sensory effects, including moving seats, wind, mist, snow and scents. Produced by SimEx-Iwerks, The 4-D Experience premiered in May 2012, at the San Diego Zoo 4-D Theater. Since June 2012, it is being shown at the Roxy Theatre, at the Warner Bros. Movie World in Australia, and since July 2012, at the Shedd Aquarium's Phelps Auditorium in Chicago.

Video game

A video game tie-in was released on June 30, 2009, for Xbox 360, Nintendo Wii, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 2, Nintendo DS, and Windows. Published by Activision, Eurocom developed the console and PC versions, while Artificial Mind & Movement developed the Nintendo DS version. The game allows players to play as one of the film's characters, discovering the underground world of dinosaurs and solving puzzles through more than 15 levels.


The fourth film, Ice Age: Continental Drift, was released in 3D on July 13, 2012. It was directed by Steve Martino and Mike Thurmeier—the first time without Carlos Saldanha. The film takes place a few years after the events of the third film, with Peaches in her teenage years. Scrat's never-ending pursuit of acorns has world-changing consequences, separating Manny, Sid and Diego from the rest, forcing them to stand up to a pirate gang, led by Captain Gutt.

The fifth film, Ice Age: Collision Course, was released in 3D on July 22, 2016.