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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

PG for mild humor and peril

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The Story

Seeking a family to call his own, Sid the Sloth (voiced by John Leguizamo) becomes a “mom” after the three large eggs he finds hatch, giving birth to baby T-Rex dinosaurs. Angry, the real mom shows up to claim her kids and hauls Sid off with them to a tropical lost world under the ice.

Sid’s “herd”—Manny the mammoth (Ray Romano), his pregnant mate Ellie (Queen Latifah), sabertooth tiger Diego (Denis Leary), and Ellie’s two possum “brothers”—head deep into the underground jungle to rescue him. They are quickly joined by Buck (Simon Pegg), an adventuring weasel driven mad by his isolation and an obsession with a great white dinosaur/dragon known as Rudy.

Armed with a tooth from the beast, the one-eyed Buck guides and protects the group from killer plants and dangerous dino’s. As they close in on Sid—who has made peace with the T-Rex mama—Ellie closes in on giving birth to Manny’s baby at the worst possible moment of their adventure.

Content Issues

The PG rating comes with a little potty humor and a few, mildly crude over-the-kid’s-heads jokes. The film does include life-threatening peril for all involved, though everyone survives. Some of the action might be a little too scary for the youngest kids, judging by the one that kept crying and had to be taken out of the screening I saw.

Worldview Talking Points

Kids who have seen the first two “Ice Age” films might be eager to catch up with Manny and the gang—or they may have grown out of the target demo. The strangely titled “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” is getting less love from secular critics than those films, but the franchise continues to offer silly and diverting family fun without an avalanche of potty jokes or preachy political messages.

It would have been natural for the “Ice Age” movies to camp on worldview issues involving global warming and evolution. But all three films mostly skirt those topics to focus instead on what it really means to be a “herd.”

The impending arrival of Manny’s and Ellie’s baby briefly threatens the security of their extended “family.” Diego considers becoming a loner in hopes of recapturing some adventure in his life. Sid seeks out children of his own. But in the end, the tight-knit group reestablish their commitment to each other as being more valuable than simple friendship.

We hope a few of the following questions help to promote some helpful conversation with your kids if you see the movie.

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