Ice Age: Dawn of the DinosaursPost to Twitter
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.
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.
- Did you like “Dawn of the Dinosaurs”? Which of the “Ice Age” movies is your favorite? Who is your favorite character?
- Would you ever want to go to a world full of dinosaurs, like the underground jungle in this movie? Would you be excited to see dinosaurs alive and walking around? Or would that be too scary?
- Why do you think the movie was called “Dawn of the Dinosaurs” if it is set after most of the dinosaurs have died off? [Parent: Maybe your kids will know, because we don’t get it.]
- At the start of the movie, Diego and Sid have a hard time figuring out if they still belong with Manny now that he has a baby coming. Do you know anyone who has ever felt kind of left out because of a new baby?
- How can adding another child change the way a family fits together? How can it make things better? How can it make things more challenging?
- How about with our family? Have you noticed changes in how we all fit together over the years? Does change always have to be a bad thing?
- Would you say we have some people in our “herd” that are not flesh-and-blood relatives? How important do you think it is to have people that belong together as a kind of family even though they’re not actually related ?
- The Bible says the family of God is supposed to work that way—all kinds of different people coming together because they are all Christians. Do you think of our church as family (or a herd)? [Parent: See Colossians 3:11.]
- Buck is totally obsessed with hunting the monster Rudy, his great enemy. But when he thinks Rudy is gone, Buck gets kind of sad. Why do you think that is?
- Do you think you—or we—ever get obsessed with things we don’t necessarily like but can’t quit talking or thinking about? Are those kinds of obsessions healthy or dangerous—or does it depend on what you’re obsessed with?
- Are there some things we should spend less time thinking or talking about in our lives to keep them from controlling us? [Parent: See 1 Corinthians 6:12.]
- Are you looking forward to getting married and having kids? Or would you rather have a lot of adventures on your own before you worry about that?