Staff Pick

Ice Age Wisdom to Keep You Ahead of the Pack

By Allie Waxman

What happens when a woolly mammoth, a sloth and a saber-toothed tiger find a baby and travel through the tundra? A lot of goofy antics. Even though Ice Age takes place 2.4 million years ago in a land before time, the popular kids’ movie raises some important points about friendship, survival and doing the right thing. Here are some life lessons the film teaches in its own quirky way.


  1. 1

    It takes teamwork to survive.

    When Manny the Woolly Mammoth first encounters “furry piñata,” Sid the Sloth, he resists Sid’s insistence they migrate together, only changing his mind after the pair discovers a human baby at risk of threatened by Diego, the saber-toothed tiger. Needing Diego’s tracking skills to find the baby’s tribe, the unlikely trio realize they’re stronger together — each contributing his own unique set of instincts and skills to survive.

  2. 2

    It’s never too late to do the right thing.

    What’s the scariest predator in the pre-history? A saber tooth tiger. When Diego enters the scene, he is immediately made out to be the villain of the film. But after getting to know Sid and Manny, Diego has a change of heart and realizes he’ll get more nourishment from their friendship. The lesson is anchored by Manny, who shares this wisdom after rescuing Diego, “That’s what you do in a herd. You look out for each other.”

  3. 3

    Even the smallest creatures can make an impact.

    Scrat, the prehistoric squirrel, only has a small role in the animated feature, but his dedication to his acorn seemingly sets off the series of events for each of the five Ice Age films. The persistent little guy catalyzes one environmental disaster after the next, but never takes his eye off the prize. Get it, Scrat.