Home > Free Essays > Art > Films Comparison > Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film

Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film Essay

Exclusively available on IvyPanda Available only on IvyPanda
Updated: Nov 18th, 2021

Introduction

Ice age was a movie released in 2002 by 20th Century Fox and created by Blue Sky Studios. This is computer-animated movie and the story is about animals fighting off an ice age to save their lives. In the process of trying to survive the ice age three animals chanced upon a human baby and decided that they should return the child to its parents (Ebert, 295). Although it is an animated movie, it was obvious that the creators of the said film tried their best to paint a realistic picture of what an ice age looks like and its environmental impact on all living creatures. In this study the approach will be contrasting the realistic and unrealistic components of the film by describing pertinent information regarding ice ages.

Overview

The movie was set at a time when a significant portion of the earth’s landmass was covered in ice. The “Ice Age” can be described as the reverse of global warming. In this century global warming is known as the significant increase in the temperatures of the earth. The common consequences are melting icebergs, erratic weather, warm temperatures, and once lush forests turned into wasteland. In the said movie the dominant theme was ice and by simply watching the opening scenes the audience can almost taste the cold.

The landscape was white. There were a few patches of green left but this was expertly used to provide contrasts. In one scene Sid the sloth was sleeping in probably the last remaining tree and the vegetation all around him was dying due to the extreme cold. In another scene that also involves Sid the sloth, two adult rhinoceros were salivating over what will probably their last meal, a dandelion flower. Sid absentmindedly stepped over this flower and provided not only comic relief but also the crushing feeling that the things that were taken for granted in the past are now considered as very precious and that living things are fighting over the last remaining morsels of food.

There is therefore the need to migrate to where there is warmer climate. Animal instincts prompted all but a few animals to migrate southward. According to one commentator this part of the movie is similar to what present day Americans would do during winter months and it is to travel to Florida to enjoy some sun. But in this case the animals were not merely traveling for relaxation purposes, it was a matter of life and death that they should find a suitable habitat soon before their kind gets exterminated by the cold.

It is therefore hard to understand why Manny the wooly mammoth decided to move in the opposite direction and travel northward. On the other hand, it is easier to understand why the sloth tagged along for protection and free transportation. Going back to the mammoth’s decision to swim against the tide, there can be two possible explanations. Firstly, the director wanted to explain why wooly Mammoths and saber-toothed tigers did not survive the ice age that engulfed the Northern hemisphere. By traveling north and ignoring the signs of the times, the mammoth and the saber-toothed tiger were doomed.

Secondly, the director wanted to isolate the traveling party from all the rest of the animal kingdom in order to highlight the effects of the ice age. It would have been difficult to focus on the development of the main characters of the movie if there were so many animals interacting with them. The bare surroundings provided the backdrop so that their characters can shine. This was made clear when the traveling party chanced upon a human baby. One has to understand that when they discovered the baby there was already a complex food chain that existed between these animals. The sloth in desperation can eat the baby, the saber-toothed tiger can choose between baby, sloth and mammoth; while the mammoth in extreme hunger may be forced to eat all of them. But in the end they decided to work together and do a noble deed to return the baby even if they can die from that attempt.

Scientific Basis

The word “pre-historic” can be a major problem for a filmmaker if he or she is tasked in creating a movie based on actual events. When one says “pre-historic” it means that there are no documents or even any artifact that can be used to substantiate with regards to the veracity of conclusions made regarding the said time period. In other words these things happened a very long time ago that records do not exist and it is difficult to be certain when it comes to specific information (Macdougall, 142). For instance, it is common knowledge that saber-toothed tigers exists based on fossil records but there are no scientific papers available to learn more about the anatomy and behavior of these extinct creatures.

In the said animated movie the director is not only dealing with pre-historic events but also about a natural phenomenon that spans thousands of years or if scientists are to be believed even millions of years. It is easy to understand that in a span of 100 years there are so many changes that can occur so one only has to imagine the changes that could occur in ten thousand years. One can be easily overwhelmed by the amount of data that needed to be processed, especially for a filmmaker who needed only to tell a focused story. Since scientists only have fossils and geological formations as sources of information, much of the interpretation of what really happened on ice ages is based on scientific guesswork and estimates. In fact, scientists are not in agreement when it comes to the timeline of ice ages.

While there is little agreement as to the specific details surrounding ice ages at least scientists agree that there are at least four major reasons why there was a time when large ice sheets covered a major part of the Northern Hemisphere and these are listed as follows (Illinois State Museum, par.1):

  • Changing continental positions;
  • Uplift of continental blocks;
  • Reduction of Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere; and
  • Changes in the Earth’s orbit.

These factors ultimately led to period of long and generally cool periods during which continent-size glaciers advanced and retreated (Illinois State Museum, par. 2). The presence of large mass in high latitudes such as in North America is a prerequisite because large glaciers could not significantly form in oceans, it needed some sort of anchor. The uplift of large continental blocks due to plate movements can cause changes in global atmospheric circulation patterns and this is another major factor for ice ages to occur. But the reduced amount of carbon dioxide is one interesting factor because it is the same substance blamed for global warming.

Depiction in the Movie

The title of the movie is Ice Age because a significant amount of ice sheets began to cover the Northern Hemisphere. But based on scientific discussions on this subject this title is misleading because, “The Great Ice Age was not the first time that the Earth has been covered by extensive ice sheets: they also developed several times during the Pre-Cambrian, and during the Ordovician and Permian-Carboniferous” (Wilson, Drury, & Chapman, 3). Needless to say the director did not bother specifying the exact time period for the setting of the story for it would be impossible to do so.

Based on the preceding discussion the Ice Age is a period of earth’s history that is very difficult to study. It is therefore a good thing that a movie producer decided to make this film. As mentioned earlier it is extremely difficult to study the evidence left behind when it comes to teaching about the subject matter it is hard to do it without the aid of visual aids or even an artifact from that time period. There is a good reason why they use the term “pre-historic” to define this era.

The movie is therefore helpful in illustrating what it was like to live in the Ice Age. The opening scene where animals were migrating was a fairly accurate depiction because scientists discovered the remains of animals that lived in both Northern and Southern Hemisphere. The scene where the animals battled with ice glaciers was also fairly accurate because there were significant movements and changes of the ice structures during that time. The only problem with the movie can be the timeline. The presence of extinct creatures together with non-extinct creatures like the sloth and rhinoceros must be explored much further.

Conclusion

The producers of the movie tried their best to paint an accurate picture of the Ice Age. To some extent they succeeded because the viewers were able to get a glimpse of what it was like to live during that time period. The setting, especially the dominant theme of ice and barrenness can make the movie experience a chilling one. This strengthened the message as to why the animals needed to migrate. The transformation of the landscape from what could be easily imagined as lush forest teeming with vegetation and animal life into a snow covered land was seen in the movie. The struggle of the animals as they tried to fight for the last remaining morsels of food was also well illustrated in the movie. Still, there are lapses in the presentation because after all this is not a purely scientific endeavor but its main goal is to entertain the whole family.

Works Cited

Ebert, Robert. Roger Ebert’s Movie Yearbook 2004. Missouri: Andrews McMeel Publishing, 2003.

Illinois State Museum. “Ice Age.” 2009. Web.

Macdougall, J.D. Frozen Earth: The Once and Future Story of Ice Ages. CA: University of California Press, 2004.

Wilson, R., S.A. Drury, & J.L. Chapman. The Great Ice Age: Climate Change and Life. New York: Routledge, 2000.

This essay on Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film was written and submitted by your fellow student. You are free to use it for research and reference purposes in order to write your own paper; however, you must cite it accordingly.
Removal Request
If you are the copyright owner of this paper and no longer wish to have your work published on IvyPanda.
Request the removal

Need a custom Essay sample written from scratch by
professional specifically for you?

801 certified writers online

Cite This paper
Select a referencing style:

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, November 18). Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ice-ages-and-ice-age-the-movie/

Reference

IvyPanda. (2021, November 18). Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film. Retrieved from https://ivypanda.com/essays/ice-ages-and-ice-age-the-movie/

Work Cited

"Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film." IvyPanda, 18 Nov. 2021, ivypanda.com/essays/ice-ages-and-ice-age-the-movie/.

1. IvyPanda. "Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film." November 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ice-ages-and-ice-age-the-movie/.


Bibliography


IvyPanda. "Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film." November 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ice-ages-and-ice-age-the-movie/.

References

IvyPanda. 2021. "Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film." November 18, 2021. https://ivypanda.com/essays/ice-ages-and-ice-age-the-movie/.

References

IvyPanda. (2021) 'Ice Ages and Ice Age the Movie: The Realistic and Unrealistic Components of the Film'. 18 November.

Powered by CiteTotal, online essay bibliography maker
More related papers