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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Ice Age Dawn of the Dinosaurs Poster
Film Information
Director Carlos Saldanha
Michael Thurmeier
Producer Lori Forte
John C. Donkin
'Chris Wedge (executive)
Writer Screenplay:
Michael Berg
Peter Ackerman
Mike Reiss
Yoni Brenner
Jason Carter Eaton
Music John Powell
Release Date July 1, 2009
Run Time 93 minutes
Country United States
Language English
Budget $90 million
Gross $886,686,817
Rating PG
Preceded By Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
Followed By Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (also called Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs or simply known as Ice Age 3) is an American 2009 computer-animated comedy adventure film and the third installment in the Ice Age franchise. It was produced by Blue Sky Studios and released by 20th Century Fox.

It was released on July 1, 2009 with a sneak preview shown nationwide at selected theaters on Father's Day in the USA. It is the first Ice Age movie to be released in digital 3D and is by far the most popular movie in the Ice Age franchise.

Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, the film was warmly-received by the general public. The film was also a massive blockbuster success, grossing $886 million worldwide against it's $90 million budget. It is the third highest-grossing film of 2009 (behind Avatar and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince), the highest-grossing animated film of 2009, and the 15th highest-grossing animated film of all time.


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 saber-toothed squirrel named Scratte. Manny and his new wife Ellie are expecting a baby, which leaves Manny anxious to ensure that everything is perfect for her 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. He eventually leaves the herd. Sid begins to wish for a family of his own, and so steals some dinosaur eggs which leads to Sid ending up in an underground world where dinosaurs roam free, and where his herd must rescue him, while dodging dinosaurs and facing danger left and right, and meeting up with a weasel known as Buck who hunts dinosaurs intently and has a mammal chauvinism.


Sid's New Family[]

One year after the events of Ice Age: The MeltdownEllie and Manny are expecting their first child, and Manny is obsessed with making life perfect and safe for the family. He is shown bringing a shell full of water to Ellie believing that she is giving birth, although this is just a false alarm. At the same time, Diego finds himself unable to catch an antelope he has been stalking. The antelope starts to taunt him. Believing that he is losing his predatory instincts.

Sid with his kids

Sid with dinosaur eggs

As a tiger, he decides to leave the herd after a talk with Manny. Sid becomes lonesome after seeing everyone go their own way and "adopts" three apparently abandoned eggs that he finds in an icy underground cavern as he tries to find new pals to make a herd with. Manny tells him to put them back, but Sid instead looks after the eggs, which hatch into baby Tyrannosaurus the next morning.

The Journey Begins[]

Although Sid tries his best to raise the three dinosaurs, their rambunctious behavior scares away all the other animals' young and ruins a playground Manny built for Ellie's baby. Manny tries to get Sid to return the eggs back to where he found them but it's already too late, as they hear booming footsteps in the distance. The mother dinosaur has returned for her eggs, causing a bit of chaos for the animals. Once she find where her babies are, she carries both Sid and her youth underground. Diego still on his own somewhere, manages to catch sight of the dinosaur as she passes by, sparking his concern from seeing Sid. Manny, Ellie, Crash, and Eddie follow as well and discover that the icy cavern she came from leads to a vast hidden underground jungle world populated by dinosaurs thought to be extinct.

Survival in the Lost World[]

Awed by the sight of a hidden lost world filled of fauna and dinosaurs, an Ankylosaurus suddenly threatens the herd, making them run but the appearance of such a larger beast causes Crash and Eddie to get scared enough to play dead. Unaware that they're about to be crushed by its tail, Diego springs into action and saves them in time. The herd tries to run away from th edinosaur until they are stuck at a cliff, Diego tries to roar at the Ankylosaurus but his efforts to fend it off doesn't work being much larger than him. Desperate, Ellie thinks up a way to escape by tearing leaves to feed a Brachiosaurus to lean down at the ledge and using that, they slide down the dinosaurs neck body and tail. On the ground, they are met with a further crowd of angry dinosaurs (Kentrosaurus, Brachiosaurus, Iguanodon, and Pachycephalosaurus) but are saved by the one-eyed, crazed weasel, Buckminster, or Buck. To dazed the dinos, Buck tosses fruit bombs in their faces and detonates one final bomb to cover the area to make am esacpe that leaves the dinosaurs confused on their sudden disappearance.

Buck appears

Buck appears to help the herd.

In a safer location, Buck has been living in this jungle for some time and spends his time chasing Rudy (the largest dinosaur and the lost world's main predator), intending to avenge the eye he lost to it. He's told why the herd is here in the lost world, hearing their goal of trying to rescue a friend from a dinosaur. He tries to convince the herd to leave the lost world and forget their friend. Ellie is not convinced, walking off to find Sid, leading the rest to go too, despite Manny's shared concern with the weasel on the dangers and possible death. Before they leave Buck behind, Buck tells them where the mother dinosaur is taking Sid and her babies, giving them direction and locations that include going through the jungle of misery, the chasm of death and then the plates of woe to arrive at their final destination: Lava Falls. Journeying through the jungle of misery, Manny and Diego are captured by a carnivorous plant, but thanks to Buck, they are freed. He agrees to lead the herd through the jungle’s perils to Lava Falls, where "Momma" is taking Sid and her babies to. But he sets up some rules. After that they start their journey through the lost world.

Later in the day, Sid and the mother dinosaur try to outdo each other in feeding the offspring; Sid loses the contest, but is soon welcomed into the family regardless. Suddenly, Momma hears a loud roar off in the distance and nudges her kids to go forward. This makes Sid wonder "What on Earth could be bigger than Momma?" After Momma with Sid and the babies leave, a much larger foot come down on Momma's footprints, which was the size of Rudy's middle toe.

Buck's Story[]

That night, Buck tells the story of how his eye was taken by Rudy, and was nearly swallowed by him, but Buck launched himself out of his mouth, knocking one of his teeth out in the process, which he then proceeded to use as a weapon. That night, while the herd is resting, Manny has a nightmare of Ellie all alone in a jungle and being killed by Rudy. After he wakes up, Ellie was still sleeping; however, she woke up, too, and Manny explains to her about his nightmare. Because Ellie was in the nightmare, she explains the most dangerous place in the world is bigger than her and Manny. Buck hears that if Manny was nicer to Sid, they wouldn't be searching for him. Buck says that Manny risked his own life and his unborn baby. That makes Manny a friend and a hero.

Buck's First Encounter with Rudy

Buck's First Encounter with Rudy.

During the morning on the next day, the herd moves through the Plates of Woe. As they carefully travel on top of the precarious plates. Sid is abandoned, hastily knocked off of Momma's tail accidently in the jungle nearby lava falls when the threat of Rudy is around. Sid, left behind meets Rudy who chases the sloth until he proceeds to chase Sid to the shore of Lava Falls, where one of the Baryonyx’s feet cracks the rock that breaks up the shore and the slab that Sid is on begins to float off. Sid is relieved that he escaped Rudy, but then realizes that the lava river leads to a great big lava fall.

Fighting Dinosaurs and Pterosaurs[]

As the herd moves toward Lava Falls, Ellie goes into labor and a Guanlong pack strikes. The pack accidently causes a rockslide that separates her from Manny and the rest of the herd. At the same time, Sid's previous screaming with Rudy's roar is heard in the distance. With two problems going on, the herd starts to panic but Buck takes charge of the situation by setting up a plan. Buck orders Manny and Diego to work together to defend Ellie, while the weasel himself will take the possums along to go ahead and rescue Sid. After they split up, Manny doubles back down to where most of the Guanlong are while Diego climbs up to Ellie to fend off further attacks from them by her side.

Buck takes Crash and Eddie with him ahead to rescue Sid at Lava falls. To make their way to Sid easier, Buck reigns a Pteranodon to get there faster. But the trio is forced to detour after they pass a flock of Quetzalcoatlus that endangers the opossums. As Buck steers their way back to Lava falls through a canyon, he gets the possums to face against the pterosaurs by having the brothers get a hold of nearby berries for ammunition and blast down as many of the predators as they can. When Buck finds the way back to Lava falls, the possums have already knocked out half of the flock using their ammo. Their final berry is then fired down the throat of a Quetzalcoatlus trying to scare them with its screech, the explosion inflating the predator and leaving it to struggle as a big harmless balloon. The possums celebrate over the result, watching the blimp panic while its massive size embarrassingly blocks the other Quetzalcoatlus and forces them to fly around it to continue.

Going out of the canyon to arrive back towards Sid at Lava Falls, Buck's Pteranodon is suddenly knocked out by a surprise attacker and they fall out of the sky down to the ground. Buck quickly performs mouth to mouth on it, waking up the Pteranodon and steers it before they can crash. Just as the sloth goes over the edge, the trio swoops in and saves his life while they losing the rest of the remaining pterosaurs after pulling up sharply in front of the falls. As they fly back to the herd, Sid is saddened at the fact that he never had a chance to say goodbye to "his" children before being reunited with the herd.

Back at the Plates, the rest of the Guanlong are defeated and just as Manny reaches Ellie, their baby is born. Manny slowly approaches, overcome with emotion to see their newly arrived baby mammoth and decides on what to name her. Between Ellie and Manny, they settle on choosing the name Peaches, named after the codeword they had chosen for Ellie to use if she went into labor during the trip. Now that everyone is together again, the herd starts their two day journey back guided by Buck.

The Final Battle[]

After a day of travelling back to where they began at the one of the cave entrances, Rudy (who is revealed to be a giant albino Baryonyx that is this world's biggest dinosaur) is hiding in the cave the group entered through; his rough, grey skin resembling rock in the darkness. Buck unaware yet, says his goodbyes to the group until Rudy exhales, moving Buck's fur as he realizes that they are not alone. Rudy introduces himself, emerging out from the cave and roaring his dominance loudly before targeting towards the herd.

But Buck draws the giant dinosaur away from them by showing off his knife, being made from Rudy's tooth, and Rudy licks the scar that was left behind. Becoming filled with vengeance for what the weasel has done, Rudy then begins to chase Buck. The original trio, Manny, Sid and Diego decide to go after Buck, telling Ellie with Peaches, Crash and Eddie to stay around the cavern whilst they go assist the weasel. Ahead with Rudy and Buck, Rudy was close to eating Buck as the large dinosaur thrashes his tail down to break the rocky terrain, launching Buck up enough to have him fall down into Rudy's maw. Thinking he'll be eaten by Rudy, Diego saves Buck by jumping over the dinosaurs open mouth to prevent Buck from dropping inside.

With all four of them, Buck, Diego, Manny and Sid then begin team up to tie down Rudy, whilst the the weasel goes to cause some insects to fly nearby to fly over Rudy's head, making him lose sight of the mammals. Rudy becoming overwhelmed from being distracted and roped up falls down unconscious after Manny pulls the vines. The herd then makes a quick escape, but Sid accidentally trips over one of the vines and wakes the monster. Rudy gets himself back up, breaking free of the vines and go after Sid. But surprisingly before Rudy can kill Sid, an angry Momma Rex breaks out from the jungle towards the white beast to prevent that from happening (which Sid was very happy about). Momma shoves Rudy off a cliff down to his demise, much to Buck's shock, thinking that Rudy would be killed after that fatal fall.


As Momma Dino and her children wish Sid well and leave, Buck – now without a purpose in life since Rudy is gone – decides to join the herd and live on the surface. As they’re making their way up to the surface on the same skeleton bridge, a distant familiar roar tells Buck that Rudy is still alive after he crosses the bridge; he changes his mind and tells Diego he's going to stay in Dino world for a while. Buck destroys the path to the underground jungle at the same time as he swings across the vines that held up the bridge so that no one else can ever go down there. Buck says goodbye to the herd and promises them that he'll see them again someday

Back above the Surface, Manny and Ellie welcome Peaches into their frozen world and Manny admit that Sid did a good job looking after Momma's children. Diego decides to remain with the herd after attacking numerous Guanlongs as a replacement for catching his predatory instincts which worked better than antelopes. Buck remains underground, foreshadowing his appearance in Collision Course.

With everyone satisfied, all that’s left is Scrat, who had fallen in love with Scratte and decides to stay in the jungle down there with her. Unfortunately, Scrat's greed for his precious acorn overcomes his newfound romance with Scratte, and he ultimately chooses the acorn over her. Scratte and Scrat battle once more for the acorn, resulting in Scrat being repelled to the surface while Scratte is trapped in the jungle. Scrat celebrates with his acorn, though, a stray piece of ice falls on him and knocks it back into Scratte’s hands. He then screams in frustration, having lost both his acorn and his love and ends the film.

Voice Cast[]

Character Voice Actor
Sid John Leguizamo
Manny Ray Romano
Ellie Queen Latifah
Peaches Tara Strong
Scrat Chris Wedge
Scratte Karen Disher
Buck Simon Pegg
Diego Denis Leary
Crash Seann William Scott
Eddie Josh Peck
Gazelle Bill Hader

Additional voices[]

  • Michael Bell (uncredited)
  • Kimberly Brooks (uncredited)
  • Cam Clarke (uncredited)
  • Billy West (uncredited)
  • Bob Bergen (uncredited)
  • John Cygan (uncredited)
  • Rodger Bumpass (uncredited)
  • David Kaye (uncredited)
  • Scott Menville (uncredited)
  • Jan Rabson (uncredited)
  • Jess Harnell (uncredited)
  • Jim Ward (uncredited)
  • April Winchell (uncredited)
  • Tress MacNeille (uncredited)
  • Jack Angel (uncredited)
  • Bill Farmer (uncredited)
  • Russi Taylor (uncredited)
  • Danny Mann (uncredited)
  • Darin De Paul (uncredited)
  • Paul Eiding (uncredited)
  • Colleen O'Shaughnessey (uncredited)
  • Ezra Weisz (uncredited)
lign="center" |Voice Actor
Baby Dinos Carlos Saldanha
Lisa Edelstein (Shelly)
Flightless Bird Carlos Saldanha




Rumours about a third Ice Age film started when Ice Age: The Meltdown's DVD director commentaries said that there was probably going to be a third movie called Ice Age: A New Beginning. It wasn't until January 30, 2007 when Fox president Hutch Parker, based on the box office success of Ice Age: The Meltdown, announced and approved a third film. The movie is considered to be the biggest blockbuster of Summer 2009, with only Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince rivalling it.

Blue Sky decided to do "more of a what-if adventure" in the third Ice Age installment, "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 colourful dinosaurs, because "the dinosaurs didn't have to be just brown, and you can take liberties because no one knows what colour 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.[1]

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 theatres, leading to a number of exhibitors threatening to show the film in only standard 2-D projection.

The film's original trailer debuted with the film Horton Hears a Who! on March 14, 2008, then online on April 7, 2008. There are three others that have been released, with the third and fourth (which shows Buck) being the most closely resembling each other. Queen Latifah recorded a cover of the song "Walk the Dinosaur".

Award Nominations[]

The film's score by John Powell and the voice acting of Sid by John Leguizamo were considered for the Annie Awards[2].


Critical Response[]

The film received mixed reviews from critics, scoring a 46% on Rotten Tomatoes. The site's critical consensus reads, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs boasts some excellent animation -- in particular, the dinosaurs are wonderfully realised -- but its story is tired and monotonous."

It holds a score of 50 "mixed or average reviews" on Metacritic.

Audience Response[]

Audiences gave the film positive reviews. Many loved the film for Buck, who proved to be such a huge popular character, that he was brought back 7 years later in the 5th film. The film holds a 62% audience score on Rotten Tomatoes and a rating of 6.9 on Metacritic for the user score. The film also earned a positive rating of an "A-" from CinemaScore. The film is often considered the last good Ice Age, due to how the other two sequels that followed caused a massive split with audiences.

Box Office[]

Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs grossed $196.6 million domestically and $690.1 million from other territories for a worldwide total of $886 million worldwide against a production budget of $90 million, making it a massive blockbuster success. It set a worldwide opening-weekend record for an animated feature ($218.4 million), previously held by The Simpsons Movie ($170.9 million). However, it was later surpassed by Incredibles 2 ($235.1 million) in 2018. It marks the highest-grossing film of the Ice Age series, the second-highest-grossing film of 20th Century Fox for 2009 (after Avatar) and stands as the studio's fourth-largest film of all time behind the latter, Star Wars Episode 1: The Phantom Menace and Bohemian Rhapsody.


The musical scores were done by John Powell who did the scores for the previous movie. Queen Latifah's cover of Walk the Dinosaur was used to promote the movie though it doesn't appear in the soundtrack.

Video games[]

A few video games were released that were more loosely based on the film. The most well-known of them being the game that came out for the Wii, PS3 and Xbox360.

Blu-ray Disc & DVD release[]

The film was released on DVD and Blu-ray Disc on October 27, 2009 in the US, and in the United Kingdom on November 23, 2009. Two versions of the DVD exist: a single-disc DVD, and a "Scrat Pack" double DVD pack with three Scrat games.

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.

Unlike previous Ice Age films, the DVD was released as 20th Century Fox's Halloween treat and didn't feature a new Scrat animated short.

The movie was rated PG for some mild rude humour and peril, as seen on the back of the DVD and Blu-Ray Disc of the movie.

Behind the Scenes[]

  • The first Blue Sky Studios movie that wasn't released in March.
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was the last Blue Sky Studios movie to be shot in the 1.85:1 aspect ratio until The Peanuts Movie and to use the 1994 20th Century Fox logo (the studio's next film, Rio, the studio's first movie musical, released in 2011, would become the first Blue Sky film to be shot in the 2.35:1 ratio and use the new 20th Century Fox logo which was first shown with Avatar). The 20th Century Fox logo featured in the theatrical version was retained in the Blu-ray 3D and TrioScopics 3D DVD releases.
  • It took only 26 days approximately to fetch $670 million and overcome its predecessor Ice Age: The Meltdown.
  • The Lou Rawls song You'll Never Find Another Love Like Mine is featured in the movie and was adapted to become the You'll Never Tango that plays when Scrat and Scratte fight over the acorn and afterwards.


Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs was followed by two sequels: Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course in 2012 and 2016, respectively.


  • Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the highest-grossing Ice Age film.
  • Despite mixed reviews from critics, Dawn of the Dinosaurs was well-received by Ice Age fans and the general public.
  • Dawn of the Dinosaurs was a massive blockbuster success.
  • Dawn of the Dinosaurs grossed $886 million worldwide against its $90 million budget.
  • Buck proved to be a hugely popular character with audiences and Ice Age fans that he was brought back 7 years later in 2016's Ice Age: Collision Course.
  • The idea of this film was deeply rooted in the first Ice Age film in which Sid comes across a dinosaur incased in ice.
  • This is the second time Scrat screams in frustration to end the film, the first being No Time For Nuts, Ice Age: Continental Drift being the third and Scrat: Spaced Out being the fourth.
  • Was the highest-grossing animated film of 2009.
  • Outgrossed Michael Bay's Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.
  • First Ice Age film to get rated PG for mild rude humor.
  • Dinosaur and Pterosaur sound effects in the film were created from the sounds of Mammals which were: elephants (for huge dinosaurs and Rudy), camels (for herbivorous dinosaurs) and pigs (for Pterosaurs).[3][4]
  • At its peak, it was the 2nd highest-grossing animated film of all time, right under Dreamwork's Animation's Shrek 2 (2004).
  • This is the first Blue Sky Studios film to be released in 3D.
  • This is the last Blue Sky Studios film of the 2000s before 2010.
  • This movie contains a reference to The Flintstones.
  • The original title was "Ice Age: A New Beginning".
  • The shell Manny is seen carrying in the beginning is Stu's from the previous movie.

See also[]


External links[]

Ice Age
Ice Age (2002) • Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) • Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) • Ice_Age: Collision Course (2016)
Gone Nutty (2002) • No Time For Nuts (2006) • Surviving Sid (2008) • Scrat's Continental Crack-up (2010) • Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (2011) • Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe (2015)
Other clips
Falling for ScratteBuck: From Easel to Weasel
Video games
Ice AgeThe MeltdownDawn of the DinosaursContinental Drift