Ice Age – an animated children’s film about a group of prehistoric mammals – was released in 2002 by 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios. The film was a critical and commercial success, launching a series of Ice Age films. Manny and Sid become friends on their trek north, and while guarding the human child, Manny and Sid encounter Diego. This is how the three meet and become good friends while attempting to survive the Ice Age.
However, if you’ve just seen the first Ice Age film or joined the series after the third installment, keeping track of the series might be a bit tricky. More significantly, you’re probably wondering how many Ice Age films there are. Continue reading as I break down the Ice Age flicks chronologically.
Ice Age Movies in Order at a glance
The Ice Age franchise presently consists of five animated films that follow Manny (a cynical woolly mammoth), Sid (a clumsy ground sloth), and Diego (a saber-toothed tiger) as they coexist throughout the Ice Age. Because the Ice Ages series has no prequels or jumps, the optimum order in which to view the Ice Age films is in the order in which they were released. The following is a list of all Ice Age films, in chronological sequence of release:
- 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)
Ice Age Movies in Order
1. Ice Age (2002)
Ice Age, Blue Sky Studios’ feature picture début, was released in 2002, during a period when the animation business was primarily controlled by the Disney-Pixar-Dreamworks trio. It follows three Pleistocene-era characters – Sid, a sloth; Manny, a woolly mammoth; and Diego, a saber-toothed tiger – as they start on a mission to restore a Neanderthal infant (dubbed Roshan) to its tribe home.
The film was an instant hit with parents, children, and critics alike, as the film’s refreshing humor and revolutionary animation won over even the most hardened (pun intended) hearts; Scrat, one of the film’s characters, would go on to become one of the most recognizable animated characters of the twenty-first century, as well as Blue Sky’s mascot.
20,000 years ago. A group of humans departs camp on the eve of the Ice Age to join an unending convoy of archaic creatures traveling south.
Before traveling north to their town in the mountains, a tribe of people camp by a waterfall, including their chieftain, Runar, his wife Nadia, and their young son Roshan. Soto, the leader of a group of saber-tooth tigers, keeps an eye on the humans alongside his trusty subordinate, Diego, a cat. Soto, wanting vengeance against the humans for killing out half of his pack, prepares to consume Runar’s son Roshan the following morning.
The attack occurs, with Diego chasing Nadia; however, she escapes with Roshan, jumping over the waterfalls, leaving Diego alone in Soto; the pack arranges to meet at Half Peak, where Diego will produce the kid for Soto.
Manny and Sid continue their trek, Manny irritated by the sloth’s continuous chattering, until they come upon Nadia on a riverbank, severely weakened by her jump over the rapids and barely able to transfer her kid to Manny before she vanishes. Manny departs, but Sid plans to return the infant to his “herd,” an endeavor that Manny will not assist with.
However, an unprotected child is left behind after a surprise attack by savage Soto’s ravenous pack of saber-toothed tigers. Following this sad incident, Manny, the gigantic shaggy mammoth; Sid, the sloth-like outcast; and Diego, the cunning primeval tiger, start on a dangerous expedition to locate the baby’s parents, unaware that danger is closer than they believe. Can the unlikely rescuers locate the human family before the planet is completely covered by massive glaciers?
2. Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)
While Manny, Sid, and Diego did return for a second appearance in 2006’s Ice Age: The Meltdown, they were joined this time by an extended cast of supporting characters, including Ellie, Crash, and Eddie, all of whom would feature in subsequent iterations of the franchise. The film follows the aforementioned characters as they struggle to live when extensive flooding reduces their access to ice terrain.
Manny the woolly mammoth, Sid the sloth, Diego the saber-toothed tiger, and Scrat the unfortunate prehistoric squirrel/rat are still together and enjoying the benefits of their melting planet.
Two youngsters flee in panic after Fast Tony (a six-banded armadillo), the valley’s resident con artist, declares that the earth is about to flood and that the bark and reeds (which he sells) are necessary for survival. Manfred rejects the notion but is immediately captivated when he witnesses Sid attempting a high dive from a massive waterfall.
As Manny and Diego climb to the top of the waterfall to rescue Sid from his reckless deed, they discover that the nice weather has allowed the valley’s enormous, bowl-shaped glacier’s underlying layers of ice to melt. Only the glaciers’ outer layers, which created a dam, prevented flooding in the valley.
Manny informs everyone of the valley’s imminent tragedy if the dam fails. The animals, on the other hand, laugh it off, while a pompous aardvark questions Manny’s survival counsel in light of his own species’ extinction, the mammoths. However, the animals’ high spirits gradually dwindle as an imposing vulture tells them of the impending doom. He then casually reveals a big boat at the valley’s end that may save them all, much to the relief of the valley people.
Manny may be ready to create a family, but no mammoth has been spotted in a long time; Manny believes he may be the last. That is until he suddenly discovers Ellie, the world’s only female mammoth. Their only issue is that they despise one another—and Ellie believes she is a possum! Ellie is accompanied by her two possums “brothers” Crash and Eddie, two daring pranksters and brash, loud-mouthed troublemakers.
Manny, Sid, and Diego rapidly discover that a rising environment has one significant disadvantage: A massive glacier barrier that has been holding back oceans of water is on the verge of collapsing, endangering the whole valley. The only hope of surviving is at the valley’s far end. Thus, our three heroes become the most improbable family—in any “Age”—as they start on a quest through an ever-changing, increasingly hazardous environment in search of redemption.
3. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
2009 was a banner year for theatrical animation, with Pixar’s Up, Laika’s Coraline, and Disney’s The Princess and the Frog all receiving critical acclaim. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is a lesser-known – but nonetheless significant – addition to this list, since it follows the first film’s core characters as they seek to rescue Sid from a forgotten, subterranean home inhabited by a hostile herd of dinosaurs. Although reviewers blasted the picture, fans of the originals were thrilled by this playful continuation of the franchise.
Following the events of “Ice Age: The Meltdown,” Manny and his pals’ lives begin to change: Scrat is still on the quest for his cherished acorn, while also pursuing a possible relationship with a female saber-toothed squirrel named Scratte. Manny and Ellie, who have subsequently become a couple, are expecting a child, and Manny is anxious to ensure that everything is for his baby’s arrival.
Ellie and Manny are expecting their first child, and Manny is fixated on making life ideal and safe for the family, ever since his first experiences as a husband and father ended in tragedy when his family was murdered by hunters.
Simultaneously, Diego (Denis Leary) is unable to capture a cocky gazelle (Bill Hader) he has been following and leaves the herd, feeling he has lost his predatory nature as a tiger. Sid (John Leguizamo) becomes envious of Manny and Ellie and adopts three seemingly abandoned eggs he discovers in a cold underground grotto, naming them Eggbert, Shelly, and Yoko. Manny instructs him to return them, but Sid takes care of the eggs, which hatch the next morning as baby Tyrannosaurus.
Although Sid makes an attempt to nurture the three dinosaurs, their boisterous behavior scares away the other animals’ offspring and destroys a playground Manny made for Ellies’s youngster.
Momma, a female Tyrannosaurus whose eggs Sid stole, quickly returns and drags Sid and her young underground, evading Diego’s pursuit. Manny, Ellie, Crash, and Eddie all follow suit and discover that the ice cavern leads to a huge rainforest teeming with ancient dinosaurs. Here, despite Diego’s best efforts, an Ankylosaurus threatens the herd; they are rescued from another swarm of furious reptiles by a crazy, one-eyed weasel named Buckminster, or Buck.
Diego gets tired of being treated like a housecat and considers the possibility that he has become too laid-back. Sid develops a desire for a family of his own and steals some dinosaur eggs, which results in Sid being trapped in a strange underground world, where his herd must rescue him while dodging dinosaurs and avoiding danger at every turn, and meeting up with a one-eyed weasel named Buck, who is obsessed with dinosaur hunting.
4. Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)
With Blue Sky eclipsing such giant studios as Pixar and Dreamworks in terms of animated films, they weren’t going to miss an opportunity to build on their huge success. Ice Age: Continental Drift, released in 2012, continues the party as they struggle to escape several encounters with dangerous pirates while stuck on an adrift ice block following the break-up of a supercontinent by the acorn-minded Scrat.
Manny and Elise’s daughter, peaches, has grown up sixteen years since the previous film, and Manny and Elise are having difficulty managing her.
Manny grows paranoid about his adolescent daughter Peaches visiting the falls to see a teenage mammoth named Ethan. Ellie, Manny’s wife, consoles him and informs him that Peaches will not always be his little child. Peaches and her best buddy, a mole hog named Louis, attempt to reach the falls, but Manny intercepts them and abducts Peaches.
Meanwhile, Sid reunites with his family but is abandoned once more, this time by his unpleasant Granny, for whom The Herd searches. Manny intercepts Peaches on her way to the falls with Louis; he discovers her with Ethan, and Manny humiliates Peaches in front of her friends. Peaches expressed her displeasure with Manny, stating that she wishes Manny had never been her father.
After Manny and his companions survive a violent sea storm, they also discover Granny, who spent the entire time inside a tree trunk on the same floating iceberg. Manny and his companions are apprehended by a bunch of pirates commanded by Captain Gutt, a Gigantopithecus, and Shira, a female saber-toothed cat. Gutt and the pirate gang attempt to recruit Manny and his buddies (by singing them a song to introduce Gutt along the way), but they decline.
Gutt then attempts to force them to walk the plank, but they escape, destroying the pirate ship. Gutt and the pirates are separated from Shira, and the pirate crew is concerned about her welfare, but Gutt abandons her. Shira, meantime, is saved by the herd.
Scrat, the restless saber-toothed squirrel, accidentally sets off an epic geologic chain reaction in his never-ending quest for the perfect supply of spherical and glossy acorns. As a result, Manny is separated from Ellie and their rebellious adolescent daughter, Peaches, and finds himself stranded on a big chunk of iceberg alongside Diego, Sid, and Granny, Manny’s fiery grandmother.
To compound problems, the mismatched mariners come upon the ultimate sea monster—the weathered barbaric pirate Captain Gutt, who wishes to convert them into slaves. Will the newest recruits to the ice-galley ever be reunited with their loved ones?
5. Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)
With new animation, Blue Sky gave the Ice Age franchise a record-breaking fifth episode with 2016’s Ice Age: Collision Course. The same beloved characters from the previous four films return, this time to avert their – very probable – annihilation at the hands of a series of lethal meteorites launched hurtling towards Earth by the ever-oblivious Scrat.
As is customary, the film begins with Scrat (voiced by Chris Wedge) attempting to locate a suitable storage location for his acorn. He crashes through some ice and into what appears to be a cave before he can poke it in. Scrat places the acorn on a pad, which activates a massive flying saucer. He detaches it from the ice block in which it was confined and launches it into space. Scrat is blasted out of the saucer with the acorn after colliding with the planets like pinballs or pool balls. He chooses to place it inside an asteroid, which naturally splits and hurtles toward Earth.
Meanwhile, Manny and Ellie are preparing for Peaches’s approaching wedding to Julian. Diego and his wife Shira wish to create a family, but their intimidating look scares children. Sid’s girlfriend, Francine, dumps him just before he is about to propose, and he regrets his loneliness.
Several asteroids attack the venue during Manny and Ellie’s wedding anniversary party, and The Herd narrowly escapes. Meanwhile, Buck returns a dinosaur egg to its rightful owner in the subterranean lost planet after it was taken by a trio of flying tyrannosaurs named Gavin, Gertie, and Roger. Buck unearths an ancient stone pillar and transports it to the surface, where he encounters Manny and the others.
Do you have to watch ice age movies in order?
The Ice Age films may be seen and enjoyed alone. However, since all Ice Age films follow the same plot and characters, seeing them in sequence can help you comprehend the tale better. Apart from that, the opening of each film is dependent on an incident from the prior film, which makes little sense if you haven’t seen the previous films.
Will there be more Ice Age Movies?
It has been announced that another Ice Age film will be released in 2022. Concerning the possibilities of the sixth film In December 2020, it was announced that the project has been reworked into a feature picture named Ice Age: Adventures of Buck Wild. The film would follow Buck as he embarks on an adventure in the Dinosaur World with Crash and Eddie.