Ignacio Lewkowicz and Cristina Corea,
with the collaboration of Zelde Espinel, James Shultz and Juan Jorge Michel Fariña
1. The film, “Ice Age,” narrates the circumstances of a mythical catastrophe, the sudden appearance of the Ice Age. In common with many catastrophes, both human and natural, this film shows how thousands of beings are forced to migrate from their home territory, searching for shelter in safer lands. The scene describing the mass exodus is a moving allegory reminding us of the displacement that characterizes many contemporary disasters.
2. Living through this disaster, three strangers become friends. Sid, Manny, and Diego decide to form a herd. There’s a difference between living and surviving. If it was merely a function of survival, the alliance among a lazy marsupial, a tiger, and a mammoth would not be very effective. The mammoth is the most unfit to survive. Ironically, he is the one who saves Diego, the saber-tooth tiger. The least fit saves the most fit. In fact, it is the mammoth who intones the law of the herd, “We take care of each other.”
3. Diego, the sabre-tooth tiger, changes his initial position as the story unfolds. At first, he becomes a member of the herd in order to do his job: to serve his boss a nice human baby for breakfast. Later on, he hesitates in his mission as he begins to bond with his new companions. Diego grows fond of his new friends, takes on responsibilities, and develops affection. Finally, when the herd is in urgent danger, he turns his back on his boss and makes a decision that will change his life.
4. The squirrel in the film represents the image of pure survival. Throughout the millennia, she stubbornly traverses the ice flows, driven by a single impulse, the acorn. Though millions of years pass, the squirrel never bonds; she just runs after the acorn. Her strategy is, without question, highly effective in terms of survival, but devoid of the bonds of interpersonal experience.
5. Finally, the film presents an unexpected ethical issue. What bonds Sid, Manny, and Diego together is a common mission--to return a lost human cub to its tribe. This is a very strange mission since the story is told from the animals’ point of view. The trio is actually rescuing a potential future predator of mammoths, tigers, and marsupials. Yet, for these characters, the issue is clear: there are no reservations when it comes to saving a life.