True story, “Ice Age” is one of the highest-grossing animated film franchises, with $793 million domestic and $3.2 billion worldwide across five films, for a per-film average of $641 million. Pixar may get more awards, Disney may sell more princess dresses, and the Minions may be on more Facebook memes posted by baby boomers, but “Ice Age” is a heavy hitter in the animation sphere. And it all started in 2002.
Following Pixar’s nearly decade-long run of dominance starting with “Toy Story,” other movie studios were getting in on the animated action, as throughout the 2000s almost every CG-animated movie made money, most notably Dreamworks’ “Shrek” series and 20th Century Fox’s “Ice Age.” Set roughly 18,000 B.C., “Ice Age” is about a wooly mammoth, a saber-toothed tiger, and a sloth who join forces to take care of a human baby. And along the way, we’re also treated to the misadventures of Scrat, a squirrel-rat who just wants an acorn.
Simple enough, and enough to scrounge up $176 million domestically and $386 million worldwide. Alas, Disney closed Blue Sky Studios in 2021 (per Deadline) following their Fox purchase. But if there’s one thing the Mouse House likes, it’s money, so we’re sure they’ll thaw out “Ice Age” again eventually.