how to watch ice age movies in order

How to Watch Ice Age Movies In Order

Do you think the Ice Age has left an impact on the world? No, I’m not talking about the global phenomenon, but the movie franchise. Ice Age is one of the longest-running animated franchises we have seen. So far, it has 6 feature-length movies, 8 animated short films, one web series, and 2 TV specials in the franchise. Besides that, there is also a live theatrical performance and a theme park. I recently watched the new Scrat Tales Disney+ series and decided to rewatch the entire franchise. However, it was hard to remember the sequence of the movies. I suppose that happens to humans. Therefore I created this list for you showing the appropriate order to watch Ice Age franchise movies and shorts. So, without any further ado, let’s get started.

How and Where to Watch the Ice Age Movies in Chronological Order (2022)

Blue Sky Studios created the Ice Age franchise, recently acquired by Disney. Therefore, all these movies are readily available on Disney Plus to stream. Meanwhile, you can watch the Ice Age TV specials and short films on YouTube. You can also check out our list of Best Disney Movies while you are at it. Firstly, let’s look at the release order of the movies and short films separately. Afterward, we will discuss a brief synopsis along with some trivial details and the best order to watch all Ice Age movies. Kindly use the table below to jump to your favorite section. 

All Ice Age Movies and Shorts in Release Order

Below is the list of all Ice Age movies and short films in release order. If you don’t want to spoil the fun and only want to know how to watch the film, you can use the list. Or, you can keep reading to learn some trivial details and how the movies connect with each other, making them awesome.

Films

  • Ice Age — March 15, 2002
  • Ice Age: The Meltdown — March 31, 2006
  • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs — July 1, 2009
  • Ice Age: Continental Drift — July 13, 2012
  • Ice Age: Collision Course — July 22, 2016
  • The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild — January 28, 2022

Short Films

  • Gone Nutty — November 26, 2002
  • No Time for Nuts — November 21, 2006
  • Surviving Sid — December 9, 2008
  • Scrat’s Continental Crack-Up — December 25, 2010
  • Scrat’s Continental Crack-Up – Part 2 — December 16, 2011
  • Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe — November 6, 2015 
  • Scrat: Spaced Out — October 11, 2016
  • The End — April 13, 2022

Television Specials

  • Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas — November 24, 2011
  • Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade — March 20, 2016

Animated Series

  • Scrat Tales — April 13, 2022

Ice Age Movies and Shorts in Viewing Order

The Ice Age movies are released in chronological order. That means every film picks up after the story of the last one. As for the shorts, they do not add a direct impact on the story. Therefore, you can watch them in any sequence. Still, it is best to watch all the Ice Age movies in the exact order of their release. That said, let’s see how the story progresses with each movie and what keeps Ice Age going. 

Ice Age (2002)

  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 77%/82%
  • Director: Chris Wedge
  • Writer: Michael Berg, Michael J. Wilson, Peter Ackerman
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 21 minutes
  • Release Date: March 15, 2002

Ice Age is Blue Sky Studio’s first film and the directorial debut of Chris Wedge. The film was released in 2002, kick-starting the Ice Age franchise as we know it today. The movie follows the journey of four misfits as they try to return a human baby to its tribe. The gang consists of Manny, a no-nonsense woolly mammoth, Sid, a loudmouthed ground sloth, Diego, a sardonic saber-toothed tiger, and the baby. Meanwhile, the movie shows us glimpses of Scrat, a saber-toothed squirrel searching for a place to bury his acorn. 

The movie performed massively well at the box office, collecting 383 million USD against the budget of 58 million USD. The developers have used the budget wisely with regular trips to the Museum of Natural History and doing intense research to make the film authentic to the Ice Age. Audiences and critics loved the movie with favorably positive reviews. It was nominated for the Academy Award in the Best Animated Feature category. Please read our detailed guide on the Best Award Winning films to find out more awesome movies.

Trivia

1. While going through the glacier shortcut Sid finds a frozen spaceship. The baby does the Vulcan salute from Star Trek at the time.

2. The images rolling with the end credits were drawn by animators’ children. The same goes for the picture Sid draws for himself. It was created by story artist Dan Shefelman’s 3-year-old kid.

3. The frozen beings Sid sees in the ice are connected to an installment in the franchise: a carnivorous fish, a dinosaur, a set of sloths, and a flying saucer.

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Gone Nutty (2002)

  • Director: Carlos Saldanha
  • Writer: William H. Frake III, Dan Shefelman, Moroni Taylor
  • Cast: Chris Wedge
  • Runtime: 4 minutes, 31 seconds
  • Release Date: November 26, 2002

Gone Nutty, AKA Scrat’s Missing Adventure, is the first short film released in the Ice Age franchise in 2002, along with the DVD release of the first movie Ice Age. The story follows Scrat after the events of the first film. Scrat looking for a place to bury his acorn, finds a tree filled with them. He gently screws in the acorn, but it pops out several times. Then the frustrated Scrat push down the acorn with force, causing the tree to break and creating an avalanche. While falling, Scrat collects all the acorns mid-air but is left with nothing in the end.

Developers of the short movie made sure to keep the continuity showing Scrat learns from his mistakes. After this movie, Scrat’s inability to have his acorns became a running gag in the franchise giving us a few laughs each time we see the character on the screen. Gone Nutty was nominated for the Best Animated Short Film at the 2003 Academy Awards.

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Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006)

  • IMDb: 6.8
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 57%/71%
  • Director: Carlos Saldanha
  • Writer: Peter Gaulke, Gerry Swallow, Jim Hecht
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Seann William Scott, Queen Latifah
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
  • Release Date: March 31, 2006

Ice Age: The Meltdown is the second film in the Ice Age franchise and came four years after the first one. The trio is now best friends living happily below a glacier. However, they discover it is a dam holding a vast body of water that can break at any time. A vulture suggests they catch a boat that will rescue them, paralleling Noah’s ark. So, the team embarks on their journey toward the ship. Manny, the woolly mammoth who thinks he is the last of his species, meets Ellie, a female mammoth. The team convinces her to join them on the boat. A series of misadventures take place, providing us with comic relief as the gang does their best to tackle enemies and save friends. 

Ice Age: The Meltdown received mixed reviews from the critics, positive for the animation and humor and mentioning the scope for better storytelling. The movie managed to collect 661 million USD worldwide against the budget of 80 million USD despite the weak reviews at the time. 

Trivia

1. A cameo of Scrat in Family Guy’s season 4 episode 22 was made to market this film.

2. The animation was relatively speedy, taking only eight months to complete.

3. Diego shows no hesitation toward the water in the first film, but he develops one in this one.

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No Time for Nuts (2006)

  • Director: Chris Renaud, Mike Thurmeier
  • Writer: Chris Renaud
  • Cast: Chris Wedge
  • Runtime: 7 minutes
  • Release Date: November 21, 2006

The Ice Age developers love to play with far-fetched ideas in these shorts. No Time for Nuts follows Scrat as he finds a time machine. The machine sends the acorn in another time, and Scrat follows to find it. He then jumps across various time periods to follow his acorn and save himself from dangers. However, he is again left with no nut in his hands in the end. The short also shows the trio for a few scenes. The first one shows Sid musing about relativity and the existence of an infinite universe. Quite brilliant for a dim-witted ground sloth. It is the second short film by Blue Sky Studios in the Ice Age franchise and the second to be nominated for Best Animated Short Film in Academy Awards.

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Surviving Sid (2008)

  • Director: Galen Tan Chu, Karen Disher
  • Writer: Jon Vitti, Mike Reiss, Yoni Brenner
  • Cast: John Leguizamo, Chris Wedge, Emily Osment, Paul Butcher
  • Runtime: 7 minutes
  • Release Date: December 9, 2008

Unlike the first two shorts, Surviving Sid focuses on Sid instead of Scrat. However, Scrat is there as a guest appearance. The story follows Sid and a few small baby animals of different species. The group goes to a camp led by Sid. However, the kids have no confidence in the ground sloth for apparent reasons. The story shows Sid trying to impress the kids without knowing the dangers of things he is doing, like sending a giant ice glacier cutting through the ground and making a Canyon. The plot isn’t much appreciated compared to other shorts in the franchise. The film ends with a baby beaver asking his father, after thousands of years, about the creation of the Grand Canyon, to which the father replies such things can be done by “Nature or a being with infinite wisdom.”

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Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)

  • IMDb: 6.9
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 46%/62%
  • Director: Carlos Saldanha
  • Writer: Michael Berg, Peter Ackerman, Mike Reiss, Yoni Brenner
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Queen Latifah
  • Runtime: 1 hour 34 minutes
  • Release Date: July 1, 2009

The third film in the franchise, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, picks up one year after the second film’s events. Manny and Ellie expect their first child and want to raise it in a safe environment. Diego questions his ability to hunt and thinks of leaving the tribe. Meanwhile, Sid, too, wants to raise a family and picks up three unknown eggs, which hatch to deliver three baby Tyrannosaurus rex. Sid pledges to protect and raise them, but things go south when the mother dinosaur comes and takes Sid along with her infants to an underground world. The gang follows them to discover a new world of dinosaurs they didn’t know existed. They face a lot of trouble here but are rescued by a one-eyed weasel named Buck. He tells about his adventures in trying to defeat a giant dinosaur.

In a subplot, we saw Scrat finding another female squirrel and falling in love with her. They share the same passion for the acorn leading to a cat and mouse chase. The movie had mixed reviews but performed massively at the box office, collecting 888 million USD against the budget of 90 million. 

Trivia

1. the First film in the Ice Age franchise to be released in 3-d.

2. It’s the highest-grossing movie in the Ice Age franchise to date.

3. In a scene, Buck warns the troupe, “Abandon hope, ye who enter there!” The line is a famous quote from Dante Alighieri’s Inferno. It’s said to be written on the gates of Hell.

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Scrat’s Continental Crack-Up (2010)

  • Director: Steve Martino, Michael Thurmeier
  • Writer: Michael Berg, Mike Reiss
  • Cast: Chris Wedge, Simon Pegg, Jason Fricchione
  • Runtime: 3 minutes
  • Release Date: December 25, 2010

Scrat’s Continental Crack-up shows the saber-toothed squirrel trying to find an excellent place to bury his acorn. However, he falls down the ice sheet and ends up in the Earth’s core. The disruptions he creates there lead the ground to break into numerous continents. This funny little short has it all from quick laughs and well-presented humor showing us a probable beginning of the shifting of tectonic plates.

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Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (2011)

  • Director: Michael J. Wilson
  • Writer: Sam Harper, Mike Reiss
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Chris Wedge, Karen Disher, Queen Latifah
  • Runtime: 26 minutes
  • Release Date: November 24, 2011

Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas is the first television special in the franchise, which takes place eight years after the events of the third film. Peach is now young, and the troupe is preparing for Christmas. Manny is excited to share a family heirloom with Peach, but the plan is disturbed by Sid and his idiotic activities. Sad about the events and thinking he is on the naughty list of Santa, Sid, along with Peach, Crash, and Eddie, goes to the north pole to find Santa Claus. After a series of laughter and discoveries, it becomes a Merry Christmas after all. The short television special has everything you can expect from a holiday movie. 

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Scrat’s Continental Crack-Up – Part 2 (2011)

  • Director: Steve Martino, Michael Thurmeier
  • Writer: Mike Reiss
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary
  • Runtime: 3 minutes
  • Release Date: December 16, 2011

Scrat’s Continental Crack-up part 2 picks up after part 1, which leaves Scrat abandoned at sea. The saber-toothed squirrel finds a small island and a glimpse of an acorn on the ground beneath the sea. He tries to pick the acorn, which happens to be a map for an island full of acorns. However, everything that glitters is not gold, and it leads Scrat to an unfavorable situation.  

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Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012)

  • IMDb: 6.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 37%/62%
  • Director: Steve Martino, Michael Thurmeier
  • Writer: Michael Berg, Jason Fuchs
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Nicki Minaj, Drake
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 28 minutes
  • Release Date: July 13, 2012

Ice Age: Continental Drift picks up several years after the events of the third film. Peach is a teenage mammoth, and everyone is living happily. However, things never go as planned. The film shows the short Scrat’s Continental Crack-up as the beginning of the continental drift breaking up the land, sending the animals away from each other. Along with Sid and Diego, Manny gets stuck on a glacier and is abandoned in the ocean. Before separating, he promises his family that he will come back, which becomes the movie’s crux. The trio meets a gang of pirates led by a prehistoric ape named Captain Gutt on their journey.

The rest of the film shows how pirates trouble the gang, and they find a new companion. Meanwhile, Manny’s family tries to reach the destination where they might find Manny. The movie had mixed reviews from audiences, and critics still collected 877 million USD against the budget of 95 million. 

Trivia

1. The Blue Sky Studio spread a rumor that the plot contains Manny, Sid, Diego, Ellie, and Scrat frozen solid and accidentally defrosted in a museum in the present day. 

2. On the iceberg ship, Sid says, “Water, water everywhere, nor any drop to drink.” The line is taken from “The Rime of the Ancient Mariner,” a poem written by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1798.

3. Peter Dinklage voices the pirate Captain Gutt. The ape shown in the movie depicts Gigantopithecus Blacki, a prehistoric ape said to be 9.8 feet tall and weigh 1,190 pounds. 

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Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe (2015)

  • Director: Michael Thurmeier, Galen T. Chu
  • Writer: Yoni Brenner, Mike Reiss, Ian Southwood
  • Cast: Chris Wedge, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo
  • Runtime: 5 minutes
  • Release Date: November 6, 2015

Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe is the sixth short in the franchise and takes place before the fifth film. We follow Scrat as he accidentally discovers a spaceship and is sent into the blackness of the galaxy. His endeavor causes some massive cosmic events which will change the course of life on the Earth. Meanwhile, he gets stuck in space, not getting his hands on the acorn.

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Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade (2016)

  • Director: Ricardo Curtis
  • Writer: Jim Hecht
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Keke Palmer
  • Runtime: 25 minutes
  • Release Date: March 20, 2016

Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade is a television special originally broadcast on Fox in the Easter season. The story takes place three months after the fourth film and five years before the events of the fifth film. It shows the troupe getting ready for the Easter holidays. While Sid tries to be responsible but fails miserably, ex-pirate bunnies Squint and Clint plan revenge for what Manny did to their ship. The gang faces some hard times from the duo as they steal eggs and threaten to destroy them if Manny doesn’t build them a boat. In the end, everything goes fine, giving us the much-needed holiday feel. The Great Egg-Scapade also establishes Clint as the Easter Bunny starting the ritual of painting and hiding eggs.

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Ice Age: Collision Course (2016)

  • IMDb: 5.6
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 18%/39%
  • Director: Michael Thurmeier
  • Writer: Michael Wilson, Michael Berg, Yoni Brenner
  • Cast: Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary, Josh Peck, Simon Pegg
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 31 minutes
  • Release Date: July 22, 2016

Ice Age: Collision Course is the fifth film in the franchise and takes place several years after the events of the fourth film. The story follows Manny and the herd as they prepare for Peach’s marriage to her good-natured fiancé, Julian. Diego and Shira want to have children, too but are unsure since kids get scared looking at them. When the gang is celebrating Manny and Ellie’s anniversary, a small asteroid accidentally sent by Scrat in the previous short film disturbs the event. Meanwhile, Buck continues his adrenaline adventures in the underground. He finds a pillar forecasting the large meteorite leading to extinction. He then comes up to the surface and tells everything to the herd. They embark on their journey to avoid the impact of saving life on Earth.

The movie mostly received negative reviews from critics, making it one of the weakest installments in the franchise. The reason is the too far-fetched and vague storyline in contrast to the authenticity of the time period. The film grossed 408 million against a budget of 105 million USD. 

Trivia

1. It is the last feature film developed by Blue Sky Studios before Disney bought 20th Century Fox.

2. The drawing of Sid that he gave Brooke is the same drawing he drew on the wall in the first film.

3. We see a slow-motion walking shot when the herd is going towards the asteroid site. The background music playing is picked from Armageddon, a movie about an asteroid heading to Earth.

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Scrat: Spaced Out (2016)

  • Director: Michael Thurmeier, Galen T. Chu
  • Writer: Michael J. Wilson, Yoni Brenner, Aubrey Solomon
  • Cast: Chris Wedge, Karen Disher, Neil deGrasse Tyson
  • Runtime: 15 minutes
  • Release Date: October 11, 2016

Scrat: Spaced Out is a direct sequel to the previous short Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe, which initiates the events of Ice Age: Collision Course. We follow Scrat in the space where a highly intelligent race called Scratzons wants to keep the acorn for themselves. It’s exciting to see how Scrat tries to save the acorn from the aliens. However, we know how these things usually end. Most of the scenes in this short are extended versions of clips from the fifth movie, and a few are added newly. 

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The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild (2022)

  • IMDb: 4.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: 17%/41%
  • Director: John C. Donkin
  • Writer: Jim Hecht, William Schifrin, Ray DeLaurentis
  • Cast: Simon Pegg, Vincent Tong, Aaron Harris, Utkarsh Ambudkar, Justina Machado
  • Runtime: 1 hour, 22 minutes
  • Release Date: January 28, 2022

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild is the sixth film in the franchise and a spin-off to the main storyline. It’s a directorial debut of John C. Donkin, who picked up the story after the Collision Course movie. The plot follows the two opossum brothers, Crash and Eddie, as they move on after accidentally destroying the herd’s summer home. They find themselves stuck in the lost world of dinosaurs, where Buck saves them from some predators. Afterward, the opossum brothers and Buck and his friend Zee save the lost world from a revenge-driven Protoceratops named Orson. 

It is the first movie in the franchise without the involvement of Blue Sky Studios. The film received mostly negative reviews for lack of focus on the titular character, animation quality, and absence of Scrat. The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild was released on Disney+ exclusively. 

1. Simon Pegg is the only voice actor from the original cast in this movie. Everyone else is re-casted for the roles.

2. There was a copyright issue going on for Scrat, Blue Sky’s mascot, which caused his absence in the movie.

3. It is the first Ice Age film not to have a theatrical release. 

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Ice Age: Scrat Tales (2022)

  • IMDb: 7.5
  • Rotten Tomatoes: NA/87%
  • Director: Donnie Long
  • Writer: Michael Berardini, Galen Tan Chu, James Young Jackson, Drew Winey
  • Cast: Chris Wedge, Kari Wahlgren
  • Runtime: 4 minute/episode
  • Release Date: April 13, 2022

Ice Age: Scrat Tales is the first TV series in the franchise and a spin-off to the main story. It is also the last production of Blue Sky Studios, distributed by 20th Century Fox. The series was released on Disney+ on the same day when Blue Sky Studios was shut down. It follows Scrat when he discovers a baby saber-toothed squirrel. The series consists of several 4 minute short clips showing Scrat’s life as a new parent. 

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The End (2022)

After Disney acquired 20th-Century Fox, Blue Sky Studios was scheduled to shut down. The franchise will move forward with another animation team. As a goodbye to the characters and stories these animators made throughout the years, Blue Sky Studios released this short film along with the Scrat Tales TV series on April 13, 2022. The End provides them and us a much-needed closure. It follows Scrat finding a place on the ground to bury his acorn. However, as he goes to screw it down, he pauses and then eats the acorn. So, the hustle going on for almost two decades comes to an end when Scrat finally gets what he wants. The tiny short film is full of emotions and will hit your heart if you have been following the Ice Age franchise for a long time.

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Upcoming Untitled Ice Age Movie

Disney is currently working on an untitled seventh movie in the franchise. However, whether it will act as a sequel to The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild spin-off or continue the herd’s story is still unclear. Ray DeLaurentis is currently working on the script, and any significant updates are yet to be revealed. 

Binge Watch the Ice Age Movies in Order

Ice Age is one of the longest-running animated franchises without any source material. The production team behind the movies has done a fabulous job for two decades, introducing us to interesting characters and providing some quality laughs. The franchise hasn’t ended, but we can expect significant shifts in the story, and quality since the original studio behind the franchise named, Blue Sky Studios, is shut down. Disney is now picking up the project from here. We discussed every short film, feature film, television special, and TV series in the Ice Age franchise along with the order to watch them. All the movies and TV specials are available on the Disney+ platform. I hope you found this article helpful. If you have any queries about the topic, feel free to comment below.

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