In 2009, Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier staged “Ice Age 3: Age of the Dinosaurs”. Did you notice that the story of Buck and Rudy is modeled on the story of Captain Ahab and Moby Dick?
ice age 3 : the first opus in 3D
In 2002, Chris Wedge and Carlos Saldanha directed the first part of the saga The Ice Age. Produced by Blue Studios Sky (which no longer exist today), the feature film received a dithyrambic critical reception. Nominated for the Oscar for Best Animated Film, The Ice Age yields more than $383 million in revenue at the box office (for a budget of 59 million).
Following this success, Blue Sky studios decided to produce a whole saga. In all, six movies The Ice Age emerge over the years. In 2009, Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier staged the third part of the license: Ice Age 3: Age of the Dinosaurs. A somewhat special opus since it is the first part of the saga The Ice Age to be offered to the public in 3D.
The work then makes a real hit. For a budget of 90 million dollars, the animated feature brings in more than 886 million at the box office. Even today, it is the most profitable film of the license, and more broadly of all the productions of Blue Sky Studios. At his time, it was the 2nd highest-grossing animated film of all timejust behind Shrek 2.
Finally, Ice Age 3: Age of the Dinosaurs introduces a whole new character. It is Buck, voiced by Simon Pegg, a small rodent who has spent most of his life in the world of dinosaurs. A major addition for this third installment, much appreciated by the public.
A Mirror of Moby Dick History
Buck immediately made an impression for his extravagant style, sometimes bordering on pure madness. This little rodent brought to Ice Age 3: Age of the Dinosaurs a new humor compared to the previous parts. But what you may not have noticed is that Buck’s story is a mirror of Captain Ahab’s in the book Moby-Dick.
In fact, the characters of Buck and Rudy reenact the story of Moby-Dick. Buck is a version of Captain Ahab. They are thus both hunters of a white animal, and have both been injured and disabled by their prey. Buck and Ahab lost an eye and a leg respectively to the dinosaur and the sperm whale. Buck and Ahab then become obsessed with their quest for revenge, tracking down the beast that hurt them.
The reference to Herman Melville’s book reaches its climax when Buck climbs to the top of a tree, above the cloud layer. He holds a straight branch like a spear, ready to hurl it like a harpoon at Rudy, who makes his back appear above the clouds, like a whale in the ocean.
In Moby-DickCaptain Ahab had a second named Starbuck. Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier probably named their little rodent after Herman Melville’s character. Finally, the dinosaur tooth that Buck has is the same color, size, and shape as a whale tooth.
Carlos Saldanha and Mike Thurmeier thus had the intelligence to create an unprecedented parallel between The Ice Age and Moby-Dick. A brilliant tribute, which gives a little more depth to the character of Buck.