Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs

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Not recommended under 5, PG 5-10 (Scary scenes; Sexual references)

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
  • a review of Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 1 July 2009.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 5 Not recommended due to scary scenes
Children 5-10 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes and sexual references
Children aged over 10 OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines. Other classification advice (OC) is provided where the Australian film classification is not available.

Name of movie: Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild scary scenes and crude humour
Length: 94 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The third film of this animated trilogy begins with Ellie (Queen Latifa) and Manny (Ray Romano) expecting their first mammoth child at any day.  As the couple prepare excitedly for their new arrival, Sid, the sloth, (John Leguizamo) and Diego, the sabre toothed tiger, (Denis Leary) begin to question their role within the herd that they have grown to love and start to wonder whether this is the time for them to explore the world.
Diego leaves to search for adventure and to capture his ever disappearing youth, as Sid finds trouble when he adopts three abandoned eggs to create his own ready-made family.  Chaos ensues when the eggs hatch and three baby dinosaurs are born.  Sid loves his new role as ‘Mummy’ but things get complicated when the dinosaurs’ real mother comes searching for her babies and in anger takes the babies and Sid into the hidden Dinosaur world under the ice.   


Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Abandonment, family breakdown

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is some violence and accidental harm in this movie including:Two squirrels have a physical fight over an acorn

  • A deer is chased aggressively by Diego but it is seen later that the chase is a hoax
  • Sid, the sloth, falls through ice down a steep cliff
  • Sid and the three eggs fall down an ice slip.  This scene is quite scary as they avoid obstacles in the ice, especially in 3-D.
  • One of the dinosaurs eats two of the other baby animals, but regurgitates them alive after Sid realises.
  • the herd is attacked by a hammer tail dinosaur
  • Diego and Manny are eaten by a large killer plant and almost digested but are saved by Buck at the last minute
  • a live bird is given to the baby dinosaurs then saved by Sid, only to be eaten by a larger bird flying past
  • Rudy, the great white dinosaur, is a scary creature and there are many scenes at the end where he tries to attack the other characters
  • Sid is almost killed in the waterfall of lava, however is saved at the last minute by Buck.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, particular as they are made more intense by 3-D effects, including the following:

  • Many of the scenes involve dinosaurs which are large, fierce and scary-looking, particularly when they threaten or attack the herd
  • The characters walk through the Chasm of Death which is dark and spooky


Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

Children in this age group may be scared by some of the scenes described above

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Younger children in this age group may also be scared by some of the scenes described above

Thirteen and overinfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Children in this age group are unlikely to be disturbed by anything in this film

Product placement

None of concern

Sexual references

There are a few scenes where there is sexual innuendo between the adult animals, including:

  • Sid pulls on the teat of a large mammoth so he can get some milk to feed his adopted baby dinosaurs.  When the mammoth looks at him with alarm he realizes that the mammoth is a male and that he is not pulling on the mammoth’s teat
  • Buck states to the group that he knew the butterfly when he was a caterpillar, before he ‘came out’
  • Buck boasts that he ‘turned the t-Rex into a t-Rachel’
  • When the baby mammoth is born one of the animals states, “It’s a boy”. Manny corrects them, saying, “that’s its tail”

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is an animated adventure similar to the first two films in the Ice Age trilogy, accentuated this time around with 3-D technology.  It is fast-paced and likely to keep young and older viewers entertained. 
The main message from this movie is that families come in all shapes and sizes and should stick together.
Values in this movie that parents may wish to reinforce with their children include:

  • standing by your friends and family
  • bravery
  • the bond between parent and child

This movie could also give parents the opportunity to discuss with their children the real-life consequences of adoption.