Scrat in space, it’s not much of a surprise

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Ice Age 5: Laws of the Universe
20th Century Fox

The creators of Ice Age are big fans of Star Trek.

The short movie Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe, a key promotional element in the promotion of Laws of the universe, send Scrat, the greedy squirrel of The Ice Age, in the space. With his acorn, of course. A far-fetched idea that had been bothering its creators for a little while. In 2012, First had met Peter de Sève, the creator of the main visuals of the animated saga, and Mike Thurmeier, the director of the fourth episode, Continental Drift. The exchange had been more geek than expected. Extracts from their discussion moderated by Gaël Golhen and available in full – with original drawings by Peter – in the First No. 424.

What is the process of working and when do you enter the loop?
TO FART : My job is to imagine the design of the new characters. The first step for me is to get the script. Since I’ve been working on the franchise from the start, I got a chance to take a look at one of the very early versions of the script. From there, I researched my science books and looked at what fossils were still available to create new characters.
MIKE: There should not be much left …
TO FART : You do not know how right you are ! Casually, in four episodes, we looted all races of prehistoric animals. (…)
MIKE: Peter has a lot of leeway, on the casting as on the design. Even from a stylistic point of view, he was never asked to be too “realistic”, for example.

Why ?
TO FART : I once asked a palaeontologist friend what his favorite character from The Ice Age. When he replied Scrat, it vaccinated me, I stopped worrying about the realism of the series.

After having recognized that the “Hyrax”, new creatures of Ice Age 4, looked a bit like the Ewoks of Star wars (“Funny you say that because we used Ewoks screams for their temporary voice”, the director explained at the time), the duo admitted to adoring science fiction. The opportunity to ask them … if Ice Age 5 could be happening in space!

MIKE: Peter is a trekkie.
TO FART : “Was” would be the right word. For ten years, there is no longer any reason to be interested in Star Trek.

What about JJ Abrams’ film?
TO FART : (Big silence.)

You don’t want to start this conversation, looks like.
TO FART : I even want to close the subject right away. (To laugh.)

Have you ever fantasized about a crossover Scrat-Star trek ?
TO FART : Are you sending me a subliminal message, by any chance?

I really wonder what Scrat would look like doing a hi Vulcan…
TO FART : Don’t push your luck too much. (To laugh.) To that ?


You went underground (Ice Age 3), on the water (Ice Age 4) … The next step is necessarily space, right?
TO FART : We have always slipped clues on the consequences, sometimes even unconsciously. In the first film, at one point, the trio enter a cave and discover a frozen T-Rex and … a spaceship. We could also hear in the background the music of Star Trek. It was from me.
MIKE: The entertainment is full of geeks.
TO FART : A real bunch of kids!

Three years later, Scrat is effectively pointing the tip of his muzzle into space. Here is the video:

Ice Age 5 will be broadcast on Sunday evening for the first time unencrypted on TF1. His pitch? “Scrat’s ongoing quest to catch his elusive nutty catapult him into space, where he accidentally sets off a series of cosmic events that will transform and threaten the Ice Age world. To save their skins, Sid, Manny Diego and the rest of the gang will have to leave their homes and embark on a new adventure full of comedy, traveling to exotic new lands and meeting a gallery of colorful characters. “

Trailer :

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