ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT
Out To Sea
Granny is a surprise castaway when Manny, Diego and Sid are swept out to sea on
an iceberg following Scrat's continental crack-up. But her addled antics are the
least of the boys' problems. They've been captured by a band of pirates, led by
the fearsome orangutan Captain Gutt, voiced by Emmy┬«-winner Peter Dinklage
("Game of Thrones"). A self-styled king of the ocean and pirate of all pirates,
Gutt loves being a brigand and living by the strict code of the sea. He's earned
the name "Gutt" from having big claws that he's not afraid to use. As Gutt
proudly boasts, he can turn your innards into your "outards." You don't want to
mess with him.
That is, unless you're Manny, who must challenge Gutt because the pirate captain
is standing in the way of the mammoth's return to his family. They are
formidable, evenly matched foes. "Manny and the herd beat the dinosaurs in their
last adventure, so we knew we had to come up with a bigger-than-life adversary
for Manny," says producer John C. Donkin. Adds Thurmeier: "Gutt doesn't like
being told 'No,' and Manny, being a strong personality, isn't afraid to take him
Gutt is voiced by Peter Dinklage, whose role as Tyrion Lannister in the series
"Game of Thrones" has earned superstardom and accolades. The actor's rich, deep
voice conveys Gutt's power and gravitas, and Dinklage's comedic and acting
skills bring to life the humor and fun. "What appealed to me about Gutt was that
I had never before played a pirate orangutan, and I'm not sure I'll get such an
opportunity again, so when these jobs come up, you grab them," he jokes about
making his animated feature film debut. "I enjoyed playing Gutt's anger
management issues. He's quick to remind everyone who's in charge."
Gutt is a dark version of Manny, especially in their views about family. Manny
has become the ultimate family guy - married, with a teen daughter, and a father
figure to his extended clan, including Diego and Sid. He believes that family
gives you strength. Gutt thinks family holds you back and makes you weak, though
as Dinklage observes, his "mates and crew are a version of a family." So let's
meet Gutt's crew/family:
SHIRA (Jennifer Lopez) is the aforementioned beautiful and dangerous sabre-toothed
tiger who battles Diego - only to lose her heart to him.
FLYNN ("Hot Fuzz's" and "Shaun of the Dead's" Nick Frost) is Gutt's first mate,
a jiggly, gelatinous, 4,000-pound elephant seal. When he comes waddling into a
scene, and then stops, his belly continues moving forward! He's easily the
biggest member of the crew, but, says Martino, "he's also like a kid. Flynn has
the enthusiasm of a young child, wrapped in an enormous frame." Adds Nick Frost:
"Flynn always sees the best in people, even Gutt, which is quite a difficult
thing to do."
SQUINT ("Parks and Recreation's" Aziz Ansari) is the pirate crew's smallest but
scrappiest member -- an over-caffeinated bunny with a Napoleon Complex. "Squint
can't help it that he's got a cute little bunny nose, tail and ears," says
Thurmeier. Adds Ansari: "Squint's always ready to fight, but never gets to chop
it up with anybody."
GUPTA ("The Big Bang Theory's" Kunal Nayyar) is a prehistoric badger whose back
is patterned with a skull and crossbones - the iconic pirate flag, the Jolly
Roger. So he makes for a perfect ship's pennant. Unfortunately for Gupta, his
underbelly is white, the color of surrender, which angers Gutt. "Gupta always
wants to fly his white side, and nothing ticks off Gutt more than surrendering,"
RAZ ("Bridesmaids'" Rebel Wilson) is an enormous prehistoric kangaroo and the
crew's weapons master. She's tall, tough, and despite her gender, the epitome of
a burly pirate.
SILAS ("Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian's" Alain Chabat) is an
aristocratic French seagull - prim, proper, and possessing a strong posture.
DOBSON is a silent, salty and curmudgeonly seaman - and a mumbling and grumbling
complainer. He's the polar opposite of the cheerful Flynn.
Peter de Seve's ingenious character designs style the buccaneers to look like
they're wearing classic pirate garb or facial hair (Gutt's craggly beard,
Dobson's mutton chop sideburns, Flynn's wily whiskers), all of which is actually
fur that is groomed, colored and shaped to create the "costumes" and scruff.
This menagerie of pirates, in addition to taking prisoner Manny, Sid and Diego,
has forced into servitude guinea pig-like creatures called the Hyrax - cute
balls of squishy love that "could very well become the film's breakout
characters," says Martino. Realizing that the enemies (the Hyrax) of their
enemies (Gutt & Co.) could make for formidable allies, Manny, Diego and Sid make
a deal with the Hyrax: if they help steal Gutt's ship, which Manny hopes will
return him to his family, the herd will free the Hyrax from the pirate's
clutches. Helping to seal the deal is the fact that only Sid can communicate
with the Hyrax, who have a unique language. Says Leguizamo: "Sid and the Hyrax
speak through a bit of mime and 'click-clack' talk," referencing the creatures'
Also taking center stage in ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT is Mother Nature herself,
via the filmmakers' depictions of: the Scrat-induced continental cataclysm, the
ocean upon which the herd is swept away, a vicious storm that puts our three
heroes at great risk, and the looming threat of the palisades - an 800-foot wall
chasing, and threatening to crush Ellie, Peaches and the other creatures
remaining on land.
The word "epic" was at the top of everyone's mind in the design of these
environments and natural disasters. "It is epic when you see a mammoth, Manny,
look like a tiny dot atop an iceberg being hurtled through an oceanic storm,"
says Thurmeier. "With each new 'Ice Age' movie, we take major steps forward in
putting our characters in larger, more elaborate, and more thrilling
Chief among those environments is the vast and unforgiving ocean. To maximize
the scale of the characters' peril - and to sweep audiences along for the ride -
the filmmakers employed newly developed technologies. They were successful
beyond their expectations: when the voice cast saw some early footage of the
storm scene, they thought the filmmakers had filmed an actual ocean, which, they
assumed was blended with the animated characters.
The ocean is no less compelling when it's becalmed. Its rich atmospherics - the
mist and mystery of being at sea - are an extension of the characters,
especially the pirates, as are the vast, open skies punctuated by cloud
formations. To capture the environments, the filmmakers, for the first time in
the "Ice Age" franchise, shot in the widescreen aspect ratio of 2:35: 1, which
enhances the feeling of the characters being dwarfed by their surroundings.
The ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT research and development team also developed new
technologies for some spectacular land-based locales, including a cave where
trees hang from the ceiling, literally turning the earth under the characters
upside-down; the ubiquitous threat of crumbling earth and rocks; and the
icebergs serving as the ships, each possessing a unique "personality" and color.
Another key filmmaking tool was 3D. Notes Martino: "Our story takes audiences on
an adventure, and 3D further immerses them in the story. When Manny, Diego and
Sid ride some giant waves during a storm, 3D allows us to place the audience
with the characters on the waves, and have them feel like they're part of the
"We were always looking for new ways to give the audience a really interesting
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