An unnecessary deep dive into the history and philosophy of Scrat from Ice Age


Six years ago, Liam Maguren wrote what might be the world’s most detailed historical document on Scrat, the fictional sabretooth squirrel from the Ice Age series. With the arrival of Ice Age shorts Scrat Tales, we have unearthed the essay and republished Liam’s musings.

Whether you’re devoted to a holy scripture or follow a scientific theorem, chances are you have a very strong understanding of how the modern world was created. At least, you think you do.

In actuality, however, you are completely wrong. The modern world as we know it was created by a sabretooth squirrel and his undying love of acorns. His name is Scrat, and his nut fetish has literally reshaped the Earth over a period of five Ice Age films and several short films.

Scrat has but two objectives in life: find acorns and bury acorns. But, for whatever reason, the universe defies this little guy’s happiness in a manner so cruel that even Wile E. Coyote would consider himself lucky.

Scrat was introduced at the very beginning of the first Ice Age film in 2002, bounding across an icy landscape with his one acorn looking for a place to bury it. He found the perfect spot, only to cause a gigantic fissure that turned things from bad to it’s-raining-pointy-hail bad.

At the end of the film, Scrat ended up frozen in ice for 20,000,000 years (which is still nowhere near present day). He thawed on a deserted island and found an even greater prize: a coconut.

When he tried to bury it, the sand itself took on an ice-like quality by cracking impossibly and causing a nearby volcano to erupt.

It is clear that a metaphysical presence was stopping his every attempt at simple happiness, but we are never told why.

Rewinding the clock back 20 million years is Scrat’s missing adventure Gone Nutty, a DVD extra short film which saw Scrat gathering a hearty collection of acorns for the winter. At a glance, the collection seemed overindulgent.

(Could this hoarding behaviour stem from an unhealthy obsession that plagues his psyche? One cannot help but ponder.)

It didn’t take long before Scrat’s compulsion led him to trouble when one out-of-order nut caused havoc that flushed Scrat off a cliff and caused another acorn to hit him so hard, it made the entire world break apart.

The formation of the continents was the first of many contributions Scrat made to the modern world.

In Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, Scrat’s passion for acorns forced him to invent tools and techniques that the human race would eventually adopt. While the other animals evacuated to escape a mass flood, Scrat was creating modern wonders like the pole vault, the martial arts, and the greatest of all inventions: the wheel.

After these fantastical feats of engineering, Scrat eventually secured his acorn. Alas, at the end of the film, he caused yet another cataclysmic crack that separated a large wall of ice. The separation emptied the flood and saved the lives of many, but Scrat fell to his doom.

(Is his eternal misery somehow essential to the well-being of the universe? One cannot help but ponder.)

At the end of the film, Scrat died and went to Scrat heaven where he was rewarded with joyous amounts of acorns—including the God acorn.

Before Scrat could touch it, however, Sid used CPR to bring him back to life—much to his dismay. The little critter was so close to eternal peace, but even that was cruelly taken from him.

Nevertheless, Scrat achieved God-like status by sacrificing himself to save the rest of his kind and rising from the grave like a deity. This makes him the original Jesus—why else would he have his own Christmas and Easter specials?

In Scrat’s second short film, No Time for Nuts, he stumbled across a time travelling device that sent him and his acorn to different years and locations. (He even went back to the first Ice Age film and met himself.) He time-hopped so much that the very fabric of time began to tear apart.

Scrat’s reckless meddling with the time-space continuum had deep implications. Not only did this explain how he was able to move back and forth millions of years from the end of the first Ice Age film to the start of the second, it also explained why he appears in alternative universes like The Simpsons and Family Guy.

(How many alternate Scrats exists out there, and in how many possible multiverses does he/they exist in? One cannot help but ponder.)

In Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Scrat’s heart was torn between two loves: Scratte, a female sabretooth squirrel, and his acorn. Inevitably, a rivalry formed between Scrat and Scratte as they raced for the nut. This competition saw them falling down cliffs, floating up in tar bubbles, and engaging in competitive tango.

Eventually, they came to realise the beauty of their shared passion for acorns. They fell for each other. They embraced one another. Love exploded.

It is in this moment that we come to know the true victim in this love triangle… the one left behind, like a lonely seed in a concrete jungle… the acorn.

Near the end of the film, Scrat and Scratte moved in together. Feeling the pressures of commitment and the FOMO of a former lover, it didn’t take Scrat long to fall back into the arms of his acorn. And so began—again—the misery of a toxic relationship he briefly escaped.

(Can love ever last forever, or are we only attracted to the love that seems fleeting? One cannot help but ponder.)

Scrat would journey to the centre of the Earth for his beloved acorn. And he did just that in Ice Age 4: Continental Drift.

As he chased his nut on Earth’s spinning core, he caused the movement of tectonic plates, the formation of historical landmarks, and the existence of giraffes. He is also the reason Manny and the crew end up seafaring on an ice raft in the film.

When Scrat escaped the Earth’s core, he found a map to Scrat-lantis—the El Dorado of acorns.

He reached its shores near the end of the film where he was greeted by his intellectual brethren. However, his primitive and unrestrained love for acorns began to tear the paradise apart. A fellow Scrat pleaded with him, but our tragic Scrat could not substitute the simplicity of his impulsive desires for the complexity of rational thought. And thus, the United States was born.

(Is this to imply that America is a nation devoid of rational thought and driven by impulsive desires? One cannot help but ponder.)

Scrat’s journey would then take him interstellar when he unwittingly buried his nut on top of a tiny UFO control panel in Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe, the short film leading up to Ice Age 5: Collision Course.

Unable to pilot the spacecraft, he accidentally knocked various planets around, caused constellations to form, and gave birth to our known solar system.

Scrat is no Sandra Bullock, so when he got cast out into space (in a suit that adorably covered his tail), he was less than competent. And yet, he still managed to bury his nut in an asteroid. But, as fate would have it, the nut cracked the asteroid apart and sent it hurtling towards Earth. In the feature film, this forced Sid, Manny and Diego to avoid another mass extinction event that Scrat put into motion.

Scrat’s influence on our world seems limitless. He has shaped the continents we live on, invented the technology we’ve adopted, forged the landmarks we adore, traversed time and space, defied death, and is now the creator of the universe.

What other scientific triumphs is he capable of? One cannot help but ponder.