Hear me out. Ice Age Scrat is probably the last game you thought I’d be writing about. With so many great summer sale options here at IndieGala why would I pick Ice Age Scrat, you might say?
Well, because 1. The Ice Age Scrat game is also part of our summer sale, and because 2. the Ice Age franchise contains one of the best characters ever. Indeed, I’m talking about Scrat. And since it’s not the fist time that I write about cult video game characters. That’s right. I’ve already checked Mega Man, Vegeta, Pac-Man and Mr. Rhino, but I digress.
I’m going to be focusing on Scrat’s origin, the inspiration behind him, his characteristics and his obsessions. And of course on the main theme for this post- that he’s probably one of the best characters ever created. But I can’t dive into the character (or the franchise for that matter) without mentioning the game. The video game that proved to be a great inspiration for this post. Yes, Ice Age Scrat’s Nutty Adventure or just Ice Age Scrat for short. Let’s begin, shall we?
Ice Age Scrat: What’s The Game All About You Say?
Well, Scrat has some new misfortunes and some new adventures in this game. And it’s up to you to guide him through both. The saber-tooth squirrel we all grew to love, has to find our legendary Crystal Nuts, scattered across the land. His prized possession has been locked in an ancient Scratazon Temple and he must embark on a quest to find all 4 nuts. The only way he can get his possession back.
In this epic 3D adventure, you’ll put Scrat through some crazy calamities where he’ll face some unlikely creatures.
The adventure awaits, and Scrat will find himself in very odd situations as a result. Jumping from an icicle to icicle and ride raging geysers. Not to mention he’ll get to leap across burning lava and reach for impossible heights in order to reach those four Crystal Nuts. Ice Age Scrat’s Nutty Adventure is developed by Just Add Water and published by Outright Games Ltd, and available for purchase.
Ice Age Scrat: The Origins Of Scrat
Although the origin story of Scrat is deputed, one side of the story is that he was inspired by a real-life encounter with a real-life squirrel. That’s right. Ice Age’s storyboard artist Bill Frake had a very unusual encounter with “a crazy, peanut-obsessed squirrel” . That particular squirrel wouldn’t stop banging on his sliding door while he worked on the film. And the rest, my friends, is history. That squirrel was an inspiration for Scrat, and we have her to thank for that.
On the other side, the famous Cartoon designer Ivy Supersonic claims she created the character back in 1999. Years before the movie was released even. Supposedly she saw a squirrel-rat hybrid in Madison Square Park, and that was it. Furthermore, she claims that she even has trademark protection over her creation, and the case even got to a court hearing. Frankly, I don’t know which version is true, but in this case, it doesn’t really matter. We are left with an iconic character.
But for now let’s do a quick analysis on why this is probably the greatest character ever. I’m not joking on this statement. He is.
Ice Age Scrat: What Makes Him So Great?
First and foremost, you can consider him as a modern-day version of the Wile E. Coyote. And that acorn that he’s chasing, is his equivalent of the road-runner. Furthermost, Scart is an obsessive character chasing the unattainable holy grail. Sounds familiar? Frankly, in this day and age, it’s hard for anyone to make us laugh without saying a word. Or without much interaction with the other characters for that matter. Let alone a very clumsy and neurotic supporting character in an animated movie. You can safely say that he’s the breakout star of the Ice Age franchise, and I’m glad that it’s the case. The amount of physical comedy in him is just astonishing, and he offers a strong relief to the story as well.
I mean just take a look at the first Ice Age teaser. He occupies almost the entire teaser. No, not Manny, Sid or Diego. No. Scrat is the main star in the teaser, and he’s hilarious. I remember watching this teaser, and thinking… Yeah this is going to be good. Sometime you can really tell if the movie is going to be good solely based on the teaser. This was one of those cases.
Ice Age Scrat: He’s An Animated Lesson In Perseverance
And frankly not just in perseverance, but in persistence and an overall no-quitting attitude. Scrat just never gives up? And I respect that. No matter how bad his life turns out, he just keeps going.
Indeed, he has this incredible survival drive underneath that obsessive nature, and frankly, that’s the astonishing thing about him. If there’s a lesson to be learned from this character is his ability to go on despite the setbacks. And I think that captures the entire evolution process beautifully. Where would humanity be if we just gave up after the first hurdle?
He’s basically a character that Chuck Jones would have created if he was alive. Jones was known for his minimalism in expression, movement and in creating some iconic characters. And I think he would have liked Scrat a lot. Sadly Jones died a month before the premiere of the Ice Age movie, but I think he would have liked him a lot.
But I feel that Scrat’s biggest characteristic is his reliability. We’re all chasing something, aren’t we? Maybe it’s not an acorn, but it’s something all right. A dream, a goal, an aspiration for something. And we’re trying to make it happen. Whenever and wherever it may be. Some call it an aspiration, some obsession but thankfully for comedic purposes, Scrat has them both.
I adore this character. And from all the comedic charters in Ice Age, you can safely say that he’s the exact opposite of Sid. His polar opposite if you will. But, I’m also happy that Scrat is getting the love and attention that he deserves. There are video games with him, short movies in which he’s the main star and plenty of fan-made gifs, TV specials memes and other great stuff.
He Wouldn’t Do Well In A Solo Movie Though
Correct me if I’m wrong, but I don’t think Scrat would benefit from a solo animated movie. He’s mostly a silent character and I feel that he’s best in small doses. His franchise-building success can go up to a certain point, but a solo movie is not the best choice for him. What do you think?
Tell me what you think about Scrat. Is he your favorite character as well? Or you’re a more of a Sid fan? Tell us in the comment section below. We’d love to know.