“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” is an entertaining film filled with positive portrayals of loyalty, friendship and self-sacrifice. But …
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” uplifts the heroic role of a father and contains several messages that affirm the fulfillment of love and family. But …
But there is something not quite right about yet another “Ice Age” movie preaching the consistent message that families come in all shapes and sizes. Perhaps it’s the “all” shapes and sizes that gives me pause.
Like its two “Ice Age” predecessors, this third installment in the franchise is a lively lesson teaching children that even if you live in a broken home, a single-parent home or a foster home, you’re OK. Even if your family doesn’t look “normal,” you’re OK. Your family is OK.
But is it OK to press so hard on affirming all families as equally OK that little minds no longer recognize that there really is a better, or – dare we be so “insensitive” to say – a best kind of family? Is it OK to drown the idea that God created the nuclear family as the ideal in a flood of affirming messages that everything else is just as OK?
No, it’s not OK.
And when a movie – even one such as this, that really does contain several family-affirming lines and themes – confuses the issue with jokes about homosexuality, adultery and a transgender parent adopting children, I begin to question: When have we strayed from saying, “you’re OK,” to saying, “everything is OK”?
“Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” begins with the premise that the oddball “herd” family of the first two movies – Manny the mammoth, Sid the sloth and Diego the saber-toothed tiger – are starting to splinter because of Manny’s marriage and expected child.
Manny throws his heart and soul into being a daddy, Diego determines he’s better off a bachelor, and Sid simply feels confused and left out of the whole “family” business.
So Sid, upon discovering three dinosaur eggs, decides it’s time to adopt. As a single “mommy.”
Why shouldn’t Sid be a mommy?
“I love kids, I’m responsible, nurturing,” Sid asserts.
At that point in the movie, my “wait-a-minute” flag went up. Our nation is dealing with a poignant political and moral question right now on the controversy of homosexual couples adopting children. And the argument often made by advocates of opening adoption to all “families,” regardless of shape or composition, is that “gay” parents are every bit as loving, responsible and nurturing as heterosexual parents.
Sounds a lot like Sid’s argument. And so, Sid becomes a “mommy.” Never mind that he’s unmarried, never mind that he’s male. If he’s “loving and responsible” – according to the movie and according to our increasingly godless society – that’s all that’s required to be a mom.
Later in the film, when the real dinosaur mommy shows up, Sid even engages in a custody battle of sorts, as the two “mommies” try to determine the best way to raise “their” children.
But we know, by God’s design, the best way to raise children: not just in a loving and responsible environment, but in the loving and responsible environment created by one man and one woman committed to one another in the stable, life-long lock of matrimony. In this environment, with a mommy and a daddy, who junior securely knows will never part, is the best way to raise a child.
This is what God designed and commanded, giving children, as Scripture tells us, a living example in their parents of the love that exists between Christ and his people, the church. There is a spiritual purpose for growing up with both a mother and father, which is accomplished by no other family structure. It isn’t just arbitrary; God has a reason behind the design of the nuclear family.
Yet we live in a culture that is straining to add homosexual adoption to the mix of OK options, a culture where the vast majority of African-American children are born to homes without fathers and where, if it’s not already the case, the majority of all children will soon be living in single-parent homes, blended family homes, foster homes or same-sex couple homes, because nuclear families are being statistically pushed into the minority.
This is not OK.
This is not OK, and I want my children to know this is not OK, that there is a better way, that God and I earnestly desire they will raise their children in a home with a mommy and a daddy. I don’t want them accepting society’s ethic that says all forms of family are equally beneficial, because they’re not.
When a couple divorces, or a husband runs off or a mom dies from breast cancer, and circumstances therefore compel children to be raised in broken or blended homes, it’s a tragedy that deserves to be honored as such, and not seen as just a bump in the road.
And while I can respect the positive messages of the “Ice Age” series – that children of non-nuclear families can find love and a sense of belonging even in a broken home – I just begin to wonder: what kind of grandchildren will we raise, when we teach our children the nuclear family is no better or worse than any other?
- Parents should know “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs” is more frightening than its predecessors, with booming, roaring dinosaurs, jump scenes, red eyes in shadows, creepy sounds at night and life-like deathly peril before the jaws of monsters. It may not be suitable for small children.
- The film contains several scenes of both cartoon and somewhat realistic violence, though no blood gore.
- There is a sexually charged scene in the movie, as the squirrel character Scrat is pinned to a log while a female squirrel seductively walks her fingers up his belly. It is played for its sexual innuendo.
- The film is filled with “butt and booger jokes,” including belching, spewing of mucus, vomiting and jokes about wetting the bed, being struck in the genitals, castration, mistaking a penis for an udder and swinging on an epiglottis.
- Homosexual humor is present, as a character states, “I knew that [moth] as a caterpillar. You know, before he came out.”
- Parents should know of the film’s brief foray into adultery, as Scrat’s beloved acorn is intentionally personified as a jilted lover. Later in the film, Scrat sneaks out of his nagging wife’s window to return to his acorn. It resolves, however, with Scrat losing both his wife and his acorn as a consequence of his infidelity.