Theme: Peace Child
20th Century Fox's new film, Ice Age, is far more than warm and fuzzy, as one movie critic has described it. There is a profound message in this move, which simply is: 'One tiny thing can create a whole new age'. The acorn creating the Ice Age is a metaphor for the tiny baby who brings peace to ancient foes and unites them into one unique yet diverse new "herd".
The film begins with the onset of the Ice Age, and the animals are fleeing to the south. It is an exodus that is visually reminiscent of the animals boarding the Ark to escape yet another covering of the earth by water. In this case, getting through Glacier Pass is the same as getting on the Ark. One animal is going in the wrong direction. He is a wooly mammoth named Manfred1, who is traveling all alone. Another loner, Sid the sloth, who is seeking protection from two rhinos, soon joins him. Manfred reluctantly offers him protection simply because he "doesn't like animals that kill for pleasure".
The film shifts to a tribe2 of humans under surveillance by a pack of saber tooth tigers. The tigers are out for revenge - "an eye for an eye". Evidently these humans, who now wear tiger skins for clothes, destroyed half of their pack. Soto, the pack leader, has a keen interest in this human baby; making it seem that his revenge is of a very personal nature. He wants the baby, not the adults.
The entire movie is centered on this miracle baby. After going over a waterfall in order to escape a tiger named Diego, the baby is given to Manny and Sid by his dying mother. It is a beautiful scene of sacrificial love overcoming the power of death. Now the stage is set for the great journey to bring this baby back to his "herd".
Diego3, the tiger, joins Manny and Sid in the quest. Traveling together out of necessity, this unlikely threesome does not trust one another. They go through humorous encounters with Do-do birds and dangerous short cuts, and all the while, the peace child4 is working his way into their hearts.
One of the most powerful scenes in the film occurs when the foursome discover the cave drawings made by the humans. It is a record of a fallen world where man and the animal kingdom prey upon one another. To his horror, Manfred recognizes that the picture on the wall is his own. It brings to his memory the attack by the humans, which resulted in the death of his mate and calf. As Manfred touches the painting, the baby touches it, too. At this moment, Manfred's heart is transformed. He identifies what has happened with this child with what happened to his own. He makes the choice not to give "an eye for an eye", but to turn from hate to love. Thus, they emerge from a dark cave (a short cut planned by evil, but used sovereignly for good) into the light.
Diego, who has observed all of this, now has his turn to learn what the power of love can do. At the risk of his own life, Manny goes back to save Diego from a river of lava. This is an incredible scene of one laying down his life for another (John 15:13). When Diego asks why he did this, Manny replies, "That's what you do in a herd; you look out for each other." Later by the campfire as the baby touches their hearts by taking his first steps, Sid tells Diego that he has never had a friend that would risk his life to save him.
The end of the film is obvious, but extremely powerful. Diego's heart is turned; he helps Manny and Sid overcome the pack of tigers. Wounded, he confesses, repents, and is forgiven by Sid. Manny and Sid hurry to get the baby back to the humans who have reached Glacier Pass. In the most tender of scenes, the "man of peace" confronts the hunter man. He takes away the man's spear and gives him his son in return. The holding up of the child by Manfred as the humans start to rush him is an incredible picture of the power of the peace child. Where the peace child is, hearts are transformed from hate and vengeance to love and peace.
As they say good-by to the child, Sid says, "Don't forget about us," and Manny says, "We won't forget about you." Where the peace child is remembered, a whole new herd is created. It's the "weirdest herd" as Sid says, and it's off to the best migration ever.
20,000 Years Later
The film began with one small acorn setting off events that covered the earth with water. It now ends with another small thing, a coconut releasing the fire (II Peter 3:5-7).
Scripture: Isaiah 9:6
1. Manfred means "man of peace".
2. Tribe - The social organization for human beings.
3. Diego - Spanish for "James" (Hebrew for "He who supplants")
4. Peace child - As they go through the cave and see the flying saucer, the baby holds up his hand
and makes the peace sign. ("Pinky") Pink - Highest or most excellent example, state, or degree; as in the
pink of condition; also, an exquisite. Webster's Dictionary
Recommended Reading: Peace Child by Don Richardson
Peace Child is the story of the Sawi's, a Stone Age culture of head hunting cannibals of New Guinea, who were transformed by the "peace child". Their own redemptive analogy of a child given by his father to make peace between tribes was the key that unlocked the truth of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to them.