You can’t not know who Scrat is. He’s the funny-looking rodent who’s always frantically chasing after his beloved acorn. You’ll see him again, in this year’s Ice Age: Collision Course, which is the fifth Ice Age movie since the first instalment of the franchise was released in 2002. Why doesn’t he just eat the acorn already?
Not so soon, busters. He’ll be here for eternity. When I was little and grumbled at the end of a show or a finale episode, my mum would say, “What do you expect, that the show would go on forever, until the lead characters have babies and the babies grow up and have their own babies?”

Er, yes, mum, that’s how we get movie franchises! Ice Age (2002) started with Manny (voiced by Ray Romano), the woolly mammoth, being a cynical loner, and Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) sees him as the family patriarch about to welcome a new son-in-law. Believe you me, the next Ice Age instalment will be about his daughter Peaches (Keke Palmer) coping with married life. Twentieth Century Fox will never allow Manny and his friends, including Scrat, to ever become extinct. In fact, we get to know Scrat better and better with each instalment.Just in case you’ve forgotten, here are six things you should know about our favourite Ice Age character, Scrat.

1. He’s part squirrel and part rat, hence Scrat
Scientists think that this shrew-like mammal with a pointed snout and sharp teeth once roamed the earth near the end of the Triassic period, together with dinosaurs. lIllustration by Jorge Gonzalez and Guillermo Rougier, via news.nationalgeographic.com

Scientists think that this shrew-like mammal with a pointed snout and sharp teeth once roamed the earth near the end of the Triassic period, together with dinosaurs. lIllustration by Jorge Gonzalez and Guillermo Rougier, via news.nationalgeographic.com

Scrat is a sabre-toothed squirrel which has the bushy tail and body resembling a squirrel and the pointed muzzle of a rat. Did such an animal ever exist, though? Originally thought to have existed only in the fictitious world of Ice Age, fossils unearthed in Argentina in 2002 later revealed a similar-looking creature with a narrow snout and long fangs.

2. He once fell in love with a girl scrat named Scratte

Scrat graciously offers his acorn to Scratte as a peace offering. (Credit: Twentieth Century Fox via iceage.wikia.com)

Scratte wants Scrat’s nut. (Credit: Twentieth Century Fox via iceage.wikia.com)

In the third film, Ice Age: Dawn Of The Dinosaurs, Scrat encounters Scratte, a female sabre-toothed squirrel, who competes with him for the acorn. Scrat is instantly smitten. After numerous conflicts, the two fall in love, forget about the acorn and almost move in together, but Scrat is unable to put his true love behind him. He goes back for his acorn and the two rodents tussle for one last time. Scrat loses; he is stranded on the surface of the Earth’s crust while Scratte is left in the underground jungle of the dinosaurs… with Scrat’s acorn. Scrat screams in frustration, having lost both his acorn and Scratte.

3. He’s responsible for splitting Pangaea into separate continents

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?gl=SG&hl=en-GB&v=zocutif0cQY]

In Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, Scrat inadvertently splits Pangaea into the seven continents when he tries to store his acorn on the summit of an ice-capped mountain. This is how it happens: The ice cracks from the spot where Scrat rams his acorn, the entire mountain is torn asunder and Scrat falls into the rift, with his acorn, passing by Dino World, all of Earth’s layers, eventually arriving at the inner core. Scrat makes the core spin and breaks Pangaea into the pieces we know today.

4. He found and sunk an island called Scratlantis

[youtube http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pJjRsDJCsL4]

Within less than two minutes, no less. Scratlantis is an acorn-shaped archipelago filled with acorns and dominated by sabre-toothed squirrels with opposable thumbs. They look on in horror as Scrat, unable to shake off his “base animal desire” for acorns, tugs on a giant acorn in the middle of an arena. It pops out, along with a large plug which has been keeping seawater out. All of the squirrels and acorns are taken down with it, except Scrat, who ends up stranded in the dry Death Valley of the United States.

5. Scrat can’t speak even though all the other Ice Age characters can
Manny, Sid, Diego and the rest of the Ice Age herd can speak except Scrat, who’s great at miming. However, in the latest movie Ice Age: Collision Course, he is heard to utter one phrase: “Oh no.” If there’s one thing catastrophe-magnet Scrat can say, that’s definitely it.6. He has travelled time (frozen in ice for 20,000 years) and space (Collision Course)

Scrat's space suit is designed to accommodate his bushy tail. (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

Scrat’s space suit is designed to accommodate his bushy tail. (Credit: 20th Century Fox)

If the movies have taught us anything, it’s that survivors of cryogenic freezing will get to travel through space! It’s like a buy-one-get-one-free deal. Survived for 20,000 years? Great – now you get to navigate the unknown in a space suit!
What calamities will Scrat trigger this time? Find out for yourself in Ice Age: Collision Course!