835. No Time for Nuts – Mike Thurmeier, Chris Renaud

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SUMMARY: While trying to find a hiding place for his acorn, Scrat uncovers a frozen time machine which sends him on a quest through time to retrieve his beloved food.

WHY IT’S HERE: While I was never the biggest fan of the ‘Ice Age’ films, they do have a certain charm, much of which was derived from the supporting character of Scrat, a sabre-toothed squirrel-rat who spends the films chasing an elusive acorn. Although they dove-tailed with the main plot, Scrat’s slapstick adventures mainly played out in parallel to the central action, making him the perfect character to spin off for his own theatrical shorts. The first of these, ‘Gone Nutty’, was a fairly predictable little piece but ‘No Time for Nuts’ improved upon it significantly by introducing the unexpected element of time travel. Time travel is a plot device milked to death by cartoons and ‘No Time for Nuts’ uses it in a fairly standard way, placing Scrat at the scene of various moments of historical importance and using our knowledge of the events for dramatic irony or just the laughter of recognition. But for all its clichés, ‘No Time for Nuts’ is a very entertaining short, executing its jokes with a fine comic timing and keeping the pace brisk at all times. The cruel final twist is also surprisingly dark. Like its predecessor, ‘No Time for Nuts’ was nominated for an Oscar and confirmed Scrat’s potential as a stand-alone star. Oddly then, the next ‘Ice Age’ short chose to focus instead on the annoying Sid the Sloth, although the fourth short, ‘Cosmic Scrat-tatstrophe’ switched the focus back to the put-upon squirrel-rat.

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