January 9, 2011

Plate Tectonics by Squirrel– “Ice Age: Continental Drift”

Posted by Evelyn Mervine

My friend Arthur just made my day by sending me a link to the teaser for the 4th installment of the “Ice Age” movie series. This clip is adorable but also completely ridiculous scientifically.

“Ice Age: Continental Drift” Trailer taken from YouTube.

This clip makes me smile and laugh, but I do worry– a little– about young children believing in plate tectonics by sabre-toothed squirrel after watching this movie. I think most children are smart enough to figure out that plate tectonics (which isn’t called continental drift, by the way) doesn’t really happen by squirrel. However, I wonder if there’s any way to talk 20th Century Fox and Blue Sky Studios into including an extra on the DVD or on their movie website that explains how plate tectonics really works. Even just a two or three minute clip– it could even be a cartoon– with a proper scientific explanation would be wonderful. I know that many children watch all of the extras on their favorite movies religiously.

If I wrote a letter and tracked down the contact information for the people in charge of the “Ice Age” movies, would other geologists also write letters and help me with my campaign? Note that I don’t want them to change their script– I just want them to include some educational information as a sort of extra. There is plenty of time for this campaign as the movie is not scheduled to come out until 2012. I’ll get started on my research, but please reply below or send me an email if you’d be willing to support my effort– even if it’s just signing a letter that I write to Fox.

Also, I have a few connections to the entertainment industry through some skeptical friends of mine. I’ll do some networking and try to come up with the best way to reach Fox & Blue Sky Studios, the two organizations in charge of this movie.