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The ‘Ice Age’ herd is in a lot of trouble in this latest film of the saga, ‘Ice Age: Continental Drift.’ They’ve been captured by a band of pirates, led by the fearsome orangutan Captain Gutt, voiced by Emmy-winner Peter Dinklage (“Game of Thrones”). A self-styled king of the ocean and pirate of all pirates, Gutt loves being a brigand and living by the strict code of the sea. He’s earned the name “Gutt” from having big claws that he’s not afraid to use. As Gutt proudly boasts, he can turn your innards into your “outards.” You don’t want to mess with him.
That is, unless you’re Manny, who must challenge Gutt because the pirate captain is standing in the way of the mammoth’s return to his family. They are formidable, evenly matched foes. “Manny and the herd beat the dinosaurs in their last adventure, so we knew we had to come up with a bigger-than-life adversary for Manny,” says producer John C. Donkin. Adds Thurmeier: “Gutt doesn’t like being told ‘No,’ and Manny, being a strong personality, isn’t afraid to take him on.”
Gutt is voiced by Peter Dinklage, whose role as Tyrion Lannister in the series “Game of Thrones” has earned superstardom and accolades. The actor’s rich, deep voice conveys Gutt’s power and gravitas, and Dinklage’s comedic and acting skills bring to life the humor and fun. “What appealed to me about Gutt was that I had never before played a pirate orangutan, and I’m not sure I’ll get such an opportunity again, so when these jobs come up, you grab them,” he jokes about making his animated feature film debut. “I enjoyed playing Gutt’s anger management issues. He’s quick to remind everyone who’s in charge.”
Gutt is a dark version of Manny, especially in their views about family. Manny has become the ultimate family guy – married, with a teen daughter, and a father figure to his extended clan, including Diego and Sid. He believes that family gives you strength. Gutt thinks family holds you back and makes you weak, though as Dinklage observes, his “mates and crew are a version of a family.” So let’s take a look at Gutt’s crew/family:
Peter de Sève’s ingenious character designs style the buccaneers to look like they’re wearing classic pirate garb or facial hair (Gutt’s craggly beard, Dobson’s mutton chop sideburns, Flynn’s wily whiskers), all of which is actually fur that is groomed, colored and shaped to create the “costumes” and scruff.
This menagerie of pirates, in addition to taking prisoner Manny, Sid and Diego, has forced into servitude guinea pig-like creatures called the Hyrax – cute balls of squishy love that “could very well become the film’s breakout characters,” says Martino. Realizing that the enemies (the Hyrax) of their enemies (Gutt & Co.) could make for formidable allies, Manny, Diego and Sid make a deal with the Hyrax: if they help steal Gutt’s ship, which Manny hopes will return him to his family, the herd will free the Hyrax from the pirate’s clutches.
Helping to seal the deal is the fact that only Sid can communicate with the Hyrax, who have a unique language. Says Leguizamo: “Sid and the Hyrax speak through a bit of mime and ‘click-clack’ talk,” referencing the creatures’ tongue-clicking speech.
Image Courtesy of Ice Age Movie