Today’s Spotlight! focuses on Sid, the Giant Sloth from the Ice Age films, specifically the first Ice Age movie. (I am not overly fond of the sequel Ice Age movies.)
Sid is presented as an annoying character that his own family cannot stand. In the first film, they get up early and begin migrating south, away from the frozen north, without him. Sid bewails his abandonment temporarily, then proceeds to begin migrating south by himself –
Only to get in trouble with a pair of rhinos.
Manfred the Mammoth and star of the show rescues Sid, who then starts following him around, irritating the already sour-tempered mammoth further by shortening his name to Manny and asking him some very personal questions. But Sid keeps up with Manny despite the growls and threats from the bigger animal. Manny tries his best to shake the bothersome sloth, but no dice.
Not long afterward, the two come upon a woman and her infant son in a freezing river. The woman pushes her baby toward Manny, who pulls the child onto dry land. Knowing her baby is safe; the worn-out woman allows the frigid water to carry her downstream. Sid, impressed by the moment, decides that they should return the infant to his “herd” – a group of humans with a camp on a nearby cliff top.
Manny absolutely refuses to help the human baby, stating he is “still trying to get rid of the last thing [he] saved” – Sid.
But the sloth is persistent, and he tries to return the baby to the humans on his own. That attempt fails miserably, and only the timely arrival of a saber tooth tiger, Diego, prevents the child from becoming a human pancake.
Manny then snatches the baby from the tiger, and Sid states that they are going to return the baby to his herd. Manny reluctantly agrees and the two climb the cliff (by a much safer route than Sid’s) only to find the humans have abandoned their camp in something of a hurry.
Throughout the rest of the film Sid continues to annoy both Manny and Diego. But at the same time he is irritating them, somehow Sid also manages to help his two companions grow. Manny and Diego both learn to forgive their perceived “enemy” – humanity – during the course of the film. But they would not have been prepared to forgive humanity if they had not been traveling with Sid.
Sid has a great many faults. He has so many, in fact, that his own flesh and blood has decided they will be better off without him. But Sid never holds this against them. He laments that his family has decided they can no longer put up with him, but he shrugs it off and keeps going. He later tells Diego, “Ah, you know me. I’m too lazy to hold a grudge.”
Too lazy? Say rather very forgiving. Sid takes a lot of abuse, verbal and physical, from a great many animals. But no matter the threats, indignations, or anger heaped on him, he simply lets it roll off his spirit like water off a duck’s back. He keeps on being his annoying, lovable self, and he never denies friendship to anyone – unless they are trying to eat him. Let’s face it; you cannot forgive someone for continually trying to do that!
I have a lot of work ahead of me with regard to forgiveness. Like most people, I find it hard to forgive. But I am trying, and if it took Manny and Diego a whole movie to let go of their anger, then I think I can learn to be forgiving. It might take me awhile, but I know it is not totally impossible. Ice Age and Sid were both pretty good demonstrations that forgiveness is possible, if we let it be possible.
Until next time!
The Mithril Guardian