The way I see it (and I happened to see it twice so far), the movie, "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs," is not an animated feature designed to enchant children and get adults to chuckle.
It is not even a slick 3-D cartoon populated by an appealing array of prehistoric personalities.
"Ice Age" is a romance. Plain and simple, it is an ode to the undying affection a squirrel (even a prehistoric one, such as the protagonist Scrat) has for his acorn.
Love is lovelier, or so it seems, when this third installment of the film series introduces the conquettish Scratte. Scrappy and sultry, this long-lashed female flying squirrel quickly steals Scrat's heart - and then, quite opportunistically, his acorn too.
It is then that the passionate embrace turns into what is known in the world of professional wrestling as the Full Nelson.
Had Romeo and Juliet been squirrels, the battle between the Capulet and Montague families would have had nothing on the fur that would fly when these young lovers squared off over an acorn.
Had Greek mythology's Orpheus and Eurydice possessed bushy tails instead of flowing robes, Eurydice - daughter of Apollo and herself an oak nymph - would have been no match for the mighty kernel that springs from, and gives rise to, the mighty oak. Her grieving, newly widowed husband, Orpheus, would sooner see his late wife descend into Hades itself than to endure any sort of living hell on earth without his acorn.
And so the heart of the next generation of trees holds a special place in the heart of each and every squirrel.
Love is what you make it. And like the acorn itself it, too, can be a tough nut to crack.