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- Main article: Soto's saber pack
He is originally from a pack of 10 sabers, from which half were killed by humans. It is unknown if the all sabers are relatives. Diego was close with Soto, the pack leader, and he was given the mission to retrieve the baby and bring it to him so that Soto could kill him and eat him as his revenge.
Appeareance and Personality
Diego is a smilodon (commonly known as a "saber-toothed tiger"), the most distinctive characteristics are his long canine teeth, locks of hair as sideburns and a short tail. He also has a peculiar straight line of hair in his back that is darker than the rest of his fur.
In Ice Age, Diego is first shown as being the sinister and serious type, but he softens as he travels with Manny and Sid to return a baby to his human tribe. He also has a playful side, harassing Sid for fun and actually enjoying sliding in the ice cavern. By the end of the movie, Diego bonds with Manny and Sid and joins them in their immigration to the south.
In the second film, Diego is less hostile, showing a calm, cool-acting personality; but he hides his fear of water, which Sid finds out about. The sloth teaches Diego how to swim, an ability the tiger later used to rescue Crash and Eddie, the twin opossum "brothers" of the mammoth Ellie.
At the beginning of the third film, Diego is experiencing poor physical performance, being unable to hunt down a gazelle. In a conversation with Manny, Diego decides to leave the herd as he thinks that hanging out with them has caused him to go soft. However, when Sid is being taken by a T-Rex dinosaur, Diego joins the herd in the underground Dinosaur World in order to rescue him. Near the end of the movie, he helps Ellie deliver her baby, and even sheds a tear when Peaches is born. He later informs Manny that he has decided to stay with the herd, since he's realized that all the adventure he could ever want is with them.
In the first movie, he was part of a group of originally ten saber-tooth tigers but half were hunted down by humans. The remaining five comprised Soto the leader, Diego, Zeke, Oscar and Lenny. In an act of revenge, the pack decide to kill and eat the tribes baby. Diego was sent by Soto to steal the baby while the other three were fighting off the humans. However Diego lost hold of the baby when the mother snatched it off him. At the ridge of the waterfall and no escape, she jumped off the ridge rather than facing off the beast. Soto was so infuriated that Diego came back with nothing. He threatened Diego that he would be killed by his own pack if he didn't return with the baby by Half-Peak.
On the search at the bottom of the waterfall, he discovered the baby had already been found by a mammoth called Manfred and a sloth called Sid. The mother floating in the river injured, entrusted the baby to the duo as a sacrifice of escaping from the beasts. She then drifted down the river deceased.
Sid suggest they should return the baby. Diego says he will be the one giving back the baby to the humans, but Manny refuses and decides to go with Sid up to the campment to return him. When they reach where the humans where, the humans were already gone, and Diego appears again, saying he can go to Glacier Pass to return the baby most efficiently since he's the one that knows how to track, and it's not easy to travel through a blizzard. Manny acepts him to join them to be the guide, which makes Sid nervous as Diego's intentions of eating him were evident since the first time they met.
In the way to the Glacier Pass, in the first day's night, Diego is visited by Zeke and Oscar, who remind him how impatient Soto is getting from waiting him in the Half-Peak, Diego tells them to tell Soto he'll bring the baby and a mammoth, thing that later seems to cheer up the complete pack who is waiting in Half-Peak.
In their way to the human tribe, Diego finds the humans only some steps after them, and he tricks Manny and Sid to go into a "shortcut", an ice cavern. After arguing with Sid, Diego provokes accidentally a small avalanche that threatens the heroes, which forces them to go inside and follow a long cavern with ancient animals frozen solid in ice, a lengthy slide and human paintings in the end.
Shortly after exiting the cavern, an unknown source of lava sprouts from the ice and threatens the herd, Diego finds himself hanging from a cliff of ice and is saved by Manny, who was very close to death, Diego then starts to feel affection for the other guys.
In the night, the herd has to stop for camping so that they finish their job the next day, in that span of time, Manny shows that the baby is learning to walk, and he first walks to Diego, which puts Diego in an uncomfortable condition, as he seems to enjoy more being with Manny and Sid than with his pack.
The next day, when they are reaching Half-Peak, Diego admits it was all a plan to trap them and kill them, which provokes Manny. The Mammoth uses his tusk to pin Diego against a rock wall by the throat, and used his other tusk like a knife, pressing it's sharp point against Diego's throat, intending to kill the Saber. Diego begs them to trust him. At this, Manny presses his tusk so hard into Diego's neck, he starts to clench his teeth in pain. Diego tells him he can find a way to get out of there harmless, saying that he's their only exit.
Diego arrives with the sabers, at the same time, Sid is traveling with the baby in front of the tigers at a distance. Diego teases Zeke about the sloth and provokes him to go and chase him, and the other sabers, excluding Soto and Diego himself, go to chase Sid.
Sid manages to escape and he is shown to be carrying a fake baby, Manny helps by throwing a log against the sabers to knock them out, Diego appears with him and they are decided to go for Sid and leave now, but Soto appears and Diego refuses to attack the mammoth, but the other sabers appear and Diego and Manny are forced to fight.
Diego fights Soto but is thrown away. At the time when Soto is about to attack Manny, Diego steps in and is hit by Soto. When Soto is about to finish Diego, Sid appears with the baby and Soto is distracted, and when Manny sees a chance he knocks out Soto into a wall from which there were hanging icicles that fall on Soto, instantly killing him.
The sabers then leave and Diego is heavily wounded. Diego tells them to hurry and return the baby, since he can no longer go with them. Later, Manny and Sid meet the humans in the Glacier Pass and return him, when the baby and his tribe are leaving, he makes the peekaboo hand sign and when he opens his eyes he gets to see Diego, who somehow managed to meet up with the herd again.
Diego joins them, just in time to give the baby a silent farewell with the peekaboo hand sign, and the three go together to the south, in search for warmer weather.
In the second film, Diego is considerably calmer and less hostile, and his eye color has changed for unknown reasons.
After Manny and Diego joke about Sid's capability to take care of other children, Sid goes up to the top of the Eviscerator, a very large waterfall attached to a cliff of ice. Manny and Diego meet up at the top of the cliff to try and talk Sid out of it. He attempts his jump but is caught by Manny's trunk. However, in this process, Manny slides backward, knocking Diego into an open patch of thin ice. The ice begins to crack under Diego's feet and he scrambles back away from the ice to safety, terrified, and on top of Manny. Diego's fear of water gets introduced.
On their way to the valley, the herd hears what they think is a mammoth. Finding out that it's not, Manny asks for some time alone. As Diego and Sid turn around to leave Manny alone, they get picked on by Crash and Eddie. Diego doesn't take this too kindly, and gives chase. After a bit of chasing, Diego, Sid, and Manny regroup, and meet Ellie for the first time. The herd finds out about Ellie's misunderstanding of who she is, and Sid encourages the travel of both groups.
Traveling together, both groups have to cross a long stretch of ice. Diego travels extremely slowly, navigating as carefully as possible around each small puddle of water. Halfway across this long section of ice, the entire herd runs into Cretaceous and Maelstrom for the first time. Maelstrom's entrance separates pieces of the ice, leaving Diego stranded on one piece, petrified and motionless. Sid bites Diego's tail to get him out of Maelstrom's path and onto safer ground. Diego's fears of water become more apparent.
When the herd rests for the first time, Sid not only tries to break Diego's fear of water, but also attempts to show him how to swim. Diego refuses to listen for very long. However, this small scene between them two is very crucial to Diego's actions at the very end of the movie.
Manny's herd splits up from Ellie, Crash, and Eddie. Ellie gets trapped by a collapsing cave, and the two opossums are forced to seek help from Manny's herd. During the rush back to reach Ellie, the ground collapses beneath their feet, separating the herd. Crash and Eddie jump on to an exposed tree branch in the middle of the rising water. Sid makes an attempt to save them but lands head first on a small block of ice, incapacitating him. After thinking about Sid's previously mentioned advice, and a quick fight within himself to face his fears, Diego dives into the raging waters and saves all three of them.
At the very end of the movie, Manny and Ellie opt to stay together and the two groups combine, forming one large herd.
At the beginning of the third film, Diego is shown hunting down a gazelle, but he starts to have health problems (bad vision, heavy breathing) and fails in his hunt. When he meets the herd he prefers not to talk with them, Ellie thinks Diego has a problem and tells Manny to talk to him. When they do, Diego says he thinks he is becoming too soft and is losing his tiger nature, and decides to leave the herd.
Diego sees when Momma is taking Sid, and enters the underground world shortly after the herd does, joining them when they are attacked by an Ankylosaurus dinosaur. He tries to protect them but quickly gives up and retreats when he sees how the odds are heavily against him.
The herd is saved from an angry mob of dinosaurs by Buck, a weasel who is wise to the ways of the dinosaur jungle as he has been living there for quite some time. Buck rudely opens Diego's mouth to inspect his fangs and quickly remarks that they are a little dull, causing Diego to look resentful and depressed, but he regains confidence after he quickly discovers Momma's tracks. While they continue searching for Sid, Manny thinks Ellie needs food and goes to pick a very bright fruit for her. Diego tries to explain how it's not a good idea but is ignored and they both end up getting trapped inside a giant carnivorous plant. Buck decides to rescue them again which prompts the group to ask Buck for help as a guide. Diego comes to admire Buck for having an adventurous lifestyle living down there alone, using his wits and having no responsibilities. Buck affirms that "...it's the greatest life a single guy could have", which makes the jungle as a home appeal greatly to Diego, however Buck's apparent insanity does give him some doubts about a life alone.
In the Chasm of Death when they become trapped and are affected by a deadly laughing gas Diego thanks Manny for getting them into this mess and says (perhaps sarcastically) that it's the most fun he'd had in years. Manny sarcastically thanks Diego for abandoning the herd. Later that night when they are resting, Diego is shown to have some private reluctant thoughts after he overhears Buck telling Manny what a great friend he is for risking everything dear to him (such as his mate and unborn child) to rescue Sid.
When they are about to reach Sid at the Lava Falls Ellie gets separated from the herd after several brittle rock platforms shatter. At this point she starts to feel the baby is going to be born and Diego and Manny have to stay to protect her while Buck takes Crash and Eddie to rescue Sid. Diego convinces Manny to trust him to protect Ellie on the upper platform she is resting on while Manny deals with the majority of the guanlong pack that is arriving from below to attack her. On the way up Diego gives chase to one speedy guanlong in a race to the platform and he once again becomes affected by his poor health symptoms. He pulls himself together, speeds up and pounces the dinosaur as it's about to attack, throwing it over the ledge. After a brief victory dance he then shows great ferocity in fighting off any guanlong that make their way up to the top. During this fight he is periodically trying to give moral support to Ellie while she is in labor.
After the birth of Peaches on the platform Diego is watching the new family with a fond expression. Ellie notices Diego wipe away a tear and he tries to pass it off as a scratch wound at first, then admits that he's not made of stone. Buck and company arrive with Sid and Diego also admits to missing him. They make their way back to the entrance and are finally prepared to leave the dinosaur world when they are stopped by Rudy, the dinosaur Buck hunts and hates because it took out his right eye. Buck draws Rudy away so that they can escape. Manny tells Ellie take care of the baby while he, Diego and Sid go to lend a hand. Buck was at the point of falling into Rudy's waiting mouth when Diego appears in a dramatic leap and grabs the weasel out of the air at the last second. The herd work together at trapping Rudy in vines but it breaks free faster than they expected. Momma arrives to save the day by launching a surprise headbutt attack and using her momentum to forcefully push Rudy over the edge of a massive cliff.
The group thanks Buck for helping them and they ask him whether he wants to join the herd. Buck eventually agrees since he has no other purpose in life with Rudy being dead. They all make their way out together and Buck hangs behind to reluctantly make his goodbyes to Rudy before trudging away. There is a sudden roar that indicates Rudy is still alive which causes him to stop and look back while the others hurry on out. Diego is the only one who turns around and comes over to find out what's holding up Buck. Buck tries to explain why he wants to stay but Diego understands. He goes on to state that the underground world should really stay apart and for Diego to take care of Manny. Diego smiles and acknowledges this before turning around and running off.
As Diego races to catch up with the others Buck destroys the skeleton bridge linking the worlds and the cavern leading to the surface begins to collapse. Diego dodges many boulders, barely making it out alive, but for once he isn't suffering so badly from poor health and appears to have enjoyed that brief thrill. When Crash and Eddie ask him what had happened to Buck, he says he returned to where he wants to be and that he'll be fine. Manny makes an effort to have an heartfelt talk with Diego, explaining that he's willing to support him in whatever he chooses to do, but Diego interupts him with his decision to not leave the herd and insists that there is plenty of adventure for him right where he is.
- Other than Sid, he also interacted with Scrat.
- Diego is the only one who slightly interacted with Scratte, like the fact above.
- Diego is shown to be afraid of water in the second film, but in the first he walks over it while chasing Nadia, the human who was carrying the baby.
- Diego is the only character who hasn't had a love interest, also, smilodon is the only species featured in the Ice Age films that hasn't seen a female character. With the upcoming Ice Age 4: Continental Drift, this could change with the debut of Shira, voiced by Jennfer Lopez.
- Diego's poor physical performance at some points of the third film were caused because of "being treated like a house-cat" (as it was officially stated on the Ice Age Official Website) meaning he was getting out of shape, not aging.
- Ice Age promotional posters call Diego by the nickname "Double Agent".
- For unknown reasons, Diego's eye color was changed from its original green in the first film to hazel in the sequels.
- It is a common mistake to think Diego is the only carnivore member of the Sub-Zero Heroes, Sid and the opossum brothers are omnivore, so they can eat meat and plants.
|Ice Age (2002) • The Meltdown (2006) • Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) • Epilogue (2002) • Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) • The Land Before Time/Ice Age crossover (2015)|
|The Land Before Time XIV (2010)|
|Manny • Ellie • Scratte • Buck • Peaches • Scrat • Sid • Diego • Crash and Eddie • Sylvia • Rudy • Momma • Shelly • Lone Gunslinger • Fast Tony • Jennifer and Rachel • Mini-Sloth • Roger • Ruby • Flightless Bird • Others|
|Ice Age • The Meltdown • Dawn of the Dinosaurs • Ice Age 4 • The Land Before Time XIV|