What are a sloth and a weasel doing in Antarctica? The two costume characters of the current ICE AGE movie “Collision Course” are in Antarctica to help 5-12 year olds to understand Antarctica and its relationship to climate change. Antarctica New Zealand and 20th Century Fox NZ are collaborating to create a video series that teaches young New Zealanders about the icy continent.

Sid and Buck are visiting Scott Base in the middle of the polar winter. They experienced 24 hours of darkness during the polar night. Picture: Anthony Powell
Sid and Buck are visiting Scott Base in the middle of the polar winter. They experienced 24 hours of darkness during the polar night. Picture: Anthony Powell

Ice Age costume characters Sid and Buck are in Antarctica learning about Antarctica New Zealand’s work, and life at Scott Base. Sid is a sloth, good hearted but clumsy and slow. Buck is a one-eyed, slightly insane weasel, who talks into rocks as if they were cell phones. The two movie characters are starring in a video series to help young New Zealanders learn more about the frozen continent. Through the video series Sid and Buck will discover why there’s no sun in winter, what causes an aurora, why scientists monitor the weather and the various pieces of equipment used, and why fire is a huge risk in Antarctica. The characters will explore day-to-day life of the staff living at Scott Base, including the importance of sleep routines, short showers for water conservation, extreme cold weather clothing, and why recycling is important. The first video has been recently been released. “Antarctica New Zealand is excited to be working with 20th Century Fox NZ in a bid to help young people with Antarctica. Sid and Buck are the perfect characters to explain what a record of our climate one million years ago might tell us about our future.” says Antarctica New Zealand’s Chief Executive Peter Beggs.

Buck the weasel chats over dinner with Scott Base chef Keith Garrett (Photo: Antony Powell)
Buck the weasel chats over dinner with Scott Base chef Keith Garrett (Photo: Antony Powell)

Sid and Buck travelled to Antarctica on a scheduled C17 flight in a very large box with ICE AGE written on it. Once their constitutions were restored, Sid and Buck set about making a series of skits for New Zealand film maker Antony Powell who has been at Scott Base since November last year to complete his documentary A Year On Ice: Part Two.  “They are very bulky and really funny to watch walking and of course trying to remember that they now had a tail. I do the behind the scenes pics and help dress Sid and Buck,” said Scott Base domestic and medic, Vonny Sprey.

Scott Base domestic and medic Vonny Sprey embraces Sid the Sloth at Scott Base. Photo: Antony Powell
Scott Base domestic and medic Vonny Sprey embraces Sid the Sloth at Scott Base. Photo: Antony Powell

As part of Antarctica New Zealand’s commitment to increase knoweldge and awareness of Antarctica and the Southern Oean, these videos and other resources will be issued as e-kits to schools across New Zealand.

Not only kids are excited about the ice age characters’ visit. Photo: Antony Powell
Not only kids are excited about the ice age characters’ visit. Photo: Antony Powell

Source: Antarctica New Zealand and stuff.co.nz by Marjorie Cook