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Soto

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Alert the troops. We attack at dawn. And Diego, bring me that baby, alive. If I'm gonna enjoy my revenge, I want it to be fresh!
~ Soto ordering Diego to bring him the baby when the pack attacks the tribe.

Soto is the main antagonist of Blue Sky studios's very first film, Ice Age. He was the deadly and dangerous leader of his saber-toothed cat pack that was made up of Zeke, Oscar, Lenny, and Diego. Soto was infatuated with revenge and planned on taking out a group of Neanderthal tribesmen and eating Roshan, their youngest child, in vengeance for the murders of his fellow pack members done by the hands of the humans.

He was voiced by Goran Višnjić.

Biography

Although he is the main villain, his role in the film is small. Due to his immense strength, he was the leader of his pack, leading his pack in hunts for food. After several of his fellow pack members were murdered by the humans, he was taken over by the temptations of revenge, acting out on a perverted vision of justice, choosing to go after a tribe of humans instead of migrating down south like all the other animals.

Executing The Plan

Soto declared that they would kill off the humans' youngest, a baby named Roshan, as an act of revenge to strike back at the humans. Soto and his most trusted pack member, Diego, plan an attack on the human camp, so that while he and three other sabers would attack the humans, Diego would slip in, stealthily, and take Roshan without being noticed, as a chance to put their plans into motion. Soto then ordered Diego to alert the others for an attack at dawn. 

The Attack

Soto: I want that baby, Diego!
Diego: I'll get it!
Soto: You'd better...unless you wanna serve yourself as a replacement. We'll go up to Half Peak! Meet us there. It'd
better be alive!
~ Soto ordering Diego meet him and and the others at Half Peak and bring the baby with him there.

The very next morning, Soto and his pack ambushed the camp, taking attention away from the tent in which Roshan was located in, and as planned, Diego takes advantage of this and slips in, undetected, to take the baby, until the baby's mother, Nadia, hurried in and snatched the baby before Diego could do so. The ambush failed and the pack was forced to flee from the camp. Diego would, later, return with the baby, and Soto thus gave Diego the order to meet them at Half Peak, with the baby.

Message

On the way to Half Peak, the pack stopped for the night and Soto sent out two from the pack, Oscar and Zeke, to deliver a message to Diego, who was accompanied by Manny and Sid. Soto told his two pack members to deliver a message to Diego, informing him to either come back with the baby or to not come back at all. Diego, in response, told them to inform Soto that he'd bring back the baby, along with a mammoth.

Battle

After getting closer to Half Peak with the mammoth, sloth and baby, Diego once again rejoined with his pack and met with Soto, who was beginning to get anxious about Diego, but expressed his approval at Diego's efforts. Unbeknownst to Soto, however, Diego had joined forces with the mammoth and sloth, in his own plan to save the baby and escape unharmed. 

The pack had laid in hiding at Soto's orders, who were ordered not to move until they saw the mammoth. Diego, who was trying to sabotage the attack, convinced Zeke to jump out of hiding too early, which caught Sid's attention. Sid, however, knew it would happen and sped away with a bundle in his paws on a pair of skis fashioned from two large pieces of bark, to be chased by Soto and the others until Sid lost his footing and dropped the bundle of clothing, which Soto pawed at, only to find it was a decoy made of snow. An angry Soto ordered his pack to get Sid. Soto then found Diego and Manny and invited Diego to help bring the mammoth down, only to find out about Diego's betrayal. Enraged, Soto fought with Diego while Lenny and Oscar cornered the mammoth. The fight between the two was evenly matched until Soto threw Diego into a rock, knocking him out unconscious. With Diego out of the way, Soto turned his attention over to the mammoth.

Last Stand

Soto: WHAT ARE YOU DOING?!
Diego: Leave... the mammoth... alone.
Soto: Fine. I'll take you down first.
~ Soto's last words.

Soto was about to leap in for the kill on Manny, until Diego stood in the way and refused to let Soto harm the mammoth. Without any second thought or regrets, Soto struck down Diego, severely wounding him. Before he could kill Diego, Soto then heard Roshan's cries and saw Sid with Roshan and walked towards them to have his revenge. Manny struck the distracted Soto aside with his tusks, flinging him into a stone wall, the impact causing several sharp icicles from the top of the wall to fall on Soto, stabbing and instantly killing him.

Personality

Soto is a manipulative, unsympathetic, bloodthirsty, remorseless, and aggressive predator who feels no regret or guilt for killing both prey, or human, most likely turned cold due to his members of his pack being murdered by the hands of the humans, which started his extreme hatred for them, driven by poetic justice for his fallen comrades. Dedicated to stalking out his victims and striking against them in revenge for those who had wronged him. Soto seems to show no care or thought for anyone but himself and his fellow pack members, but was not afraid to calling out their mistakes and even using deadly force against those who had defied him.

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Trivia

  • Soto is very similar to Shere Khan from Disney's 2016 live action film, The Jungle Book: They are both predators who seek vengeance on humans and want to kill one specific human child (Mowgli for Shere Khan; Roshan for Soto) and do not hesitate to kill anyone who stands in their way.
  • Soto is quite similar to Timber Wolf from Disney's 1987 drama film, Benji the Hunted:
    • They both wanted to slaughter the protagonists and the babies (Soto wants to kill Manny and Roshan; Timber Wolf wants to kill Benji and the Cougar Cubs). Soto wanted to do it for revenge, unlike Timber Wolf.
    • Both attack their enemies towards the beginning (Soto attacks the humans at their camp; Timber Wolf attacks Benji at the hunter's cabin).
    • Both died in the end (Soto gets killed by sharp icicles; Timber Wolf falls off a cliff).
  • Soto is also very similar to Dag from Nickelodeon's 2006 film, Barnyard:
    • They are both leaders of their packs, who are trying to eat their victims (humans in Soto's case, hens in Dag's case).
    • Both tried to kill the protagonists (Soto tries to kill Manny, Dag tries to kill Otis).
  • Soto is extremely similar to Zira from Disney's 1998 film, The Lion King II: Simba's Pride:
    • They are both feline predators (Soto being a smilodon, Zira being a lioness).
    • Both have their second-in-command (Diego for Soto, Vitani for Zira).
    • Both ordered their second-in-command to attack the tribes (humans in Soto's case, pridelanders in Zira's case).
    • Both are betrayed by their second-in-command.
    • Both died in the end (Soto gets killed by sharp icicles; Zira fell from a cliff into the nile).
  • Soto is the 3rd most dangerous villain in the Ice Age franchise.
  • Soto's defeat resembles that of Vinnie from Thomas & Friends: The Great Race.

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