Once the ice ages were underway, scores of animals left their homes to head for warmer climates down south; during the migration, Carl and his friend Frank, who traveled together, stopped long enough to enjoy a salad that Frank had put together that consisted of fresh wild greens for his friend, and at the center of the salad was a dandelion, one of the last after the frosts had wiped most of them out.
Carl, happy at this gesture, was about to eat when a sloth named Sid stepped in, dragging his feet on the leaves of the salad, wiping glyptodon dung off his feet, not noticing that his actions were angering the rhinos. Then, to add further insult, Sid conversationally mentioned that rhinos had small brains as he kept wiping his feet, not seeing that the dung was splattering Carl in the face as he did. Finally, Sid noticed a dandelion in the salad and plucked it out, eating it, when Frank, who had lost his patience, angrily remarked to Carl that the sloth had ruined their meal.
Sid, in fear for his life, attempted to placate the rhinos by offering them pine cones in place of their salad, going so far as to stick on in an angry Carl's mouth, as he growled in anger. Sid then ran for his life as fast as he could; Carl and Frank standing by to chase him, giving him a head start before Carl and Frank picked up chase again. The two rhinos pursued Sid until he bumped into Manny, a lone mammoth standing at the edge of a cliff.
The rhinos stopped at once upon seeing the mammoth, Frank lamenting that he wanted to hit the sloth at full speed, to which Carl replied that they'd have some fun with Sid. Sid pleaded to Manny for help, but Manny would not intervene until he heard Carl remarking that they would snap Sid's neck so he would feel no pain, which triggered anger in Manny, who challenged the two rhinos to cross the sinkhole that appeared in front of them if they wanted to take Sid and cause him pain. To further challenge the rhinos, Sid threw a rock at them, which showed to the two rhinos that the sinkhole was dried. With that, the rhinos charged Manny, who held them off with his tusks before throwing them back. Carl charged the mammoth, but was lifted by his horn and spun around until Manny let go. Frank then charged at Sid, only to be thrown back when Manny lifted him with his tusks and threw him, and Frank fell back with Carl, crushing a dandelion that Carl was eying.
After the brawl, both mammoth and sloth slid off the cliff side. The rhinos remained at the top of the cliffs, from which Carl called out to Sid, threatening him, which prompted the sloth to join Manny on his way.
Carl and Frank moved on, heading north, where they stopped by a number of craters filled with hot mud, and sat in one crater to relax before moving on. At that, the two rhinos found Sid, who unknowingly stepped into the mud crater, thinking that the crater was being used by two female sloths, referring to them as "ladies". Both rhinos were angered by Sid's presence, reminded of his past insults and chased him out of the mud pit.
Sid outran the rhinos and found one of his traveling companions, a saber-tooth tiger named Diego, whom Sid talked into helping him escape the rhinos. The rhinos reached Sid in time to see him in the jaws of the saber, and Frank was convinced that Sid was dead, the saber having gotten there before they could, though Carl was unconvinced. Carl stepped in closer to sniff Sid, to assure he was actually dead. Somewhat disgusted by the sloth's stench Carl decided that Sid was dead and moved on with Frank.
Personality and Traits
A tough rhino, Carl was constantly in the presence of his friend and fellow rhino, Frank, who Carl intended to migrate south with. The two rhinos ate meals together, consisting of salads formed from plants and leaves; Carl himself had a fondness for dandelions, which were being wiped out by the frosts. Carl disliked other animals causing trouble for either him or Frank, and relished a chase after any aggregators, even enjoying attacking those that caused the problem, notably Sid.
As with all rhinos, Carl was thickly-built with tough, thick hide; a short tail; four short, stout, three-toed legs; small ears and a large, heavy horn, which was, like other rhinos, flat and curved, ending in two dull points.
Behind the Scenes
Carl was voiced by comedian Cedric the Entertainer in Ice Age.
In the Spanish dubbing of the film, Carl mentions that the salad that Frank prepared for them was his grandmother's recipe.