- "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 to Diego[src]
Soto was the leader of a Saber-Tooth Tiger pack that consisted of Diego, Zeke, Oscar, and Lenny. He was bent on seeking revenge against a tribe of Neanderthals for killing off half of his pack. Soto is the main antagonist of Ice Age.
Soto was the strongest in his pack, earning him the title of pack leader. Leading his pack in hunts, Soto formed attack plans and was driven by a twisted sense of justice, choosing to pursue a tribe of humans out of revenge rather than to follow the migrating animals down south.
As revenge for the humans killing off half of his pack so that their pelts could be used as clothing, Soto declared that he himself would kill off the humans' youngest, a baby named Roshan. Soto and his trusted lieutenant Diego stood one evening, watching the humans' encampment as the leader of the tribe, a man named Runar and his wife Nadia, played with their infant son. Soto remarked to Diego that the baby would be "joining them for breakfast", attributing their plan to take the baby as an act of vengeance for killing off half their pack. Soto then ordered Diego to alert the others for an attack at dawn.
That evening, Soto's fellow sabers balked at their leader's obsession with humans, preferring instead to follow "that walking buffet heading south", pursuing the herds of animals headed to the warmer southern regions. Diego called them out on their lack of interest in their leader's plans, to which Oscar, one of the sabers, sneered, asking why they must listen to Diego and not Soto himself. Soto then appeared and stated that Diego was the only one of the pack that he trusted; the next morning, Soto said, they'd have the chance to teach the humans a lesson they would not soon forget.
The next morning, Soto and the others attacked the camp, managing to draw the humans' manpower away from the tent with the baby, in which Diego slipped in, undetected, to take the baby, until the baby's mother, Nadia, hurried in and took the baby. The attack failed and the pack was forced to flee from the camp, with Soto angry to hear that Diego had lost the baby over a nearby waterfall. Just then, a spear flung by the humans nearly hit Soto, who was promised by Diego his revenge, as Diego would return with the baby, and Soto thus gave Diego the order to meet them at Half Peak with the baby, which must be alive by that time. Soto then left with the rest of the pack, on to Half Peak.
Soto's pack, on the way to Half Peak, 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 a mammoth named Manfred and a ground sloth named Sid. Soto sent them to tell Diego to either return with the baby or not to return at all. Diego, in response, told them to inform Soto that he'd bring back the baby, along with a mammoth.
Soto and his pack reached Half Peak quickly, planning to ambush the mammoth, but Soto's pack was getting somewhat too enthusiastic, with Zeke going on about how he would separate the mammoth meat and Lenny, another member of Soto's pack, about to angrily swat at Zeke with his paw, but Soto stopped him, ordering him to save his energy. Mammoths, Soto said, didn't go down easily: the pack would have to back the mammoth into a corner to cut off its retreat and upon having the beast trapped, Soto would go in for the mammoth's throat.
Battle at Half Peak
After getting closer to Half Peak with the mammoth, sloth and baby, Diego regrouped with his pack and met with Soto, who expressed that he was beginning to worry about Diego, but expressed his approval at Diego's efforts, which had paid off. Unbeknownst to Soto, however, Diego had sided with the mammoth and sloth, in an effort to save the baby and escape unharmed.
The pack lay in hiding at Soto's orders, which were to not move until they saw the mammoth, which was the real challenge to surprise. Just then, Diego, who was trying to sabotage the attack, convinced Zeke to jump out of hiding too early and catch Sid's attention. The sloth, 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.
Soto, however, soon found Diego and cornered the mammoth Manny in a rocky grotto of ice, inviting Diego to help him kill Manny, about to leap in for the kill when Diego stood in the way and refused to let Soto harm the mammoth. Without a second thought, Soto struck down Diego. Before he could kill Diego, Soto then heard Roshan's cries and saw Sid and Roshan and walked towards them to have his revenge. The mammoth 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 and Traits
An aggressive saber-toothed cat, Soto was an effective leader who felt no remorse, guilt or mercy at killing his prey whether it was human or otherwise, and relished both the hunt and bringing down prey.
Driven by a sense of poetic justice at having lost his fellows, Soto was dedicated to seeking out revenge if any wronged him. Though Soto showed some care for his fellow pack members, he was not above calling out their mistakes or even striking them down if they defied him.
Thickly-built with a dark orange pelt and green eyes, Soto sported the same features of other sabers: retractable claws, strong limbs for running, a short tail and, most notably, a pair of large canine teeth, which he used to attack.
Soto trusted Diego as his faithful lieutenant, seeing him as the only reliable member of the pack that would not fail, or would seek to make it right if he did. Though Soto trusted Diego and saw him as a brother-in-arms, he knew that Diego was capable of mistakes and was not so lenient as to forgive him without some kind of amends needing to be made. Soto proved his true motives when he, without a second thought, struck down Diego.
Soto did not trust Oscar any more than the others in the pack, for Oscar seemed snide at times and had a tendency to balk at Soto's orders and demands. Nevertheless, Soto did trust Oscar to go with Zeke and deliver a message to Diego, who was on a hunt.
Soto hardly trusted Zeke to successfully carry out a hunt, knowing that Zeke was loose when it came to hunting, preferring to jump right in as opposed to stalking out prey. Despite this, Soto allowed Zeke to accompany Oscar in finding out Diego so as to convey a message.
Soto did not trust Lenny much at all, but still saw the scimitar cat as another member of his pack and therefore fit to be a hunter. Soto preferred to prove his point on hunting by cornering Lenny so as to demonstrate the best means of an attack, picking on Lenny's heavy build.
The original pack
Feeling less sorrow than a thirst for revenge, Soto saw the deaths of his fallen sabers as a chance to strike back against the humans.
Soto saw Runar as one among others that had killed off his pack and thus someone to seek vengeance against; Soto attacked Runar at the camp, though with the intention of solely distracting the humans while Diego sought out their baby.
Roshan was nothing more than a means of seeking revenge for Soto, for Soto would devour the baby and thus strike back at the humans.
Soto was pleased to hear that Diego was bringing back a mammoth after bringing the baby and planned out a strategy to bring the mammoth down.
Soto showed no interest in bringing down Sid in a hunt, aside from chasing the sloth when he was carrying what Soto thought to be the baby.
Behind the Scenes
Soto was voiced by Goran Visnjic who played Dr. Luka Kovač on the medical drama, "ER".