The world of theatrical animation just got smaller. Deadline has reported that Blue Sky Studios, the production company behind the widely successful Ice Age and Rio franchises, will officially close its doors in April, 2021. A studio spokesperson had this to say:
“Given the current economic realities, after much consideration and evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to close filmmaking operations at Blue Sky Studios.”Blue Sky
Blue Sky Studios was founded in 1987 by Chris Wedge, Eugene Troubetzkoy, Carl Ludwig, David Brown, Alison Brown, and Michael Ferraro. At the height of its relevance, the company served as 20th Century Fox’s animation division and a direct competitor of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Its catalog includes such films as the aforementioned Ice Age (2002-2016) and Rio (2011-2014) series, Robots (2005), Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who! (2008), and most recently, Spies in Disguise (2019). Altogether, the studio accumulated a global box office gross of $5.9 billion, with $3.2 billion belonging to the Ice Age films alone. The studio’s next feature—an adaptation of the Noelle Stevenson book, Nimona—has ceased production and will no longer be released. In addition to full-length features, the studio has also produced short films and television specials. Its work has been recognized with numerous nominations from the Academy Awards, Annie Awards, and various other bodies.
In 2019, Blue Sky Studios (along with a majority of 21st Century Fox and its assets) were acquired by The Walt Disney Company. The films of Blue Sky have since been integrated into Disney’s hit streaming service, Disney+, as legacy IP. A spin-off of the Ice Age movies, Ice Age: Adventures of Buck Wild, will premiere exclusively on the service in early 2022.
450 employees will be impacted by the closure. According to the Deadline report, Disney will be working with Blue Sky employees moving forward “to explore open positions at the other internal studios.“
What is your opinion of Blue Sky Studios closing? What’s your favorite film by the studio? Let us know!
Edited by: Kelly Conley