Disney Closing Down Blue Sky Studios, Creators Of ‘Ice Age’ – .
EXCLUSIVE: Disney is closing down Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Fox’s former $ 5.9 billion global animation division that spawned 13 features during its run, including the Ice Age franchise.
It can be said that the writing for Blue Sky has always been on the wall, especially after Disney acquired 20th Century Studios and its assets in March 2019. However, the past year has been challenging for Disney on many fronts, due to the pandemic of course. Not only on the studio side, but also with theme park closings and dockings for cruise ships. Maintaining a third animation studio was no longer feasible for Disney given the current economic realities caused by Covid. The last day for Blue Sky is April. The number of Blue Sky employees affected is 450. Disney will be working with staff at the Greenwich, CT-based animation house to explore open positions in the other in-house studios.
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A studio spokesman told .: “In view of the current economic situation, we have made the difficult decision after careful examination and evaluation to stop film operations in the Blue Sky Studios.”
20th Century Fox
Blue Sky’s library and intellectual property remain part of Disney, and I don’t hear any plans for another large studio to take over Blue Sky’s staff and operations. A series is already in the works for Disney + based on the Ice Age characters from Blue Sky. The Ice Age series achieved box office sales of 3.2 billion US dollars in five films.
The production of Nimona, directed by Patrick Osborne, which is dated January 14, 2022, will be discontinued and the film will no longer be released, . has learned. Nimona had 10 months of production left. Nimona followed a young shapeshifter who teams up with a mad scientist named Lord Ballister Blackheart to expose the ruler of the kingdom. Following the acquisition of Fox by Disney, it was announced in August 2019 that Andrew Millstein, President of Walt Disney Animation Studios, has been named Co-President of Blue Sky Studios and will serve alongside Co-President Rob Baird. Both Millstein and Baird are expected to get off after Blue Sky’s doors close.
Blue Sky’s last release, Spies in Disguise, was distributed by Disney in December 2019. It wasn’t as successful, however, raising $ 66 million in the domestic BO and $ 171 million worldwide. The hope was that the animated image of Will Smith-Tom Holland would spur a franchise on.
Blue Sky Studios was founded by Chris Wedge, Michael Ferraro, Carl Ludwig, Alison Brown, David Brown, and Eugene Troubetzkoy in February 1987 after their employer, tech company MAGI (which happened to be working on the visual effects for Disney’s 1982 classic Tron) , had closed down. Blue Sky’s early clients included Bell Atlantic, Rayovac, Gillette and Braun, and the house created the animated insects for the 1996 MTV movie Joe’s Apartment. In August 1997, VFX company VIFX acquired a controlling interest from 20th Century Fox Blue Sky and the Animated Studio began working on characters for Alien Resurrection, A Simple Wish, Mouse Hunting, Fight Club, and Star Trek: Insurrection. However, it was the animated short bunny from 1998, directed by Wedge, that catapulted Blue Sky into full-length animation productions after winning it as the best animated short Oscar. Blue Sky’s 2017 feature film Ferdinand, directed by Carlos Saldanha, received a nomination for best animated feature film.