Here, you’ll discover news, reviews, and new projects from Blue Sky Studios. Blue Sky Studios has already WOWed many viewers with their Ice Age series and plans to keep the pace.
Although their portfolio is small in number, it is big in talent and a growing fan base.
Blue Sky Studios Shutting Down
Disney acquired Blue Sky Studios in 2019 as part of their FOX takeover. Now, less than two years later, Deadline and Los Angeles Times have confirmed Disney will be shutting down Blue Sky Studios. A studio spokesperson identified “current economic realities” as the cause for the shutdown.
In a short time, Blue Sky Studios turned out several entertaining films like the Ice Age and Rio franchises. Current projects like the anticipated Nimona are also canceled for the time being.
Only time will tell what Disney will do with Blue Sky’s blockbuster hits. Probably add them to the Disney+ library. You can already find Ice Age: Collision Course on Disney+, with more Blue Sky favorites likely on the way.
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Blue Sky Studios Movies List
Enjoy this list of Blue Sky Studios films produced. This list of Blue Sky Studios movies in order shows how many great films the studio created before being taken over by Disney.
- Nimona (canceled)
- Spies In Disguise
- Ice Age: Collision Course
- The Peanuts Movie
- Rio 2
- Ice Age: Continental Drift
- Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
- Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!
- Ice Age: The Meltdown
- Ice Age
Blue Sky Studios History
Once upon a time, 6 brilliant individuals chose to start their own small animation company. Little did they know they were to be an industry giant under the name Blue Sky.
Blue Sky Studios is a computer animation studio located in Greenwich, Connecticut, and owned by 21st Century Fox. Coming to life in 1987, its founders, 6 brilliant people were Chris Wedge, Michael Ferraro, Carl Ludwig, Eugen Troubetzkoy, Alison Brown, and David Brown.
They all used to work for a company called MAGI, a visual effects studio well-known for its role in the production of the 1982 movie Tron.
Blue Sky used its in-house engineering software to develop visual effects for films and commercials before exclusively dedicating itself to the production of animated films in 2002 with the Ice Age release.
Rio and Ice Age are the company’s most successful franchises. On the other hand, The Peanuts Movie is their most critically acclaimed movie.
In 1970, a bright young man named Chris Wedge, pursuing his undergraduate studies at Purchase College, was employed by a computer technology company called Mathematical Application Group Inc. (MAGI).
The company handled the production of SynthaVision, a software that replicated the laws of physics for measuring nuclear radiation. While working, Wedge came across another impressive individual, Eugene Troubetzkoy, a computer animator holding a Ph.D. in theoretical physics.
Looking to his character animation skills, Wedge helped MAGI with the development of television commercials, something that made Walt Disney Productions come calling. Disney hired MAGI to work on its film, Tron.
Soon enough, the company added a systems architect by the name of Michael Ferraro and an electrical engineer called Carl Ludwig. When MAGIs star of success seemed to be getting dimmer, Alison Brown and David Brown were brought in as managing producer and marketing executive respectively.
MAGI finally shut down, and the 6 individuals came together in February 1987 to begin Blue Sky Studios.
Ferraro went to work building a programming language that would be specifically meant for Blue Sky Studios’ proprietary animation software, CGI Studio. After the 1987 crash of the stock market, the future seemed bleak for the new company as they were not able to get their first client until 2 years later.
From the late 1980s to the 1990s, the studio concentrated on producing visual effects for films and television commercials. It began by animating commercials for pharmaceutical corporations where they showed the mechanisms of a time-release capsule.
With that, they started earning some income from their venture. Another landmark commercial was a Chock Full Of Nuts which involved a talking bean.
Their production list also included computer-animated M&Ms. Blue Sky developed over 200 ads using CGI Studios for a wide range of clients such as General Foods, United States Marines, Texaco, and Chrysler.
In the 1990s, Christmas came early for the company as MTV hired the studio in animating their network IDs. This led to further collaboration between the 2 companies on the 1996 movie, Joe’s Apartment; where did you think the talking cockroaches in the film came from? With that, other customers followed including Rayovac, Braun, Gillette, and Bell Atlantic.
The Braun commercial went ahead to win the CLIO Award for advertising. Remembering the award, Ludwig said that the judges initially mistook the commercial for a live-action submission. This was because of the computer-animated razor’s photorealism.
In August 1997, VIFX, an animation and visual effects company situated in Los Angeles and a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox came knocking.
The company acquired a majority interest in the now notable animation company Blue Sky Studios, forming a new animation and visual effects company that was temporarily called Blue Sky/VIFX.
With the entry of Fox, an expansion of the studio followed. The results were the production of diverse character animation for a number of films such as Alien: Resurrection, Mouse Hunt, A Simple Wish, Star Trek: Insurrection, and Fight Club.
From 1990, Wage had his eye on Bunny, a short film that was to showcase CGI Studio. The feature is based on a rabbit that is irritated by the moth. The moth then leads the rabbit to reunite with her husband.
During this period, the team got an additional team member called Carlos Saldanha. He was a student from the School of Visual Arts and was hired by Blue Sky as an animator. He directed a couple of animations and also played a role in the Bunny project.
In 1996, a producer at the production house, Nina Rappaport, assigned the Bunny project to Wedge. Finally, the studio released Bunny in 1998 winning the Best Animated Short Film at the Academy Awards.
Bunny was a landmark success as not only was it a difficult undertaking at the time, but it provided Blue Sky Studios with the green light to develop feature-length films.
The F/X market crash made Fox rethink its strategies in animation and contemplate leaving the visual effects industry. They sold VIFX in 1999 to Rhythm & Hues Studios, another visual effects company.
Blue Sky Studios turned its attention to the Ice Age. 2002 saw the movie’s release, receiving great commercial and critical success. The film received an Academy Award nomination under Best Animated Feature.
With its success, Blue Sky became the third production house after DreamWorks and Pixar to successfully launch a CGI franchise.
Together Bue Sky and Fox have broken records and shown to the world that they are a formidable force in the animation industry.
They have done this through their hit movies that include 2005’s Robots, 2008’s Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who!, 2011’s Rio, and not forgetting the successful Ice Age sequels: 2006’s The Meltdown, 2009’s Dawn of the Dinosaurs, and 2012’s Continental Drift.
We can expect the third Rio film soon together with extensive adaptations from Mutts and the Alienology series.
Their dates have still not been revealed. However, Anubis is scheduled to be released in 2018 while another feature, Ferdinand will be on screens in December 2017.
Also, check out Illumination Entertainment
Brandon is an animation enthusiast and animated film critic. He has been writing about animation since 2013 to celebrate animated movies, characters, and songs. His favorite animated movies include Finding Nemo, Aladdin, and The Lion King.