Can’t help but feeling “Blue.” The genius behind the beloved animated franchise Ice Age and so much more will be no more.
Blue Sky Studios was founded more than three decades ago by Chris Wedge, Michael Ferraro, Carl Ludwig, Alison Brown, David Brown, and Eugene Troubetzkoy. This after they left MAGI, one of the VFX facilities behind the cutting-edge work on Tron. Initially, the new studio worked on amazing commercials and shorts, including "Bunny," as they continued development on their CGI Studio software, producing realistic imagery using light-rendering techniques.
Later, in 1999, Blue Sky would be acquired by 20th Century Fox, one of its big clients, and then later by The Walt Disney Company following that giant’s acquisition of 20th Century Fox assets.
Over the years, Blue Sky produced 13 animated feature films – in addition to the Ice Age films (and shorts) to more uniquely styled titles such as
The Peanuts Movie, Ferdinand, Epic, and
Spies in Disguise. Along the way, it picked up a number of Academy nominations and a win (in 1998 for “Bunny.”)
Obviously, trying to juggle three major animation studios (Pixar, Walt Disney Animation, and Blue Sky) was not easy, made even more difficult during COVID.
The studio officially will close in April; meanwhile, Disney has stated it is looking into finding positions for some of Blue Sky’s 450 employees at its other animation houses. Blue Sky has had homes over the years at various locations on the East Coast, its latest being in Greenwich, Connecticut.
At the time of the announcement, Blue Sky was working on its 14th feature, Nimona, about a young shapeshifter, which was to be released in Hanuary 2022. That property has been shelved for now.
From our archives: A look at just a few of the beloved films from Blue Sky over the years.
Spies Like Us
The Peanuts Movie
Horton Hears A Who!