The Walt Disney Company announced the Blue Sky Studios closure on the 9th of February for “economic realities”. Disney could not economically maintain the expenses of the Animation Studio but it will work with the 450 current employees in Greenwich, Connecticut, to help them explore other working options in its other studios.
After being founded in 1987, the Blue Sky Studios have released 13 feature films including The Ice Age (2002), Rio (2011), Robots (2005), Horton (2008) and Ferdinand (2017). The Animation Studio’s library will remain part of Disney and a series based on Ice Age characters is already in the making for The Walt Disney Company’s streaming platform Disney+.
Their innovative work caught Hollywood’s attention
The last Blue Sky Studios’ film, Spies in Disguise, was distributed by Disney in December 2019, grossing only $66 million at the domestic box-office and $171 million worldwide.
Blue Sky Studios was founded in February 1987 by Michael Ferraro, Carl Ludwig, Chris Wedge, Alison Brown, David Brown and Eugene Troubetzkoy after their employers at tech company MAGI (which worked for the visual effects the 1982 film Tron) shut down the company.
Their innovative work caught Hollywood’s attention and the Animation Company was hired as the effect house for motion pictures such as Fight Club (1999), Joe’s Apartment (1996) and Alien Resurrection (1997).
In 1992, Twentieth Century Fox bought Blue Sky Studios and they started the production of its first animated feature Ice Age. The animated film was originally planned to be a classic dramatic family film but the studio decided to make a fully 3D animated feature. Ice Age grossed $46.3 million in its opening weekend, breaking the record for a March opening.
With the success of Ice Age, Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox grew their talented staff and crew, developing their breakthrough renderer CG Studio. In December 2017, Blue Sky released the Academy Award nominated Ferdinand.
The studio was currently working on Nimona, including in the animated movie the voice of Daniel Craig. A young shape-shifter named Nimona would have teamed up with a mad scientist to expose the ruler of the kingdom. The movie was scheduled to release on January 14, 2022.