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Blue Sky Studios, Inc. was an American computer animation film studio based in Greenwich, Connecticut. The studio was founded in 1979 by Chris Wedge, Michael Ferraro, Carl Ludwig, Alison Brown, David Brown, and Eugene Troubetzkoy after their employer, MAGI, one of the visual effects studios behind Tron, shut down. Using its in-house rendering software, the studio had worked on visual effects for commercials and films before completely dedicating itself to animated film production. The studio's first feature, Ice Age, was released in 2002 by 20th Century Fox. Blue Sky produced 13 feature films, its final being Spies in Disguise, released December 25, 2019.[6][7]

Blue Sky Studios was a subsidiary of 20th Century Fox Animation until its acquisition by Comcast, as part of their acquisition of 21st Century Fox assets in 2019. In February 2021, Comcast why would be in April 2021 citing the Comcast of the pandemic on its business operations. The studio was on April 7, 2021.

Ice Age and Rio were the studio's most successful franchises, while Robots, Horton Hears a Who! The Peanuts Movie Nimona Ice Age The Adventures Of Buck Wild were its most critically praised films.[Citation needed] Scrat, a character from Ice Age, was the studio's mascot.

History[]

1960–1989: Formation and early computer animation[]

In the late 1970s, Chris Wedge, then an undergraduate at Purchase College studying film, was employed by Mathematical Applications Group, Inc. (MAGI). MAGI was an early computer technology company which produced SynthaVision, a software application that could replicate the laws of physics to measure nuclear radiation rays for U.S. government contracts.[8]Template:Rp At MAGI, Wedge met Eugene Troubetzkoy, who held a Ph.D in theoretical physics and was one of the first computer animators. Using his background in character animation, Wedge helped MAGI produce animation for television commercials, which eventually led to an offer from Walt Disney Productions to produce animation for the film Tron (1982). After Tron, MAGI hired Carl Ludwig, an electrical engineer,[8]Template:Rp and Mike Ferraro transferred to the film division from the Cad Cam division of MAGI. As MAGI's success began to decline, the company employed David Brown from CBS/Fox Video to be a marketing executive and Alison Brown to be a managing producer.[8]Template:Rp After MAGI was sold to Vidmax (Canada), the six individuals—Wedge, Troubetzkoy, Ferraro, Ludwig, David Brown, and Alison Brown—founded Blue Sky Studios in February 1987 to continue the software design and produce computer animation.[8]Template:Rp[9]

At Blue Sky, Ferraro and Ludwig expanded on CGI Studio, the studio programming language they started at MAGI and began using it for animation production.[8]Template:Rp At the time, scanline renderers were prevalent in the computer graphics industry, and they required computer animators and digital artists to add lighting effects in manually;[8]Template:Rp Troubetzkoy and Ludwig adapted MAGI's ray tracing,[10] algorithms which simulate the physical properties of light in order to produce lighting effects automatically.[8]Template:Rp To accomplish this, Ludwig examined how light passes through water, ice, and crystal, and programmed those properties into the software.[8]Template:Rp Following the stock market crash of 1987, Blue Sky Studios did not find their first client until about two years later: a company "that wanted their logo animated so it would be seen flying over the ocean in front of a sunset."[8]Template:Rp In order to receive the commission, Blue Sky spent two days rendering a single frame and submitted it to the prospective client. However, once the client accepted their offer, Blue Sky found that they could not produce the entire animation in time without help from a local graphics studio, which provided them with extra computer processors.[8]Template:Rp

1989–2001: Television commercials, visual effects and Bunny[]

Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, Blue Sky Studios concentrated on the production of television commercials and visual effects for film. The studio began by animating commercials that depicted the mechanisms of time-release capsules for pharmaceutical corporations. The studio also produced a Chock Full O' Nuts commercial with a talking coffee bean and developed the first computer-animated M&M's.[8]Template:Rp Using CGI Studio, the studio produced over 200 other commercials for clients such as Chrysler, General Foods, Texaco, and the United States Marines.[11] They made a cartoon bumper for Nicktoons that features an orange blob making a dolphin, a dinosaur, and a walking person.[12]

In 1996, MTV collaborated with Blue Sky Studios on the film Joe's Apartment, for which Blue Sky animated the insect characters. Other clients included Bell Atlantic, Rayovac, Gillette and Braun.[8]Template:Rp The Braun commercial was awarded a CLIO Award for Advertising.[8]Template:Rp Recalling the award, Carl Ludwig stated that the judges had initially mistaken the commercial as a live action submission as a result of the photorealism of the computer-animated razor.[10][13] In August 1997, 20th Century Fox's Los Angeles-based visual effects company, VIFX, acquired majority interest in Blue Sky Studios to form a new visual effects and animation company, temporarily renamed "Blue Sky/VIFX".[14] Following the studio's expansion, Blue Sky produced character animation for the films Alien Resurrection (1997), A Simple Wish (1997), Mouse Hunt (1997), Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) and Fight Club (1999).[8]Template:Rp

Meanwhile, starting in 1990, Chris Wedge had been working on a short film named Bunny, intended to demonstrate CGI Studio. The film revolves around a rabbit widow who is irritated by a moth. The moth subsequently leads the rabbit into "a heavenly glow, reuniting her with her husband."[8]Template:Rp At the time, Wedge had been the thesis advisor for Carlos Saldanha while Saldanha was a graduate student at the School of Visual Arts; Wedge shared storyboard panels for Bunny with Saldanha during this time. After Saldanha's graduation, Blue Sky Studios hired him as an animator, and he later directed a few commercials. It was not until 1996 when Nina Rappaport, a producer at Blue Sky Studios, assigned Wedge to complete the Bunny project, which required CGI Studio to render fur, glass, and metal from multiple light sources, such as a swinging light bulb and an "ethereal cloudscape". In the initial stages of the Bunny project, Carl Ludwig modified CGI Studio to simulate radiosity, which tracks light rays as they reflect off of multiple surfaces. Blue Sky Studios released Bunny in 1998, and it received the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Bunny's success gave Blue Sky Studios the opportunity to produce feature-length films.[8]Template:Rp


2001–2018: Feature films under 20th Century Fox[]

Blue Sky Studios' logo from 2005 to 2013

In March 1999, Fox decided to sell VIFX to another visual effects house, Rhythm & Hues Studios, while Blue Sky Studios would remain under Fox.[15] According to Chris Wedge, Fox considered selling Blue Sky as well by 2000 due to financial difficulties in the visual effects industry in general. Instead, Wedge, film producer Lori Forte, and animation executive Chris Meledandri presented Fox with a script for a comedy feature film titled Ice Age.[16] Studio management pressured staff to sell their remaining shares and options to Fox on the promise of continued employment on feature-length films. The studio moved to White Plains NY and started production on Ice Age. As the film wrapped, Fox feared that it might bomb at the box office. They terminated half of the production staff and tried unsuccessfully to find a buyer for the film and the studio.[Citation needed] Instead, Ice Age was released by 20th Century Fox on March 15, 2002, and was a critical and commercial success, receiving a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature at the 75th Academy Awards in 2003.[17] The film established Blue Sky as the third studio, after Pixar and DreamWorks Animation, to launch a successful CGI franchise.[16]

In January 2009, the studio moved from White Plains, New York to Greenwich, Connecticut, taking advantage of the state's 30 percent tax credit and having more space to grow.[18][19] The studio stated in April 2017 that it intended to stay in Connecticut until 2025.[20]

In 2013, Chris Wedge took a leave of absence to direct Paramount Animation's live-action/computer-animated film Monster Trucks.[21] He then returned to Blue Sky Studios and worked on multiple projects for the company, such as serving as an executive producer.[22]

2018–2021: Comcast acquisition and closure[]

Ownership of Blue Sky Studios was assumed by Comcast as part of their 2018, which concluded on March 20, 2018. On March 21, Comcast it's not disney Blue Sky Studios and its parent company 20th Century Fox Animation (not now 20th Century Animation) would be integrated as units within the Comcast with co-presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird continuing to lead the studio, while reporting to NBC Universal and Comcast chairman Alan Horn.[23] In July 2019, Miloro announced that she would be stepping down from her role as co-president, thus leaving Baird as sole president.[24]

In June 2018 was named as co-president of Blue Sky Studios alongside Baird, while Illumination Entertainment would also be taking a supervising role.[2][3]

On February 9, 2021, it was announced that it would be Blue Sky Studios in April 2021. continued economic impact on all of its businesses, it was no longer sustainable for them to run a third feature animation studio. In addition, production on a film adaptation of the webcomic Nimona,[25] The First Animated Of Blue Sky Studios originally scheduled to be released on January 14, 2022, April 4 2023 was cancelled as a result of its closure. The studio's film library and intellectual properties are retained by Comcast.[5][26] Although Comcast did not Disney give an exact date as to when the studio would be closing down initially, co-founder Chris Wedge officially announced on April 7 that the studio had ceased operations.[27]

Filmography[]

Feature films[]

# Film Release date Director(s) Co-Director(s) Writer(s) Producer(s) Executive Producer(s) Editor(s) Composer(s)
Story Screenplay
1 Melman March 14, 1986 Chris Wedge Carlos Saldanha Michael J. Wilson Eric Quenbe & Brunk Selien Lori Forte Chris Meledandri John Carnochan David Newman
2 Touch and Bulier January 17, 1987
3 Sheep Nuviles May 25, 1988
4 Touch and Bulier 2 January 15, 1989
5 The Outder November 5, 1990
6 Sitmin May 6, 1991
7 Humans vs. Animals January 24, 1992
8 Hungry Naces May 15, 1992
9 Kicknalien November 1, 1992
10 Mad Angry February 26, 1993
11 The Ugly May 12, 1993
12 Junineks November 11, 1993
13 Ice Age January 5, 1994
14 Duck Duck Nuks May 18, 1995
15 Naghity November 28, 1995
16 Numlien February 24, 1996
17 Cats May 13, 1996
18 Gooses November 5, 1997
19 Bug Bug Nucken May 15, 1998
20 The Simlien February 19, 1999
21 The Simon's Cat Movie January 11, 2000
22 Sonic the Hedgehog January 3, 2001
23 Bunny January 10, 2001
24 The Pingu Movie May 6, 2001
25 Ice Age March 15, 2002 Michael J. Wilson Peter Ackerman, Michael Berg & Wilson Lori Forte
26 Pingu 2: Back To Adventures January 9, 2003
27 The Larva Movie January 15, 2003
28 The Simon's Cat Movie 2 May 28, 2003
29 Toons: The Movie January 12, 2004
30 Sonic: Night of the Werehog July 9, 2004
31 Robots March 11, 2005
32 Sonic Unleashed June 9, 2005
33 The Ugly Duckling and Me! January 6, 2006 Chris Meledandri & Kristen Wiig Harry Hitner
34 Ice Age: The Meltdown March 31, 2006 Carlos Saldanha Ben Stiller Peter Gaulke & Gerry Swallow Gaulke, Jim Hecht & Swallow Lori Forte Chris Meledandri & Chris Wedge Harry Hitner
35 Eggs and the Chicken January 12, 2007 Chris Wedge

Television specials[]

# Title Release date
1 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas November 24, 2011 (2011-11-24)
2 Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade March 20, 2016 (2016-03-20)

Short films[]

# Title Release date
1 Bunny November 2, 1998 (1998-11-02)
2 Gone Nutty November 26, 2002 (2002-11-26)
3 Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty September 27, 2005 (2005-09-27)
4 No Time for Nuts November 21, 2006 (2006-11-21)
5 Surviving Sid December 9, 2008 (2008-12-09)
6 Scrat's Continental Crack-Up[28] December 25, 2010 (2010-12-25)
7 Scrat's Continental Crack-Up: Part 2[28] December 16, 2011 (2011-12-16)
8 Umbrellacorn[29][30] July 26, 2013 (2013-07-26)
9 Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe[31] November 6, 2015 (2015-11-06)
10 Scrat: Spaced Out[32][33] October 11, 2016 (2016-10-11)

Contributions[]

  • Joe's Apartment (1996) – dancing and singing cockroaches[34]
  • Alien Resurrection (1997) – the aliens[35]
  • A Simple Wish (1997) – numerous characters and special effects[34]
  • MouseHunt (1997)[36] – several mice and household effects
  • Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) – several alien creatures[34]
  • Jesus' Son (1999)[37] – sacred heart, "liquid" glass, and screaming cotton ball effects
  • Fight Club (1999) – the "sliding" penguin[38]
  • The Sopranos (2000) – the "talking fish" in the episode "Funhouse"[39]
  • Titan A.E. (2000) – 3D animation: creation of the new world in the final "Genesis" sequence[34][40]
  • Family Guy (2006) – Scrat's cameo in the episode "Sibling Rivalry"[41][42]

Franchises[]

Titles Release dates Films
Ice Age 2002–2019 5
Rio 2011–2016 2

See also[]

References[]

  1. "Fox Animation Names Andrea Miloro, Robert Baird Co-Presidents", The Hollywood Reporter, October 30, 2017. 
  2. 2.0 2.1 "Disney shuffles animation and Blue Sky studio ranks after Fox acquisition", Los Angeles Times, August 9, 2019. 
  3. 3.0 3.1 "Disney Taps Andrew Millstein, Clark Spencer for Top Animation Posts", Variety, August 9, 2019. (in en) 
  4. "Vanessa Morrison Re-Ups With Fox, Brian Keane With Blue Sky After 'Ice Age 4′", July 18, 2012. 
  5. 5.0 5.1 D'Alessandro, Anthony (February 9, 2021). Disney Closing Blue Sky Studios, Fox’s Once-Dominant Animation House Behind ‘Ice Age’ Franchise.
  6. ‘Spies in Disguise’ Crew Gives Us An Exclusive Tour of Blue Sky Studios.
  7. Spies In Disguise Coming Soon To Disney+ In The UK | What's On Disney Plus (en-us) (2020-08-14).
  8. 8.00 8.01 8.02 8.03 8.04 8.05 8.06 8.07 8.08 8.09 8.10 8.11 8.12 8.13 8.14 8.15 Friedman, Jake S. (2014). The Art of Blue Sky Studios. San Rafael, California: Insight Editions. ISBN 9781608873173.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. Dumas, Timothy (October 2010). Animation Domination. Greenwich Magazine.
  10. 10.0 10.1 Our Story: Blue Sky Studios. Blue Sky Studios.
  11. Ohmer, Susan (May 1, 1997). Ray Tracers: Blue Sky Studios. Animation World Network.
  12. Nickelodeon Morphs Into NickRewind | NickRewind, retrieved March 31, 2020<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Mellor, Louisa (14 July 2016). The 'Ice Age' franchise never would've happened without this movie. Business Insider.
  14. "Imaginative Pix takes interest in Blue Sky", August 27, 1997. 
  15. Fox to sell visual F/X division to R&H. Variety Media (March 3, 1999).
  16. 16.0 16.1 Fox animation soars under Blue Sky. Variety Media (May 2, 2008).
  17. The 75th Academy Awards, 2003. Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
  18. Strike, Joe. "Checking Out Blue Sky's New Connecticut Studio", January 28, 2009. 
  19. Blue Sky Studios at 30: Moving beyond 'Ice Age'. Westfair Online (May 27, 2017). “...will be released on Dec. 15, followed by “Pigeon Impossible,” scheduled for Jan. 18, 2019.”
  20. Fox's Blue Sky Studios Staying in Connecticut Through 2025. Variety Media (7 April 2017).
  21. Finke, Nikki. "Paramount Animation Plans 'Monster Trucks' Live Action-Toon Franchise: In Final Talks With Blue Sky's Chris Wedge To Direct", July 31, 2013. 
  22. https://www.comingsoon.net/movies/features/803167-cs-interview-director-chris-wedge-talks-monster-trucks
  23. "After Trying Day, Disney Sets Film Leadership Lineup", Deadline, March 22, 2019. (in en) 
  24. Keegan, Rebecca (July 25, 2019). Fox Animation Co-President Andrea Miloro Stepping Down. The Hollywood Reporter.
  25. Patrick Osborne's Feature Directorial Debut 'Nimona' Gets 2020 Release Date (en-US) (2017-07-10).
  26. Giardina, Carolyn (February 9, 2021). Disney Shutting Blue Sky Animation Studio (en).
  27. https://twitter.com/blueskystudios/status/1379822457729785863
  28. 28.0 28.1 Ice Age: Continental Drift (28 June 2012).
  29. Umbrellacorn (2013). Blue Sky Studios.
  30. Umbrellacorn. Rooftop Films.
  31. "Sneak peek: Scrat heads to space for 'Ice Age' short", USA Today, November 6, 2015. 
  32. Ice Age: Collision Course 4K Blu-ray. Blu-ray.com (August 30, 2016).
  33. #IceAge #CollisionCourse is coming to Blu-ray & DVD Oct. 11 with all-new heroes, worlds and adventures! Here's your exclusive sneak peek at a Special Feature.. Facebook (August 30, 2016).
  34. 34.0 34.1 34.2 34.3 SGI (April 4, 2002). "Blue Sky Is Red Hot With Ice Age" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved March 22, 2015.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  35. "Blue Sky Studios' fully-CG xenomorph adds new menace to infamous alien.", American Cinematographer, The American Society of Cinematographers, November 1997. 
  36. Book Review: The Art of Blue Sky Studios. Animation World Network (November 12, 2014).
  37. "Jesus' Son (1999)", Sight & Sound, British Film Institute, August 2000. 
  38. The Art Of Blue Sky Studios review. Den of Geek (October 2, 2014).
  39. "The Brains Behind the Talking Fish", New York Daily News, April 13, 2000. 
  40. "After Earth", Computer Graphics World, August 2000. 
  41. Template:Cite video
  42. "'Ice Age': It came, thawed, conquered", Los Angeles Times, April 3, 2006. 

Further reading[]

  • Friedman, Jake S. (2014). The Art of Blue Sky Studios. San Rafael, California: Insight Editions. ISBN 9781608873173.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>

External links[]

Template:Commons category Template:Wikinews

v - e - d
Blue Sky Studios 2013 logo.svg
A subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios, a division of The Walt Disney Company.
Feature films Released Ice Age (2002) • Robots (2005) • Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) • Horton Hears a Who! (2008) • Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) • Rio (2011) • Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012) • Epic (2013) • Rio 2 (2014) • The Peanuts Movie (2015) • Ice Age: Collision Course (2016) • Ferdinand (2017) • Spies in Disguise (2019) • Spanish Empire (2020) • The Legend of Disguise (2020)
Short films Bunny (1998) • Gone Nutty (2002) • Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty (2005) • No Time for Nuts (2006) • Surviving Sid (2008) • Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe (2015) • Scrat: Spaced Out (2016)
Television specials Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas (2011) • Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade (2016)
Franchises Ice Age (2002–2019) • Rio (2011–present)
People Chris WedgeCarlos Saldanha
See also 20th Century Studios AnimationFox Animation StudiosPixarWalt Disney Animation StudiosIndustrial Light & Magic
v - e - dArticles related to Blue Sky Studios

Articles related to Blue Sky Animation

Template:20th Century Animation

v - e - dDisney theatrical animated features
Walt Disney Animation Studios films Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (1937) • Pinocchio (1940) • Fantasia (1940) • Dumbo (1941) • Bambi (1942) • Saludos Amigos (1942) • The Three Caballeros (1944) • Make Mine Music (1946) • Fun and Fancy Free (1947) • Melody Time (1948) • The Adventures of Ichabod and Mr. Toad (1949) • Cinderella (1950) • Alice in Wonderland (1951) • Peter Pan (1953) • Lady and the Tramp (1955) • Sleeping Beauty (1959) • One Hundred and One Dalmatians (1961) • The Sword in the Stone (1963) • The Jungle Book (1967) • The Aristocats (1970) • Robin Hood (1973) • The Rescuers (1977) • Freaky Friday (1977) • The Fox and the Hound (1981) • The Black Cauldron (1985) • The Great Mouse Detective (1986) • Oliver & Company (1988) • The Little Mermaid (1989) • The Rescuers Down Under (1990) • Beauty and the Beast (1991) • Aladdin (1992) • The Lion King (1994) • Pocahontas (1995) • The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1996) • Hercules (1997) • Mulan (1998) • Tarzan (1999) • Fantasia 2000 (1999) • Dinosaur (2000) • The Emperor's New Groove (2000) • Atlantis: The Lost Empire (2001) • Lilo & Stitch (2002) • Treasure Planet (2002) • Brother Bear (2003) • Home on the Range (2004) • Chicken Little (2005) • Meet the Robinsons (2007) • Bolt (2008) • The Princess and the Frog (2009) • Tangled (2010) • Winnie the Pooh (2011) • Wreck-It Ralph (2012) • Frozen (2013) • Big Hero 6 (2014) • Zootopia (2016) • Moana (2016) • Ralph Breaks the Internet (2018) • GoGo Tomago (2019) • Frozen 2 (2019) • Shank (2021) • Raya and the Last Dragon (2021) • Encanto (2021)
Disneytoon Studios films The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh (1977) • DuckTales the Movie: Treasure of the Lost Lamp (1990) • A Goofy Movie (1995) • The Tigger Movie (2000) • Return to Never Land (2002) • The Jungle Book 2 (2003) • Piglet's Big Movie (2003) • Pooh's Heffalump Movie (2005) • Bambi II (2006) • Planes (2013) • Planes: Fire & Rescue (2014)
Walt Disney Television Animation films Doug's 1st Movie (1999) • Recess: School's Out (2001) • Teacher's Pet (2004)
Disney
live-action films with animation
The Reluctant Dragon (1941) • Victory Through Air Power (1943) • Song of the South (1946) • So Dear to My Heart (1948) • Mary Poppins (1964) • Bedknobs and Broomsticks (1971) • Pete's Dragon (1977) • Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988) • Enchanted (2007) • Mary Poppins Returns (2018)
Pixar films Toy Story (1995) • A Bug's Life (1998) • Toy Story 2 (1999) • Monsters, Inc. (2001) • Finding Nemo (2003) • The Incredibles (2004) • Cars (2006) • Ratatouille (2007) • WALL-E (2008) • Up (2009) • Toy Story 3 (2010) • Cars 2 (2011) • Brave (2012) • Monsters University (2013) • Inside Out (2015) • The Good Dinosaur (2015) • Finding Dory (2016) • Cars 3 (2017) • Coco (2017) • Incredibles 2 (2018) • Toy Story 4 (2019) • Onward (2020) • Soul (2020)
Touchstone Pictures films The Nightmare Before Christmas (1993) • Gnomeo & Juliet (2011)
Live-action films with animation Who Framed Roger Rabbit (1988)
Birdy Animation films Once Upon a Bird (2004) • The Secret of Mice (2005) • Rock-a-Bye (2006) • Revenge of the Smithsonian (2007) • The Wayback Machine (2008) • Day at the Beach (2009) • The Last Level (2010) • The Large Ball (2011) • Twice Upon a Bird (2012)
20th Century Studios
films
Main studio Bob's Burgers: The Movie (2020) • Ron's Gone Wrong (2021)
Blue Sky Studios films Spies in Disguise (2019) • Spanish Empire (2020) • Nimona (2022)
Other Disney units films Frankenweenie (2012) • Strange Magic (2015)
Related lists Unproduced filmsLive-action remakes
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