Blue Sky Studios, home of the Ice Age movies, to shut down over 'current economic realities'
Disney is closing the studio behind Ice Age, Rio, and Spies in Disguise.
Another holdout from the 20th Century Fox era is officially closing its doors.
The Walt Disney Co. made the decision to shut down Blue Sky Studios, the home of movies like Ice Age, Rio, Ferdinand, and most recently Spies in Disguise. The studio produced 13 films total since Fox bought it in 1999.
The move is a result of Disney's losses due to the on-going COVID-19 pandemic, EW has learned. Sustaining a third feature animation studio on top of Pixar and Walt Disney Animation was no longer viable given economic losses, not just on the studio side and lack of major box office revenue, but from theme park closures and cruise line shutdowns.
"Given the current economic realities, after much consideration and evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to close filmmaking operations at Blue Sky Studios," a studio spokesperson told EW.
Blue Sky Studios' library will still be housed at Disney. An Ice Age series for Disney+, first announced during last year's investors conference, is still in development. The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, featuring the voice of Simon Pegg, is slated to arrive in early 2022.
The animated feature film based on Nimona, the fantasy comics from She-Ra and the Princesses of Power creator Noelle Stevenson, was also removed completely from Disney's calendar and will no longer be released. The film was another Fox title and had 10 months left of production. It was last scheduled for theaters on Jan. 14, 2022.
Blue Sky Studios was originally founded in 1986 by Alison Brown, David Brown, Michael Ferraro, Carl Ludwig, Dr. Eugene Troubetzkoy, and Chris Wedge, according to the studio's website. In their early days, the team worked on photorealistic CG effects on Joe's Apartment (1996), A Simple Wish (1997), Alien Resurrection (1997), and Fight Club (1999). Bunny became their first of what would later grow into a collection of short films in 1998.
Deadline was the first to report the news.