Blue Sky Studios

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Blue Sky Studios
Subsidiary of 20th Century Fox[1]
Industry CGI animation
Motion pictures
Founded February 1987
Founder Chris Wedge
Carl Ludwig
Dr. Eugene Troubetzkoy
Alison Brown
David Brown
Michael Ferraro
Headquarters Greenwich, Connecticut,
United States
Key people
Carlos Saldanha
Chris Wedge
Brian Keane, COO[2]
Products CGI animated films
Owner News Corporation
21st Century Fox
Number of employees
500 (2013)[3]
Parent Independent (1987–97)
20th Century Fox (1997–present)

Blue Sky Studios is an American computer animation film studio based in Greenwich, Connecticut. The studio was founded in 1987 by Michael Ferraro, Carl Ludwig, Alison Brown, David Brown, Chris Wedge and Eugene Troubetzkoy after the the company they worked in, MAGI, one of the visual effects studios behind Tron, shut down. Blue Sky Studios has been owned by 20th Century Fox since 1997. Using its in-house rendering software, the studio had worked on visual effects for commercials and films, before releasing its first animated film, Ice Age, in 2002 and completely dedicating itself to producing animated films. The studio has produced nine animated films, with Ice Age and Rio being its most successful film franchises.



Blue Sky was founded in February 1987 by Chris Wedge, Carl Ludwig, Dr. Eugene Troubetzkoy, Alison Brown, David Brown and Michael Ferraro, who had previously worked on the Disney film Tron while employed at MAGI/Synthavision.[4] Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the studio concentrated on the production of television commercials and visual effects for film. Some of the more memorable commercials that Blue Sky worked on during this time period were a Chock Full O' Nuts spot with a talking coffee bean, and an intro for a Nickelodeon block called Nicktoons that featured the show's mascot, Nick Boy, realized as human-shaped orange goo. Using their proprietary animation pipeline, the studio produced over 200 spots for clients such as Chrysler, M&M/Mars, General Foods, Texaco, and the United States Marines.[5]


In August 1997, 20th Century Fox's Los Angeles-based visual effects company, VIFX, acquired Blue Sky Studios to form a new visual effects and animation company.[6] The new company produced visual effects for films such as The X-Files, Blade, Armageddon, Titanic and Alien: Resurrection.[7] In 1998, Chris Wedge realized long unfulfilled dreams and produced the Academy Award-winning animated short film, Bunny.

Due to the F/X market crash, Fox decided to leave the visual effects business. In March 1999, they sold VIFX to another visual effects house, Rhythm & Hues Studios,[8] and considered selling Blue Sky next. At the time, the studio got the opportunity with the Ice Age script to turn it into a comedy. In 2002, Ice Age was released to great critical and commercial success. The film got a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and established Blue Sky as the third studio, after Pixar and DreamWorks, to launch a successful CGI franchise.[9]

In January 2009, the studio moved from White Plains, New York into Greenwich, Connecticut.[10]

In 2013, Chris Wedge took a leave of absence to direct Paramount Animation's live-action/computer-animated film Monster Trucks.[11]


The studio is notable for its proprietary CGI Studio, a rendering software system like Pixar's RenderMan. Initially developed by Eugene Troubetzkoy, Carl Ludwig, Tom Bisogno and Michael Ferraro,[5] CGI Studio was notable for its use of ray tracing as opposed to REYES-like scanline rendering prevalent throughout the CG industry.


Feature films[edit]

Released films

# Title Release date Budget Gross RT
1 Ice Age March 15, 2002 $59 million $383 million 77%
2 Robots March 11, 2005 $75 million $261 million 64%
3 Ice Age: The Meltdown March 31, 2006 $80 million $661 million 57%
4 Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! March 14, 2008 $85 million $297 million 79%
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs July 1, 2009 $90 million $887 million 45%
6 Rio April 15, 2011 $90 million $485 million 72%
7 Ice Age: Continental Drift July 13, 2012 $95 million $877 million 37%
8 Epic May 24, 2013 $93 million $268 million 64%
9 Rio 2 April 11, 2014 $103 million $501 million 48%

Upcoming films

Title Release date Ref(s)
The Peanuts Movie November 6, 2015 [12][13]
Ice Age 5 July 15, 2016 [14]
Ferdinand April 7, 2017 [15][16]
Anubis March 23, 2018 [14][15][17]

Films in development

Title Ref(s)
Mutts [18][19]
Alienology [20]

Television specials[edit]

# Title Release date
1 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas November 24, 2011

Short films[edit]

# Title Release date Notes
1 Bunny 1998 Academy Award winner
2 Gone Nutty November 26, 2002 Academy Award nominee
3 Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty September 27, 2005
4 No Time for Nuts November 21, 2006 Academy Award nominee
5 Surviving Sid December 9, 2008
6 Umbrellacorn[21][22] July 26, 2013



See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Company Info of Blue Sky Studios". Blue Sky Studios. Retrieved September 15, 2010. 
  2. ^ "Vanessa Morrison Re-Ups With Fox, Brian Keane With Blue Sky After ‘Ice Age 4′". Deadline. July 18, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2012. 
  3. ^ Cheirif, Samantha (August 19, 2013). "25 Things to Know about Blue Sky’s EPIC Blu-ray/DVD Release". Retrieved October 8, 2013. 
  4. ^ Dumas, Timothy (October 2010). "Animation Domination". Greenwich Magazine. Retrieved 2011-02-03. 
  5. ^ a b Ohmer, Susan (1997-05-01). "Ray Tracers: Blue Sky Studios". Animation World Network. Retrieved 2006-09-29. 
  6. ^ "Imaginative Pix takes interest in Blue Sky". Variety. August 27, 1997. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  7. ^ "Blue Sky|VIFX". VFX HQ. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  8. ^ Graser, Marc (March 3, 1999). "Fox to sell visual F/X division to R&H". Variety. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  9. ^ Fritz, Ben (May 2, 2008). "Fox animation soars under Blue Sky". Variety. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  10. ^ Strike, Joe (January 28, 2009). "Checking Out Blue Sky's New Connecticut Studio". Animation World Network. Retrieved October 2, 2012. 
  11. ^ Finke, Nikki (31 July 2013). "Paramount Animation Plans ‘Monster Trucks’ Live Action-Toon Franchise: In Final Talks With Blue Sky’s Chris Wedge To Direct". Retrieved 24 February 2014. 
  12. ^ "Charles Schulz's 'Peanuts' Gang to Hit Theaters". October 9, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  13. ^ 20th Century Fox (November 7, 2012). "Fox Gives Peanuts and B.O.O. Earlier Releases". Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b "Ice Age 5 Set for July 15, 2016, Anubis Moves to 2018". December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  15. ^ a b Chitwood, Adam (May 16, 2013). "DreamWorks Animation Moves B.O.O. Release Up to June 5, 2015 and TROLLS to November 4, 2016; Fox Dates ANUBIS and FERDINAND". Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  16. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude (2011-02-18). "Fox, Ice Age Director Bullish on The Story of Ferdinand". New York. Retrieved 2011-02-19. 
  17. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (April 13, 2008). "Fox Animation weaves ‘Tapestry’". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  18. ^ Kit, Borys (July 22, 2011). "'Mutts' Comic Strip Headed to Big Screen From 20th Century Fox (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 23, 2011. 
  19. ^ Millero, Ralph (November 2, 2011). "Ralph Millero's Photos". Facebook. Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  20. ^ Kroll, Justin; Abrams, Rachel (October 25, 2012). "'Rio' helmer Carlos Saldanha inks Fox pact". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  21. ^ "Umbrellacorn (2013)". Blue Sky Studios. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  22. ^ "Umbrellacorn". Rooftop Films. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 

External links[edit]