20th Century Animation
|Parent||20th Century Studios|
(The Walt Disney Studios)
|Footnotes / references|
20th Century Animation, Inc. (originally Fox Family Films, Fox Animation Studios, and 20th Century Fox Animation) is an animation production studio, organized as a division of 20th Century Studios, a subsidiary of Walt Disney Studios. Formed in 1994, the studio is located in Century City, Los Angeles and is tasked with producing animated feature-length films. At one point, 20th Century Animation had two divisions: Fox Animation Studios, which was shut down on June 26, 2000 and Blue Sky Studios (the latter became the primary unit of 20th Century Animation), which was closed on April 10, 2021.
The studio has produced a total of 25 feature films (5 live-action films as Fox Family Films, 3 films from Fox Animation Studios, 13 feature films from Blue Sky Studios, and 4 original films), with their most recent release being Ron's Gone Wrong. It's upcoming slate of productions include Diary of a Wimpy Kid, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, The Bob's Burgers Movie, Night at the Museum: Kahmunrah Rises Again, and a Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules remake.
Before 20th Century Fox started its animation division, Fox released its first seven animated films, such as Hugo the Hippo (1975), Wizards, Raggedy Ann & Andy: A Musical Adventure (1977), Fire and Ice (1983), FernGully: The Last Rainforest (1992) Once Upon a Forest (1993) and The Pagemaster (1994).
In May 1993, Fox agreed to a two-year first-look deal with Nickelodeon for family films. The deal would mostly include original material, though a Nickelodeon executive did not rule out the possibility of making films based on The Ren & Stimpy Show, Rugrats and Doug. However, no films came out of the deal due to the 1994 acquisition of Paramount Pictures by Nickelodeon's parent company, Viacom, and they would distribute the film projects instead.
The division initially started in February 1994 as Fox Family Films, as one of four film divisions of 20th Century Fox under executive John Matoian. The division was planned to produce six feature films a year as part of a plan to produce more films per year overall. Fox senior vice president of production Chris Meledandri was transferred into the unit as executive vice president in March 1994 after having been hired the previous year. The week of May 6, 1994, Fox Family announced the hiring of Don Bluth and Gary Goldman for a new $100 million animation studio which began construction that year in Phoenix, Arizona. In three years, the animation studio would produce and release its first film, Anastasia. In September 1994, Matoian was promoted by Rupert Murdoch to head up the Fox network. Meledandri was selected to head up the unit in 1994.
It produced live-action films such as Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995), Dunston Checks In (1996) and Home Alone 3. By August 1997, Fox Family had decreased the number of live films. R.L. Stine agreed with Fox Family Films in January 1998 for a film adaptation of the Goosebumps book franchise with Tim Burton producing.
20th Century Fox Animation
In 1998, following the success of Anastasia, the division was renamed to Fox Animation Studios, refocusing on animated feature films, including stop-motion, mixed media and digital production. The division's live action films in development at the time included Marvel Comics' Silver Surfer, the disaster film spoof Disaster Area, Fantastic Voyage and Goosebumps. Ever After (1998), a Cinderella adaptation, was the division's last live action film. At this time, there were several animated films on the company's development slate: Dark Town with Henry Selick, Chris Columbus and Sam Hamm, Santa Calls at Blue Sky, and Matt Groening (The Simpsons), Steve Oedekerk and Joss Whedon (Buffy the Vampire Slayer) projects. The Phoenix studio at the time was producing Planet Ice expected in 1999 and directed by Art Vitello and Anastasia producer/directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman's then soon to be announced project. Chris Meledandri remained as the president of the division, which was known by 1999 as 20th Century Fox Animation. The only television series that the Phoenix studio produced was Adventures from the Book of Virtues, which was a co-production between Fox Animation Studios and PorchLight Entertainment; that series would air on PBS between 1996 and December 2000.
20th Century Fox Animation vice president of physical production Chuck Richardson was sent in early December 1999 to Fox subsidiary Blue Sky Studios as general manager and senior vice president. Richardson was sent to prepare Blue Sky for feature animation production.
The Phoenix studio, which kept the Fox Animation Studios name, laid off 2/3 of its employee workforce in February 2000 before its closure in late June of that year, ten days after Titan A.E. was released and six months before Adventures from the Book of Virtues aired its final episode. Fox Animation looked to produce films at Blue Sky and its Los Angeles headquarters.
In January 2007, Meledandri left for Universal Pictures to set up Illumination there with Vanessa Morrison as his replacement while answering to newly appointed 20th Century Fox Film Group vice chairman Hutch Parker. Morrison moved from the live action division where she handled family-children fare as senior vice president of production. Morrision was making deal with outside producers like she approved a Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr. Fox stop-motion adaptation.
In September 2017, Locksmith Animation formed a multi-year production deal with 20th Century Fox, who would distribute Locksmith's films, with Locksmith aiming to release a film every 12–18 months. The deal was to bolster Blue Sky's output and replace the loss of distributing DreamWorks Animation films, which are now owned and distributed by Universal Pictures.
On October 30, 2017, Morrison was named president of a newly created 20th Century Fox division, Fox Family, which as a mandate similar to this company when it was called Fox Family Films. Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird were named co-president of Fox Animation the same day and would also have direct oversight of Blue Sky and oversee the Locksmith Animation deal and grow Fox Animation with other partnerships and producer deals.
On October 18, 2018, it was announced that 20th Century Fox Animation would be added alongside 20th Century Fox to the Walt Disney Studios following their acquisition, with co-presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird retaining leadership while reporting to Walt Disney Studios Chairman, Alan Horn and Twentieth Century Fox vice chairman Emma Watts.
On March 21, 2019, Disney announced that the 20th Century Fox Animation label (including Blue Sky Studios) would be integrated as new units within the Walt Disney Studios with Co-presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird continuing to lead the studio reporting directly to Alan Horn. Miloro step down as co-president in late July 2019. In August 2019, Walt Disney Animation Studios head Andrew Millstein was named as co-president of Blue Sky for day-to-day operations alongside Baird, while Pixar Animation Studios president Jim Morris would also be taking a supervisory role over Millstein. With the Disney take over, the Locksmith deal left 20th Century Fox for Warner Bros. in October 2019 except for the first and now only film under the deal, Ron's Gone Wrong.
On January 28, 2020, Disney dropped the "Fox" name from the two main film studio units acquired from 21st Century Fox, while there were no mention of changes to other lesser feature film units.
On September 30, 2021, Disney received backlash on Twitter following a post promoting characters from Ice Age, with many replying how Disney closed down Blue Sky Studios and "stole" the franchise.
In a somewhat similar fashion to Warner Animation Group, Sony Pictures Animation, Paramount Animation, DreamWorks Animation and Illumination, 20th Century Animation does not produce its films in-house where it's based in Century City, but rather outsources the animation production of its films to other studios. For example, Fox Animation Studios animated its films at its Phoenix, Arizona headquarters until its closure in 2000. Blue Sky Studios animated its films at their campus in White Plains, New York, later Greenwich, Connecticut until their closure in 2021. Additionally, The Simpsons Movie was animated at Film Roman alongside AKOM and Rough Draft Studios as Ron's Gone Wrong, a co-production with Locksmith Animation, was animated by DNEG.
Fox Family Films
- Mighty Morphin Power Rangers: The Movie (1995)
- Dunston Checks In (1996)
- Home Alone 3 (1997)
- Turbo: A Power Rangers Movie (1997)
- Ever After (1998), a Cinderella adaptation, was the division's last live-action film
Fox Animation Studios
From 1994 to 2000, Fox operated Fox Animation Studios, a traditional animation studio which was started to compete with Walt Disney Animation Studios, which was experiencing great success with films such as The Little Mermaid, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin and The Lion King. The Fox studio, however, was not as successful. Their first feature Anastasia made nearly $140 million at the worldwide box office on a $53 million budget in 1997, but their next feature, Titan A.E., was a large financial loss, losing $100 million for 20th Century Fox in 2000. The lack of box office success, coupled with the rise of computer animation, led Fox to shut down the studios.
Blue Sky Studios
From 1997 until 2021, Fox owned Blue Sky Studios, a computer animation company known for the Ice Age franchise. Fox has had much more success with the studio, with the box office receipts of their films becoming competitive with the likes of Pixar and DreamWorks Animation. On March 21, 2019, Blue Sky Studios was integrated as a separate unit within Walt Disney Studios, yet they would continue to report to Fox Animation presidents Andrea Miloro and Robert Baird. In February of 2021, Disney had announced that Blue Sky would cease all operations and close sometime within April 2021.
At the time the studio released thirteen feature films, numerous short films and television specials. Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs is the studio's highest-grossing film. Major feature films include:
|#||Title||Release date||Distributor/Co-production with||Budget||Gross||Rotten Tomatoes||Metacritic|
|1||Ice Age||March 15, 2002||20th Century Fox||$59 million||$383 million||77%||60|
|2||Robots||March 11, 2005||$75 million||$260 million||64%||64|
|3||Ice Age: The Meltdown||March 31, 2006||$80 million||$660 million||57%||58|
|4||Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who!||March 14, 2008||$85 million||$297 million||79%||71|
|5||Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs||July 1, 2009||$90 million||$886 million||46%||50|
|6||Rio||April 15, 2011||$90 million||$484 million||72%||63|
|7||Ice Age: Continental Drift||July 13, 2012||$95 million||$877 million||38%||49|
|8||Epic||May 24, 2013||$93 million||$268 million||64%||52|
|9||Rio 2||April 11, 2014||$103 million||$500 million||46%||49|
|10||The Peanuts Movie||November 6, 2015||$99 million||$246 million||87%||67|
|11||Ice Age: Collision Course||July 22, 2016||$105 million||$408 million||17%||34|
|12||Ferdinand||December 15, 2017||20th Century Fox
|$111 million||$296 million||72%||58|
|13||Spies in Disguise||December 25, 2019||20th Century Fox[a]
|$100 million||$171 million||76%||51|
Starting in 2007, 20th Century Animation occasionally produces their own films without Blue Sky Studios' involvement. As of 2021, The Simpsons Movie remains 20th Century Animation's highest-grossing original film.
All films listed are produced and/or distributed by 20th Century Studios unless noted otherwise.
|Title||Co-production with||Distributor||Animation service(s)|
|The Royal Rabbits of London||20th Century Studios[a]||TBA|
|Untitled Family Guy film||Fuzzy Door Productions|
|Untitled The Simpsons Movie sequel||Gracie Films||Rough Draft Studios|
|1||Olive, the Other Reindeer||December 17, 1999||co-production with The Curiosity Company, DNA Productions, Flower Films, and Fox Television Studios|
|2||Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas||November 24, 2011||co-production with Blue Sky Studios and Reel FX Creative Studios|
|3||Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade||March 20, 2016||co-production with Blue Sky Studios, 20th Century Fox Television and Arc Productions|
|1||Gone Nutty||November 26, 2002||co-production with Blue Sky Studios|
|2||Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty||September 27, 2005|
|3||No Time for Nuts||November 21, 2006|
|4||Surviving Sid||December 9, 2008|
|5||Scrat's Continental Crack-Up||December 25, 2010|
|6||Scrat's Continental Crack-Up: Part 2||December 16, 2011|
|7||The Longest Daycare||July 13, 2012||co-production with Gracie Films, AKOM Studios, and Film Roman; released with Ice Age: Continental Drift|
|8||Umbrellacorn||July 26, 2013||co-production with Blue Sky Studios|
|9||Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe||November 6, 2015|
|10||Scrat: Spaced Out||October 11, 2016|
|11||Playdate with Destiny||March 6, 2020
April 10, 2020 (Disney+)
|co-production with Gracie Films; released with Onward; first short film produced under Disney|
- List of 20th Century Studios theatrical animated feature films
- List of Disney theatrical animated feature films
- List of unproduced 20th Century Animation projects
- Disney Television Animation
- 20th Television Animation
- Walt Disney Animation Studios
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