Blue Sky Studios

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Blue Sky Studios
Subsidiary of 20th Century Fox[1]
Industry Computer 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
(1997–2013)
21st Century Fox
(2013–present)
Number of employees
600 (2015)[3]
Parent Independent (1987–97)
20th Century Fox (1997–present)
Website www.blueskystudios.com

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 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.

History[edit]

1987–97[edit]

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]

1997–present[edit]

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 to 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]

Technology[edit]

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.

Filmography[edit]

Feature films[edit]

Released films

# Title Release date Budget[12] Gross[12] RT MC[13]
1 Ice Age March 15, 2002 $59 million $383 million 77% 60
2 Robots March 11, 2005 $75 million $261 million 64% 64
3 Ice Age: The Meltdown March 31, 2006 $80 million $661 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 $887 million 45% 50
6 Rio April 15, 2011 $90 million $485 million 72% 63
7 Ice Age: Continental Drift July 13, 2012 $95 million $877 million 37% 49
8 Epic May 24, 2013 $93 million $268 million 64% 52
9 Rio 2 April 11, 2014 $103 million $500 million 48% 49

Upcoming films

Title Release date Refs.
The Peanuts Movie November 6, 2015 [14][15]
Ice Age: Collision Course July 15, 2016 [16][17]
Ferdinand April 7, 2017 [18][19]
Anubis March 23, 2018 [16][18][20]

Films in development

Title Refs.
Mutts [21][22][23]
Alienology [24]

Television specials[edit]

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

Short films[edit]

# Title Release date
1 Bunny 1998
2 Gone Nutty November 26, 2002
3 Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty September 27, 2005
4 No Time for Nuts November 21, 2006
5 Surviving Sid December 9, 2008
6 Umbrellacorn[25][26] July 26, 2013

Commercials[edit]

Contributions[edit]

See also[edit]

References[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. ^ Kenny, Charles (May 15, 2015). "What Blue Sky Studios Taught Me: The Movie is Just the Tip of a Very Big Iceberg". Animation Scoop. Retrieved May 15, 2015. At about 600 people,... 
  4. ^ Dumas, Timothy (October 2010). "Animation Domination". Greenwich Magazine. Retrieved February 3, 2011. 
  5. ^ a b Ohmer, Susan (May 1, 1997). "Ray Tracers: Blue Sky Studios". Animation World Network. Retrieved September 29, 2006. 
  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 (July 31, 2013). "Paramount Animation Plans ‘Monster Trucks’ Live Action-Toon Franchise: In Final Talks With Blue Sky’s Chris Wedge To Direct". deadline.com. Retrieved February 24, 2014. 
  12. ^ a b "Blue Sky Moviesat the Box Office". Box Office Mojo. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Blue Sky Studios's Profile". Metacritic. Retrieved April 12, 2015. 
  14. ^ "Charles Schulz's 'Peanuts' Gang to Hit Theaters". ComingSoon.net. October 9, 2012. Retrieved October 9, 2012. 
  15. ^ 20th Century Fox (November 7, 2012). "Fox Gives Peanuts and B.O.O. Earlier Releases". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved November 8, 2012. 
  16. ^ a b "Ice Age 5 Set for July 15, 2016, Anubis Moves to 2018". ComingSoon.net. December 20, 2013. Retrieved December 20, 2013. 
  17. ^ Lesnick, Silas (June 9, 2015). "Exclusive Promo Poster Gallery from Licensing Expo 2015!". ComingSoon.net. Retrieved June 9, 2015. 
  18. ^ 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". Collider.com. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  19. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude (February 18, 2011). "Fox, Ice Age Director Bullish on The Story of Ferdinand". New York. Retrieved February 19, 2011. 
  20. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (April 13, 2008). "Fox Animation weaves ‘Tapestry’". Variety. Retrieved May 16, 2013. 
  21. ^ Kit, Borys (July 22, 2011). "'Mutts' Comic Strip Headed to Big Screen From 20th Century Fox (Exclusive)". Hollywood Reporter. Retrieved July 23, 2011. 
  22. ^ Millero, Ralph (November 2, 2011). "Ralph Millero's Photos". Facebook. Retrieved November 7, 2011. 
  23. ^ Cavna, Michael (November 22, 2014). "MUTTS ADO ABOUT ‘NOTHING': Patrick McDonnell gives the gift of warmth in wonderful ‘Mutts’ musical’s Kennedy Center world premiere". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 2, 2015. Just a month earlier, McDonnell says, he handed in a final draft of a film script to Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios — the same companies that are teaming for the “Peanuts” movie due out next November. “Mutts,” as a film, is literally on the drawing board. “As a matter of fact, I’m going [to Connecticut] Tuesday to Blue Sky to look at some art … ,” McDonnell says. 
  24. ^ Kroll, Justin; Abrams, Rachel (October 25, 2012). "'Rio' helmer Carlos Saldanha inks Fox pact". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Umbrellacorn (2013)". Blue Sky Studios. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  26. ^ "Umbrellacorn". Rooftop Films. Retrieved October 19, 2013. 
  27. ^ a b Roman, Monica (July 20, 1998). "Blue Sky sees green". Variety. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  28. ^ a b c d SGI (April 4, 2002). "Blue Sky Is Red Hot With Ice Age" (Press release). PR Newswire. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  29. ^ "Blue Sky Studios' fully-CG xenomorph adds new menace to infamous alien.". American Cinematographer (The American Society of Cinematographers). November 1997. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  30. ^ Patten, Fred (November 12, 2014). "Book Review: The Art of Blue Sky Studios". Animation World Network. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  31. ^ Leigh, Danny (August 2000). "Jesus' Son (1999)". Sight & Sound (British Film Institute). Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  32. ^ Lambie, Ryan (October 2, 2014). "The Art Of Blue Sky Studios review". Den of Geek. Retrieved March 21, 2015. 
  33. ^ Mink, Eric (April 13, 2000). "The Brains Behind the Talking Fish". New York Daily News. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  34. ^ Moltenbrey, Karen (August 2000). "After Earth". Computer Graphics World. Retrieved March 22, 2015. 
  35. ^ MacFarlane, Seth (2006). Family Guy season 4 DVD commentary for the episode "Sibling Rivalry" (DVD). 20th Century Fox. 
  36. ^ Lowe, R. Kinsey (April 3, 2006). "`Ice Age': It came, thawed, conquered". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 

External links[edit]