Carlos Saldanha

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Carlos Saldanha
Carlos Saldanha.jpg
Born (1965-01-24) January 24, 1965 (age 50)[1][2]
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Nationality Brazilian
Occupation Film director, film producer, animator, voice actor
Years active 2002–present
Notable work Ice Age: The Meltdown, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, Rio, Rio 2
Spouse(s) Isabella Scarpa
Children 4
Carlos Saldanha signature.svg

Carlos Saldanha (Portuguese pronunciation: [kaʁˈluz sawˈdɐɲa]; born January 24, 1965) is a Brazilian director of animated films who works with Blue Sky Studios. He was the director of Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009), Rio (2011), Rio 2 (2014), and the co-director of Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005). In Rio, his daughter, Sofia Scarpa Saldanha, voices Linda Gunderson as a child.

Early life[edit]

Saldanha was born in Brazil, growing up in Rio de Janeiro.[3][4] Though he loved cartoons and drawing from an early age, by the time he was an adult, he initially considered a career in computer science, because he did not think a career in art was a viable option. This changed when he became aware of how computer-generated imaging was revolutionizing animation, and discovered the continuing education program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He entered that program to major in computer animation, saying, "I knew from the first day in class that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life". One of his instructors, recognizing his talent, convinced him to enroll in the school's MFA program. Though Saldanha and his wife, Isabella Scarpa, thought this was a risk, they opted to stay in Manhattan so that Saldanha could do so. While at SVA, he completed two prizewinning film shorts that were featured in film festivals around the world.[3] It was also at SVA that Saldanha met MFA instructor and future film directing partner Chris Wedge, who invited Saldanha to join Wedge's company Blue Sky Studios.[3][4][5] Saldanha graduated from SVA with a Master's degree in Computer Art in 1993.[3][4]


During its fledgling years, Blue Sky Studios provided special effects and produced animated TV commercials. In 2002, Saldanha and Wedge co-directed the animated feature film Ice Age. The movie was a success, with an opening weekend gross of $46.3 million, the best March opening ever. After co-directing the 2005 film Robots, he broke his previous March opening record with the 2006 Ice Age sequel, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, which Saldanha directed by himself. He would later direct the 2009 sequel, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Desiring a change of location after directing three films set in icy locales, Saldanha's next project was the 2011 film Rio, which is set in Saldanha's hometown of Rio de Janeiro. Saldanha, who felt that Rio had never been fully portrayed on film, felt a responsibility to travel to the city with the other animators, so that they could accurately capture Rio's unique environment and habitats. The movie grossed a reported $484 million worldwide.[4]

In October 2012, Saldanha signed a five-year exclusive deal with 20th Century Fox to develop and produce animated and live-action projects.[6] For this purpose, he formed in June 2013 a Fox-based production company, named BottleCap Productions.[7] In 2014, Rio 2 was released, which he directed and co-wrote. For 2017, he is directing an animated feature film adaptation of The Story of Ferdinand.[8][9] Saldanha is also directing for Fox a live-action adaptation of Royden Lepp's graphic novel Rust: Visitor in the Field,[10] which he plans to make before Ferdinand.[11] He is also developing an animated feature film based on a book Alienology from the Ologies fantasy book series.[6]

Personal life[edit]

Saldanha and his wife, mathematician Isabella Scarpa, initially lived in a studio apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, but after their second daughter was born, they moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, where they had friends. They continue to live there with their children, Manoela, Sofia, Julia and Rafael. Saldanha, Isabella and their oldest daughter compete in the HOHA (Hoboken Harriers Running Club), a 5k race.[4] Manoelo and Sofia voiced a "porcupine-like critter" called "Molehog" in the film Ice Age: The Meltdown, directed by their father.[12]



Year Film Role Notes
1997 A Simple Wish creative supervisor: Blue Sky Studios
1998 Bunny animator
short film
1999 Fight Club creative supervisor: Blue Sky Studios
2002 Ice Age co-director
2002 Gone Nutty director
short film
2005 Robots co-director
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown Dodo director
2006 No Time for Nuts executive producer
short film
2008 Surviving Sid executive producer
short film
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Dinosaur Babies/Flightless Bird director
2011 Rio Second Waiter director/writer: story
2011 Scrat's Continental Crack-up (Part 2) executive producer
short film
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift executive producer
2012 Between Frames: The Art of Brazilian Animation Himself
2014 Rio 2[13] director/writer: story
2014 Rio, I Love You director
segment "Pas de Deux"
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course executive producer/producer
2017 Ferdinand[9] director


  1. ^ "RIO". KidsNews,inc. Retrieved October 28, 2013. The mastermind behind this story, Carlos Saldanha, was born January 24, 1965, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 
  2. ^ Cavna, Michael (July 1, 2009). "The Interview: 'Ice Age' Director Carlos Saldanha". Washington Post. Retrieved October 28, 2013. The engaging, Braziian-born Saldanha, 44, shares his thoughts on creativity, family and the reason why he knew he needed the voice of Queen Latifah. 
  3. ^ a b c d "What's in Store". Visual Arts Journal. Fall 2011. School of Visual Arts. Page 18
  4. ^ a b c d e Baldassari, Arlene (December 30, 2012). "The Road from Rio". Hudson Reporter. Retrieved October 28, 2013. 
  5. ^ Hulett, Steve (January 9, 2012). "The Carlos Saldanha Interview". TAG Blog. Retrieved February 9, 2012. 
  6. ^ a b Kroll, Justin; Abrams, Rachel (October 25, 2012). "'Rio' helmer Carlos Saldanha inks Fox pact". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2012. 
  7. ^ Fleming, Mike (June 6, 2013). "‘Rio’ Helmer Carlos Saldanha Sets And Staffs Up BottleCap Productions At Fox". Deadline. Retrieved June 7, 2013. 
  8. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude (February 18, 2011). "Fox, Ice Age Director Bullish on The Story of Ferdinand". New York. Retrieved February 19, 2011. 
  9. ^ 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. 
  10. ^ Sneider, Jeff (September 9, 2013). "‘Rio’ Director Carlos Saldanha in Talks to Replace Joe Cornish on Fox’s ‘Rust’ (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved September 10, 2013. 
  11. ^ Desowitz, Bill (March 14, 2014). "Immersed in Movies: Carlos Saldanha Talks 'Rio 2'". Animation Scoop. Retrieved March 14, 2014. 
  12. ^ Lowe, R. Kinsey (April 3, 2006). "`Ice Age': It came, thawed, conquered". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 1, 2015. 
  13. ^ "Sergio Mendes says 'Rio' sequel likely". Yahoo!. January 25, 2012. Retrieved January 26, 2012. 

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