Animation house Blue Sky Studios, best known for creating the Ice Age films, is being closed by parent company Disney, after more than 30 years and 13 feature films to their name.
Disney acquired Blue Sky in 2019 following their buyout of 20th Century Fox, Blue Sky’s former owners. Speaking to Deadline, a Disney rep announced the disbandment, citing “current economic realities… the difficult decision to close filmmaking operations at Blue Sky Studios.” Ice Age and other Blue Sky creations will remain under Disney ownership.
Blue Sky animators were working on an adaptation of Noelle Stevenson’s webcomic Nimona, which was said to be due for another ten months of production, approximately, ahead of its January 14, 2022 release date. Sadly, all work on the film is being halted, and it will no longer be released. Patrick Osborne, director of the 2014 Disney short film Feast, was set to direct Nimona.
Blue Sky’s latest release was Spies in Disguise, which released on Christmas Day, 2019.
The studio itself is set to have its last day in April, the closure affecting some 450 employees. No plans to reform the team into new studios has been announced, though Disney is reportedly looking to assist severed employees by highlighting work opportunities among their other operations.
Regardless of any feelings about their work, it’s sad to see a team as resilient and wizened as Blue Sky’s come to an end, the financial impact of the pandemic increasingly apparent on Hollywood industries beyond simply film exhibition or staggered shooting schedules. Best wishes and good luck to all Blue Sky employees affected by the closure.