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Disney to close Blue Sky, animation studio behind 'Ice Age' and 'Rio'

Ben Arnold
·Contributor
·1-min read
Ice Age: Collision Course (Credit: Blue Sky/Fox)
Ice Age: Collision Course (Credit: Blue Sky/Fox)

Disney is to close down the Blue Sky Studios, the animation house behind movies like Rio and the Ice Age series.

The company was among those that it acquired when it bought up 20th Century Fox in 2019.

The closure will result in the 450 staff being axed, however according to Variety, Disney is hoping to move some personnel to other parts of its business.

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A spokesperson for Disney said: “Given the current economic realities, after much consideration and evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to close filmmaking operations at Blue Sky Studios.

The company was founded in 1987 by Chris Wedge, who directed the first Ice Age movie (and also voiced the sabre-tooth squirrel Scrat) as well as Robots from 2005 and Epic from 2013.

Rio (Credit: Blue Sky/Fox)
Rio (Credit: Blue Sky/Fox)

However, it started out as a visual effects studio, providing character animation for movies like Alien Resurrection, Mouse Hunt, Star Trek: Insurrection and Fight Club.

Moving into animation, it produced the first of its Ice Age movies in 2002, with voices coming from Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, Denis Leary.

Four more were made, bringing in a cast including Jennifer Lopez, Simon Pegg, Seann William Scott and Queen Latifah.

The movies made nearly $3 billion worldwide.

The studio also made Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! In 2008 and the Peanuts movie in 2015.

Watch: How Disney became a streaming heavyweight