Those who were hoping for another sequel to the blockbuster hit animated movie "Ice Age" may be disappointed by Disney's recent decision to shut down Blue Sky Studios.
The company is shutting down the former 20th Century Fox animation division that successfully produced around 13 feature films including the very popular "Ice Age" franchise. Blue Sky Studios is reportedly worth $5.9 billion.
Deadline reported that the past year has been a challenge for Disney primarily due to the pandemic. The company had to deal with theme park closures as well as cruise line dockings. Since the movie industry has been among the ones that have been most affected, Disney has found it no longer viable to sustain a third feature animation studio.
Blue Sky will continue its operations until April. When the time comes, around 450 employees will be affected by the shutdown. However, Disney will also be exploring other open positions for employees at other internal studios. There are still no plans for other major studios to absorb employees of Blue Sky. At the moment, a series that is based on the characters of Ice Age is already in the works.
Previously, Blue Sky operated under 20th Century Fox. When Disney took over the entire TV-show making and movie business of Fox, it also became a part of Disney. The takeover allowed Disney access to the X-Men franchise too, The Verge reported. The IP and characters under Blue Sky will be absorbed by Disney as well.
Blue Sky was still working on Nimona, a CGI movie that still has 10 months left for production to complete. However, the pandemic has taken its toll and the movie will not be released anymore. Nimona is about a young shape-shifter who would work with a mad scientist to expose the kingdom's ruler.
Aside from "Ice Age," Blue Sky is also the one responsible for other popular movies such as "Robots," "The Peanuts Movie" in 2015, and "Ferdinand." In 2019, Blue Sky made an attempt to follow the success of "Ice Age" by creating another franchise with Will Smith and Tom Holland as the lead characters in "Spies in Disguise." It didn't fare quite as well though as it only grossed $66 million at the domestic box office and $171 million worldwide.