Once upon a time, there was a little studio called MAGI/Synthavision. In 1987, having completed some of the effects on the ground-breaking Disney film TRON and some CG animation for commercials, an employee named Chris Wedge gathered a bunch of his co-workers and formed a studio of his own. They produced some effects for live-action films like Joe's Apartment, Fight Club and Alien: Resurrection, along with their first short film Bunny, which Wedge directed. In the wake of the CG cartoon movement (Pixar had released A Bug's Life a year before Bunny was awarded Best Animated Short in the Oscars), the studio just happened to be bought by 20th Century Fox to help fish them out of their failing 2-D feature animation unit. And the rest is prehistory.Ice Age (2002) was the film that made Blue Sky Studios a major competitor in the animated feature film industry, and they released around one new animated film every two years since. It also helped boost the morale in the pretty dismal Northeastern animation circle- they are the only feature animation studio in the Northeast, having used to be located in White Plains, New York before moving under a mile across the state border into Greenwich, Connecticut for the tax breaks. They are notable for being one of the first studios to use raytrace rendering in feature films. They are also known for using more naturalistic lighting design than other studios, depending completely on sculpture maquettes to create the 3D forms of their characters, and utilizing cartoon squash-and-stretch more frequently in their later features. Chris Wedge directed their first films, and continues to executive produce their later ones.Now, the success of their future productions has been complicated since 2013 onward to a degree with rival DreamWorks Animation joining 20th Century Fox as its distributor as well, which required a careful balancing of release dates and promotion efforts. These efforts could be doing more harm than good, as Blue Sky hasn't released a ground-breakingly stellar feature film in years. With the 4th ''Ice Age'' sequel performing the worst in the franchise yet, and in the midst of new successful contenders like Illumination Entertainment and Fox letting DreamWorks go to their new permanent home at Illumination's parent Universal in 2018, they got a ways to go.Not to be confused with the Portal fanfiction of the same name. Also no relation to Blue Sky Software, the team who made, among many other things, the Vectorman series.
Films made by Blue Sky Studios:
- Bunny (1998)
- Ice Age (2002)
- Robots (2005)
- Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (2006)
- Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! (2008)
- Ice Age 3: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009)
- Rio (2011)
- Ice Age 4: Continental Drift (2012)
- Epic (2013)
- Rio 2 (2014)
- The Peanuts Movie (2015)
- Ice Age 5: Collision Course (2016)
- Ferdinand (2017)
- Anubis (2018)
- Spies in Disguise (2019), based on the animated short Pigeon: Impossible.
- Nimona (February 14, 2020), based on the webcomic/graphic novel Nimona.
Tropes present in their work:
- Avoid the Dreaded G Rating: Averted. While the majority of their films are rated PG, they do successfully aim for G's on certain films, even going back and editing the first Rio before its release to bring it down to a G.
- Early Installment Weirdness: Bunny and the first Ice Age movie were both very sombre, moody films. In the time between Ice Age and Robots, the snarky, pop-culture heavy DreamWorks films became the new norm and, starting with Ice Age: Continental Drift, the studio followed suit.
- Plucky Comic Relief: At least one in every film they've done so far. Scrat's practically the studio mascot.
- Scenery Porn