Disney To Shut Down Oscar-Winning Ice Age Animation Studio Blue Sky, Impacting 450 Jobs

With Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios already on the books, Disney says it cannot afford a third internal animation studio.

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Disney is closing down the Oscar-winning animation studio Blue Sky, which broke out with the Ice Age franchise and whose movies generated $5.9 billion at the box office.

The Connecticut-based studio was owned by 20th Century Fox, but Disney is shuttering the studio after inheriting it in the acquisition; the closure, which is expected to happen in April, will impact the 450 employees of Blue Sky.

Blue Sky released 13 movies over the years, but its most famous work was the Ice Age series. The company also released the Oscar-winning short, Bunny, in 1998.

Some of the studio's other properties included Robots, Horton Hears A Who, Rio, and most recently, 2019's Spies In Disguise. As part of the closure, Blue Sky's adaptation of Nimona has been canceled.

Deadline, which first reported the news, said Disney could not make the case to own and operate a third internal animation studio alongside Pixar and Walt Disney Animation Studios. Disney is working with the 450 employees to try to find them new positions at Disney's other internal animations studios.

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

Blue Sky's IP will remain with Disney as part of this move, and Disney still plans to go forward with the release of Blue Sky's Ice Age TV series for Disney+.

Blue Sky's biggest movie ever will go down as Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, which made $886 million worldwide back in 2009.

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