Blue Sky Studios
Wikipedia | 2013-11-29 18:22

Blue Sky Studios
Type Subsidiary of 20th Century Fox
Industry CGI animation
Motion pictures
Founded February 1987
Founder(s) Chris Wedge
V. Gopalakrishnan
Headquarters Greenwich, Connecticut,USA
Key people Carlos Saldanha
Chris Wedge
Brian Keane, COO
Products CGI animated films
Owner(s) News Corporation
Parent 20th Century Fox

Blue Sky Studios, or simply Blue Sky, is an American CGI-animation studio which specializes in high-resolution, computer-generated character animation and rendering. It is owned by 20th Century Fox and located in Greenwich, Connecticut. In addition to their feature-lengthanimated films, including the Ice Age series, Robots (2005), Horton Hears a Who! (2008), and Rio (2011), Blue Sky has worked on many high-profile films, primarily in the integration of live-action with computer-generated animation.

Blue Sky was founded in February 1987 by Chris Wedge, Carl Ludwig, Dr. Eugene Troubetzkoy, Alison Brown, David Brown and Michael Ferraro, who had previously worked on the Disney filmTron while employed at MAGI/Synthavision.[3] Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the studio concentrated on the production of television commercials and visual effects for film. Some of the more memorable commercials that Blue Sky worked on during this time period were a Chock Full O' Nuts spot with a talking coffee bean, and an intro for a Nickelodeon block called Nicktoons that featured the show's mascot, Nick Boy, realized as human-shaped orange goo. Using their proprietary animation pipeline, the studio produced over 200 spots for clients such as Chrysler, M&M/Mars, General Foods, Texaco, and the United States Marines.[4]
In August 1997, 20th Century Fox's Los Angeles-based visual effects company, VIFX, acquired Blue Sky Studios to form a new visual effects and animation company.[5] The new company produced visual effects for films such asThe X-Files, Blade, Armageddon, Titanic and Alien Resurrection.[6] In 1998, Chris Wedge realized long unfulfilled dreams and produced the Academy Awarded animated short film, Bunny.
Due to the f/x market crash, Fox decided to leave visual effects business. In March 1999, they sold VIFX to another visual effects house, Rhythm & Hues Studios,[7] and considered selling Blue Sky next. At the time, the studio got the opportunity with the Ice Age script to turn it into a comedy. In 2002, Ice Age was released to a great critical and commercial success. The film got a nomination for an Academy Award for Best Animated Feature, and established Blue Sky as the third studio, after Pixar and DreamWorks, to launch a successful CGI franchise.[8]
On January 5, 2009, the studio moved from White Plains, New York to Greenwich, Connecticut.[9]
The studio is notable for its proprietary Renderer CGI Studio, a rendering software system like Pixar'sRenderMan. Initially developed by Eugene Troubetzkoy, Carl Ludwig, Tom Bisogno and Michael Ferraro,[4] CGI Studio was notable for its use of ray tracing as opposed to REYES-like scanline rendering prevalent throughout the CG industry.

Feature films
# Title Release date Budget Gross RT
1 Ice Age March 15, 2002 $59,000,000 $383,257,136 77%
2 Robots March 11, 2005 $75,000,000 $260,718,330 64%
3 Ice Age: The Meltdown March 31, 2006 $80,000,000 $655,388,158 57%
4 Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! March 14, 2008 $85,000,000 $297,138,014 79%
5 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs July 1, 2009 $90,000,000 $886,686,817 45%
6 Rio April 15, 2011 $90,000,000 $484,635,760 72%
7 Ice Age: Continental Drift July 13, 2012 $95,000,000 $859,750,929 38%

Upcoming films
Title Release date Ref(s)
Epic May 24, 2013  
Rio 2 April 11, 2014  
Peanuts November 25, 2015  

Films in development
Title Ref(s)
The Story of Ferdinand  
Left Tern  

Television specials
# Title Release date
1 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas November 24, 2011

Short films
# Title Release Date Notes
1 Bunny 1998 Academy Award winner
2 Gone Nutty November 26, 2002 Academy Award nominee
3 Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty September 27, 2005  
4 No Time for Nuts November 21, 2006 Academy Award nominee
5 Surviving Sid December 9, 2008  

Braun "The Last Word" (1992)
Nicktoons "Show Open" (1993)
Chock full o'Nuts "Complements" (1993)
Nestlé "Cookie Jar" (1993)
Pepsi "Swingers" (1996)
Rayovac "Fierce Creatures/Super Stomper" (1997)
Target "Toys" (1998)
Square One Television (1987) – "Mathman" segments
Joe's Apartment (1996) – dancing and singing cockroaches
Alien Resurrection (1997) – the aliens
A Simple Wish (1997) – numerous characters and special effects
Star Trek: Insurrection (1998) – several alien creatures
Jesus' Son (1999) – sacred heart, "liquid" glass, and screaming cotton ball effects
Fight Club (1999) – the "sliding" penguin
The Sopranos (2000) – the "talking fish" in the episode Funhouse
Titan A.E. (2000) – 3D animation: creation of the new world
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