Disney shuts down Blue Sky Studios


Sabrina Ngu, News Editor

On Feb. 9, Disney announced the shut down of Blue Sky Studios, an American computer animation film studio that was founded in 1987 and based in Greenwich, Connecticut. 


During their time, Blue Sky Studios produced a total of 13 animated feature films. The 2005 sci-fi “Robots” is about a young robot who chases his dreams in the city and eventually leads a revolution against a corporate with intentions to leave the old-model robots to rust. 2011’s “Rio” is the story and adventures of Blu, a Spix macaw (a species gone extinct) who travels to Rio de Janeiro to mate with the last female Spix macaw while escaping from bird smugglers. 


What really skyrocketed Blue Sky Studios to popularity was 2002’s “Ice Age,” their first feature film. The success of “Ice Age” started a franchise and introduced the world to Scrat, the acorn-obsessed saber-tooth squirrel. 


Blue Sky Studios was also the former animation division of 20th Century Fox until March 2019, when Disney acquired 20th Century Fox and its assets. 


The decision to shut down Blue Sky Studios was due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, which negatively and economically impacted businesses. Disney was unable to sustain the existence of a third feature animation studio, leading to the announcement of Blue Sky Studios’ closure. 


“It’s surprising,” junior Shyana Nanshah said. “Blue Sky Studios produced ‘Ice Age,” which was a big hit. It would be understandable if Disney was shutting down a small and unpopular studio, but Blue Sky Studios isn’t. It’s crazy how much Disney was affected by COVID.” 


The last movie produced by Blue Sky Studios was “Spies in Disguise” on Dec. 25, 2019. The closure will take place in April 2021, which will result in 450 employees to be laid off. Disney hopes to move some of the laid off employees to other parts of their business.  “Nimona,” a fantasy webcomic adaptation that was set to release on Jan. 14, 2022, will also be cancelled due to the closure. 


While there are only a couple of months left before Blue Sky Studios is shut down for good, their impact on the entertainment industry will not be forgotten.