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The Real Reason Disney Is Shutting Down This Animation Studio

Blue Sky Studios, an animation company owned by Disney, recently announced that it will be closing its doors this year.

Founded in 1987, Blue Sky Studios was behind major animated films like Ice Age, Rio, and Robots. Originally operated by 20th Century Fox, the studio came under Disney management after the massive corporation bought out Fox in 2019 for $71.3 billion. Before closure, Blue Sky Studios had been raking in billions of dollars thanks to popular franchises like Ice Age.

A report from Deadline confirmed that the studio was indeed being shut down, along with a few of the company's projects. In 2015, the company greenlit an animated adaptation of the sci-fi fantasy graphic webcomic series Nimona. Production for the film had begun production, and Nimona was slated for a January 14, 2022 release. However, due to the recent closure of the studio, the project has now been canned. 

Blue Sky Studios had such a strong history and a promising future, so what could've pushed Disney to shut it down?

Blue Sky Studios could no longer be sustained by Disney

According to the Deadline report, Disney couldn't afford to keep Blue Sky Studios afloat after having a particularly rough economic year in 2020. A representative for the studio approached the media outlet in order to offer insight as to what was going on behind the scenes. The spokesperson hinted at the global pandemic being the main culprit behind the decision. "Given the current economic realities, after much consideration and evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to close filmmaking operations at Blue Sky Studios," the rep said.

These kinds of closures due to the economic pressures stemming from the pandemic aren't unique. In fact, several films and television shows from a variety of different studios have been delayed by the coronavirus. However, Disney did say that any property belonging to the former studio will now be owned by the corporation, meaning that beloved franchises from Blue Sky will live on. Additionally, an entire animated series using the same characters from Ice Age is currently in production. Details about the series are currently unknown, but the new Ice Age project will premiere on Disney+.