Saturday, February 11, 2012

Upcoming Animated Films - My Thoughts (Part 13)

Blue Sky Studios has a few projects in the works, slated to be released after 2013. (When Leaf Men comes out)

Based on the popular creature creator computer game, this film could go either way. All kinds of different creature designs seem perfect for the animated medium, so there is a good amount of potential in this project that seems more ambitious than Blue Sky’s previous efforts. Chris Wedge will direct this film, another plus.
The Story of Ferdinand
This is a classic story, and Blue Sky could pull it off. Walt Disney once did with a short film, so I can only imagine how a feature film would work. Carlos Saldanha is going to direct the film, as he co-directed Ice Age and Robots and directed every other Blue Sky production.
This project is based on Patrick McDonnell’s comic strip of the same name. This could be a fun film, and it’ll work unlike some other recent comic strip adaptations. (Garfield, Marmaduke)
I can’t say much about those three projects. Not much has been revealed, all we know is that Blue Sky is planning on turning these ideas into animated features. Could they work? Probably. Blue Sky is a very consistent studio, aside from the two Ice Age sequels, which received mixed reviews.
The sequels exist to fund original projects. Let’s say Ice Age: Continental Drift tops $900 million at the worldwide box office. Maybe Leaf Men’s budget will be big, around $150 million, because Blue Sky usually stays below $100 million when it comes to production budgets. Maybe they’re waiting to take a huge risk. Maybe Spore could be that risk, or something else.

I’d say give Blue Sky some time. They were one of the very few non-Pixar/Disney/DreamWorks studios to survive the CGI glut of 2006 since Ice Age and Robots satisfied audiences and critics. (Robots to a lesser extent) Their films always do well, and maybe if they start taking some real risks, their films will start making Pixar numbers (i.e, more than $200 million) domestically and worldwide. Rio might’ve underperformed in theaters in the states, but it’s doing extremely well on Blu-ray and DVD and it was a smash hit all around the world. This is good for Blue Sky, and maybe they'll try something new with their next original project.

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