With the release of their first film in 2002, Blue Sky Studios quickly proved itself to be an animation studio of note. Maybe never ranking alongside Walt Disney Animation Studios or Pixar, but it would definitely be mentioned among the secondary tier of animation studios.
Unfortunately, Blue Sky Studios went defunct in April 2021 after Disney acquired 21st Century Fox. To pay tribute to them, I’ve decided to make a top 13 list ranking their (conveniently 13) films from my least favorite to my favorite!
So sit back and enjoy!
Warning, there may be mild spoilers.
#13: ICE AGE: COLLISION COURSE (2016)
This is my least favorite Blue Sky Studios film as it literally has no point to exist other than to make money! I mean, what other animated film series chugged out 5 theatrical films?!
There are many pointless plot points in this film including that of an archaeopteryx family. Scrat is sent into outer space. Peaches gains a fiancé out of nowhere and the hedgehog character from the fourth film (who was deemed to be a somewhat important character) completely disappears without a mention!
It’s just a pointless movie overall!
#12: ICE AGE: THE MELTDOWN (2006)
While better than Collision Course, this film suffers mostly from being boring and unremarkable. In essence, it’s just a road trip/journey movie which means you need to throw in pointless scenes such as those featuring the mini sloths because you can only depict characters walking for so long. Not to mention that the minor characters in this film are incredibly ugly! This is definitely the worst Ice Age film in terms of animation quality (not counting The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild)!
#11: RIO 2 (2014)
This is another pointless sequel that didn’t need to be made and also suffers from having too many unfocused plots. First, it’s about Blu and his family going to the Amazon and him trying to fit in. Then there are also loggers cutting down trees in the Amazon despite us barely seeing the head logger villain in the entire film!
Then Tulio and Linda are in the Amazon looking for other macaws which evolves into them protecting the rainforest from the loggers. Then Pedro and Nico are hosting auditions for a wildlife talent show. Then Nigel is back for revenge against Blu, but gets sidetracked by the auditions. Then there is a rivalry between the red and blue macaws. Then there is a soccer-esque game between said macaws. Then Blu is jealous of Jewel’s childhood friend. Also, Blu and Jewel have three children who are all pretty pointless as well! There’s just a lot going on!
Did I like anything? Well, I liked Kristin Chenoweth’s frog character as well as the anteater character. I also liked Nigel’s song. But that’s about it.
#10: ICE AGE: DAWN OF THE DINOSAURS (2009)
While I feel this film was probably just as good as The Meltdown objectively, I feel it stands out a bit more due to memorable characters like Buck Wild. The animation also definitely improved from the prior film!
My biggest issue with this film was the buildup of the villain, Rudy, turning out to be a letdown. Not to mention that despite having this big baddie, they also have these smaller dinosaurs as “mini villains” especially during the scene where Ellie gives birth. I feel that scene would have been more suspenseful and effective had Ellie’s birth been threatened by Rudy rather than by these smaller dinosaurs.
#9: ICE AGE (2002)
The one that started it all: it’s an okay film to me, at best. The story is simple enough with our heroes trying to deliver the human baby back to its tribe while dealing with each other and eventual backstabbing. The animation (while not as ugly as The Meltdown) definitely does not hold up though!
#8: ICE AGE: CONTINENTAL DRIFT (2012)
If you told me that the fourth Ice Age film featuring the voice talents of Drake and Nicki Minaj would be my favorite Ice Age film, I would have thought you were nuts! But upon rewatch, this film is surprisingly better than I remembered!
Yes, there’s some plot discontinuity like where the heck did all these mammoth kids come from since the other films implied that Manny and Ellie were the only mammoths around? The celebrity voice actors were aplenty and the villains could have been more villainous as well as much fewer.
But I loved the romance between Diego and Shira! And I also think separating the main characters away from the others helped with the enjoyment of this film tremendously as they felt more like they did in the first film. Not to mention there’s a pretty cool sea shanty song in this film!
#7: RIO (2011)
This film isn’t a bad film per se, but I couldn’t really get invested in the story, so it’s not really a favorite of mine. The plot is pretty much about Blu and Jewel’s romance and them being chained together for most of the film. The animation is great though as is the bird villain, Nigel!
#6: HORTON HEARS A WHO! (2008)
This film helps capture the charm of Dr. Seuss’ original story as well as his drawing style, so it’s really a treat to see! However the biggest issue is that Dr. Seuss books are way too short to fill out a feature-length film so this film has a lot of filler!
I also felt Whoville was way more interesting than the Jungle of Nool and wished that most of the film took place there instead! Another complaint I had is that the Sour Kangaroo doesn’t get any comeuppance for the harm she’s caused to others as well as the planned murder attempts!
Again it’s not a bad film, but the 1970 television special was better!
#5: EPIC (2013)
This is another film that upon rewatch, I found it to be much better than I remembered! When I was younger, I criticized it more for having so many celebrity voice actors including Beyoncé, but it’s actually a pretty well-done film with likable characters and a decent villain. I don’t really have much bad to say about it!
#4: FERDINAND (2017)
Again, this is also a film that I don’t have much bad to say about it, but its biggest problem is trying to adapt a short children’s book into a feature-length film. This results in the plot being stretched out with many instances of not much happening. But besides that, it is a pretty good film.
#3: SPIES IN DISGUISE (2019)
While I didn’t dislike this film the first time I saw it, I appreciate it a lot more now upon rewatch! It features great animation with great visual gags via the transformation scenes and gadgets. The voice acting was also top-notch! I wasn’t really a fan of the moral though: that there is no good or evil really.
But besides that, this was a great film for Blue Sky Studios to end on! Somehow they made a film involving a spy transforming into a pigeon work!
#2: ROBOTS (2005)
This has always been one of my favorite Blue Sky Studios films! It has a very ingenious story weaving in life lessons via paralleling them with robots. The animation is a beautiful upgrade from Ice Age! The only thing I wasn’t too fond of was the amount of crude humor in this which isn’t really my thing. But this is still one of my favorite Blue Sky Studios films!
AND MY #1 FAVORITE BLUE SKY STUDIOS FILM IS:
THE PEANUTS MOVIE (2015)
If anybody doesn’t say that The Peanuts Movie is their favorite or the best Blue Sky Studios film, I find them incredibly sus (as the young kids say)! Everything in this film is perfect from the amazing stylized animation to the respect given to the original comic strip and Charles Schulz to the lovable characters to the high quality of a G-rated film! It’s really hard to believe that this film was made by Blue Sky Studios!
And those are my top 13 Blue Sky Studios films! What do you think of my list? How do you rank these films? Let me know in the comments below!