Blue Sky Studios, the Greenwich, CT-based animation production company responsible for the hugely successful “Ice Age” films as well as others like Rio and the upcoming Epic, is finally moving forward on two projects that were announced a number of years back.
We’ll discuss them in reverse chronological order since we know more about the second one, called Ferdinand, which is an adaptation of the children’s book “The Story of Ferdinand” from Munro Leaf and Robert Lawson that was published way back in 1936. Ferdinand is a bull who doesn’t want to fight in the bullfighting arena like so many of his brethren but instead just wants to smell the flowers. It’s the definition of a beloved classic (even though it was banned in several countries for promoting pacifism) and Walt Disney Pictures even made an animated short out of the story in 1938.
As reported back in 2011, that book is being brought to life by Rio and original Ice Age director Carlos Saldanha and they’ve set an initial release date for April 7, 2017.
The other announced Blue Sky Films release might be an even bigger mystery as all we were given for that was a title–Anubis–and its release date of July 15, 2016.
That is in fact a loose adaptation of the novel “The Anubis Tapestry: Between Twilights” by Bruce Zick, which was released in 2006 with the option picked up by Fox a couple years after that, making it a project that’s been patiently waiting on the backburner for some time.
Zick’s book involves a mummy’s curse that sends one Dr. George Henry’s spirit to the Egyptian Underworld so that his son Chance has to go after him where he encounters a variety of monsters. (We’re going to try to work on getting some more information on this project like who is directing it as soon as we can.)
Those clearly sound like two very different movies coming from Blue Sky Studios, both based on books, though one based on a well-known classic and one based on a more recent horror-themed release that’s definitely a change for them from their other films.
Meanwhile, 20th Century Fox’s other animation partner DreamWorks Animation, who had a significant hit together earlier this year with The Croods, have shifted the dates on two of their upcoming releases.
B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations, the Seth Rogen-led horror-based comedy, will be released three months earlier in the summer, on June 15, 2015, rather than the originally slated September 25.
Also, the long-in-development Trolls, based on the popular big-haired toys, which has director Anand Tucker, Jason Schwartzman and Chloe Moretz already attached, has been pushed back a year and a half, from June 15, 2015 to November 4, 2016, a great holiday kick-off weekend, although we kind of wonder why they don’t just release it a week earlier and have a fun Halloween movie as well.