I've always been a big fan of Blue Sky Studios, from their blockbuster franchise “Ice Age” films to “Robots” and “Horton Hears a Who.” Plus I have a lot of friends working up there – Karen Disher, Bob Camp, Chris Wedge, Vincent Nguyen, Carlos Saldana, and Peter de Seve.
So I always like to find out what they've been working on. A few months ago Chris Wedge, their esteemed founder and producer, invited me to come up and do a masterclass on animation. It seemed like a weird request because they do great CGI animation and rake in billions of dollars, while I do pencil on paper and rake in hundreds of dollars. But be that as it may it would be a great opportunity to see their new digs in Connecticut (they wanted to escape NY taxes) and reconnect with all my friends.
So last week I took a limo (thanks to Fox Studios) up to their beautiful rolling estate studios and did a couple of masterclasses. In between I went to lunch in Chris's '63 VW bug. “Gee,” I thought, “being a head of a multibillion dollar studio would give him a touch of luxury.” We were joined for lunch by old friend Piet Kroon (“Osmosis Jones”) and Bob Camp (“Ren and Stimpy”). Then Chris did a wonderful introduction to my second show where he related the long ago story of our visit to a festival in Majorca, Spain, where he was attacked by a fleet of jellyfish and as he writhed on to the shore in massive pain I offered to pee on him to relieve the pain.
Afterwards I got a sneak peak at the trailer for “Rio,” their new feature film. Of course, I had to sign a non disclosure agreement on entry – but since the trailer is already playing in cinemas I should be safe from lawsuits. In any case, the film looks fabulous, rich, funny and colorful. It will be released sometime early next year.
Thanks to all my friends at Blue Sky for a great day – Chris, Christian, Nick, and Peter.