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Blue Sky previewed nine scenes from Ice Age: Collision Course to Annecy audiences Tuesday during the Annecy International Animated Film Festival in France. The nine scenes, totaling about 20 minutes of final footage, were presented by director Mike Thurmeier and producer and story creator Lori Forte.
The film centers on character Scrat, who sets off some cosmic chaos when his search for nuts launches a space ship. The story was planted in the first film, Forte told The Hollywood Reporter: “I grounded this idea in the first movie. It wasn’t something that we planned from the first film, but it is something that is connected.”
It harks back to a scene where the characters are going through a museum and see a space ship encased in ice. “We always had this internal joke about it and knew there was a story there,” she said. After the fifth film was given the go, she decided to revisit that story idea.
While Jennifer Lopez, Simon Pegg and John Leguizamo are back (or their voices at least), Collision Course introduces new characters including Nick Offerman’s Gavin, Jesse Tyler Ferguson’s Shangri Llama and Max Greenfield’s Roger.
The voice of Leguizamo’s Sid is now integral to creating the story. “Sometimes we’ll have some good material but it won’t be John doing it, so we can’t say, that material doesn’t work,” Forte said. “We have to be careful not to throw out some good material just because it’s not in the voices of the characters as we know and love.”
The most notable change about this Ice Age is the color pallet, which introduces brighter and warmer colors that the cool blues and grays of previous outings.
It’s the first animated franchise to reach five films — it launched in 2002 — what Forte calls “a milestone.” While the films come years apart, she compares it to long-running series or HBO programming that spans years.
Ice Age: Continental Drift and Ice Age: Collision Course grossing about $880 million each on just box office alone puts the team “ballparks” at $100 million. “We don’t even know how much, specifically. We just deal with the artists and time,” said Thurmeier.
“We just keep spending until they slap our hands and tell us not to,” Forte said. But if the pattern continues “that’s a pretty big number that they wouldn’t want to walk away from,” Thurmeier said. If the series continues, the team already has ideas for the sixth in the works.
The film will be released July 22 in the U.S.
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