This July sees the release of the fifth installment in Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age franchise, entitled Ice Age: Collison Course. While the film is still in the “final touches” stage, Flickering Myth’s Scott J. Davis was able to not only see some extended footage from the film, but sit down with the film’s co-director Galen T. Chu to discuss what the new adventure has in store.
Working with director Mike Thurmeier, Chu is the fifth film’s co-director and one of his first jobs was to help “up the stakes” of this entry:
“When Mike and I started working on the project we definitely wanted to put a little bit more “umph” into it because we knew it was the fifth installment of the franchise so we came at it with everything we had.”
The film is in part based on a small sequence in the first Ice Age where Manny (Ray Romano), Diego (Denis Leary) and Sid (John Leguizamo) walk through an ice museum. Encased in it was a flying saucer and that image, as well as others brought to the fore in the other sequels, was the starting point:
“It inspired I think this movie and if you look at the rest of the Ice Museum sequence actually there is another thing that they find in there which was a dinosaur that was incased in ice and so it’s kind of a prophetic these Ice Age movies and for some reason it kind of happened that way. We did that on Ice Age 3 and so who knows maybe we should look back at Ice Age 1 again and see if there’s any more little bits that might inspire the next one.”
One sequence from the footage that caught everyone’s eye was one involving the returning Buck, voiced by Simon Pegg. Described by Chu as Ice Age’s “Birdman” sequence, the two-minutes of footage is all told in one shot as Buck sings a version of Figaro whilst teasing some Dino-Birds A neat idea for sure but one that was one of Blue Sky’s hardest challenges yet.
“That was one of the hardest sequences we have ever done – I think it was one of the first ones we put into production and it was one of the last ones to get out of production because it was so difficult. It’s just inherently hard when your animating a sequence and it’s all one shot… the set needed to be enormous for that and so it was a technical challenge for the artists as well as the length of the shots… We would only produce 3 or 4 seconds a week so you can imagine how long sequence took to conceive.”
While Ice Age’s popularity is showing no signs of slowing down, its been rumoured that Collision Course is the studios final one. But Chu thinks there may be more to come after all, saying:
“We typically work on one film at a time so Mike and I are going to finish this one, take a bit of a rest and we will start working on the next one!”
Watch the full interview here…
Ice Age: Collision Course opens in UK cinemas on July 15th.