Governor M. Jodi Rell today announced that students at the University of Connecticut and Wesleyan University will benefit from state-of-the-art animation computers donated by Greenwich-based Blue Sky Studios, the creator of a number of award-winning digital animation features, including the Ice Age series.
Blue Sky, a wholly owned subsidiary of Fox Filmed Entertainment, relocated to Connecticut from New York in January, bringing with it more than 300 jobs. The company, which continues to expand, said it was attracted to Connecticut because of the state’s efforts to promote the film industry.
“This is a tremendous gift for our students and for our state,” Governor Rell said. “The film industry has clearly found a home in Connecticut and we are grateful for Blue Sky’s commitment to Connecticut and partnership in helping us develop the next generation of skilled, educated industry professionals. This generous donation comes at a time when resources for so many worthwhile programs are stretched thin.”
Students at both schools will be able to learn on the same hardware that produced Blue Sky’s Ice Age the Meltdown, a $652 million worldwide box office hit and Dr. Seuss’ Horton Hears a Who, which took in nearly $300 million worldwide.
The high-speed animation computers feature 104 Centralized Processing Units (CPU) per rack. Each rack has a current market value of approximately $35,000. UConn’s drama and computer science engineering departments are each receiving two racks and Wesleyan’s computer science department is receiving four donated racks.
"Blue Sky is proud to be part of Connecticut's continued focus on the education of its workforce," said Brian Keane, Chief Operating Officer and Executive Vice President of Blue Sky Studios.
Blue Sky Studios has earned worldwide acclaim as one of the industry’s premier digital animation facilities. The more than 300 artists at Blue Sky come from a wide variety of backgrounds, including architecture, computer science, physics, fine arts, film and traditional animation.
The studio’s latest release, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs, the third in the Ice Age series, opens in theaters Wednesday, July 1.