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Disney to pull the plug on animation studio behind 'Ice Age,' 'Rio' films

FILE PHOTO: A portion of the signage at the main gate of The Walt Disney Co. is pictured in Burbank, California May 7, 2012. REUTERS/Fred Prouser/File Photo

(Reuters) - Walt Disney Co is closing the animation studio behind film franchises “Ice Age” and “Rio” due to the COVID-19 pandemic’s impact on the entertainment industry, the company said on Tuesday.

Disney had acquired the Greenwich, Connecticut-based studio in 2019 when it bought 21st Century Fox Inc in a $71 billion deal. (reut.rs/3rwCZG2)

“Given the current economic realities, after much consideration and evaluation, we have made the difficult decision to close filmmaking operations at Blue Sky Studios,” a studio spokesperson said in a statement.

Disney’s business has suffered due to the health crisis as it was forced to keep most of its theme parks and movie studios closed last year.

The Deadline, which first reported the news, said Disney's move would impact 450 employees. (bit.ly/3oYHXtC)

Disney also owns Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. The company will report its quarterly results on Thursday.

Reporting by Tiyashi Datta in Bengaluru; Editing by Aditya Soni

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