1. Ice Age (2002)
Ice Age is the one that started it all, and in my view, it remains Blue Sky’s best work. Complete with likable and inspired characters, some sharp sub-zero environments, and a cavalcade of inspired gags, Chris Wedge’s earnest and endearing animated movie didn’t match the ambition of its original ideas, which was apparently meant to be more serious and action-intensive, but the humor only adds to the warmth and spark of these characters, particularly with Ray Romano, John Leguizamo, and Denis Leary being properly cast in their respective parts. Plus, this is the only Ice Age movie where Scrat’s scenes are egregiously better than the main plot, as the emotional journey of our animal characters is sincere, smart, and ultimately very sweet.
Though Blue Sky Studios never quite matched the heights of its competition, Ice Age proved that they could make movies near their heights. It’s a shame, then, that the franchise and the company didn’t aspire to these heights with their other, often lazier follow-up projects.