John Christian Wedge (born March 20, 1957)[2] is an American filmmaker, animator, and voice actor. He is best known for directing the films Ice Age (2002), Robots (2005), Epic (2013), and Monster Trucks (2016). He also wrote and directed the short film Bunny (1998), where he won the Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film. Wedge co-founded the now-defunct animation studio Blue Sky Studios and has voiced the character Scrat in the Ice Age franchise since the year of 2002.

Chris Wedge
Wedge in 2014
Born
John Christian Wedge

(1957-03-20) March 20, 1957 (age 67)
Alma materState University of New York at Purchase
Ohio State University
Occupations
  • Film director
  • producer
  • screenwriter
  • animator
  • designer
  • voice actor
  • cartoonist
Years active1982–present
Employers
SpouseJeanne Markel[1]
Children2
AwardsAcademy Award for Best Animated Short Film
Bunny (1998)
Signature

Early life edit

Wedge was born in Binghamton, New York.[3] During his teenage years, Wedge lived in Watertown, New York which was rumored to be the inspiration for the town where his film Robots takes place, however he later dismissed this in an interview. He became interested in animation when he was 12 years old: "Back then, there was a TV special about kids making cut-out animation in a workshop—as I recall it was Yellow Ball Workshop—it was a clear technique to follow and I followed it. That fascinated me and it got me started. It was so simple, effective and magical in outcome and I stuck with creating things throughout my childhood, teenage years and then college."[4]

He attended Fayetteville-Manlius High School, graduating in 1975.[5] He received his BFA in Film from State University of New York at Purchase in Purchase, New York in 1981, and subsequently earned his MA in computer graphics and art education at the Ohio State University. He has taught animation at the School of Visual Arts in New York City where he met his future film directing partner, Carlos Saldanha.

Career edit

In 1982, Wedge worked for MAGi/SynthaVision, where he was a principal animator on the Disney film Tron, credited as a scene programmer. Some of his other works include The Brave Little Toaster.

Wedge is the co-founder of the now defunct Blue Sky Studios, once one of the premier computer animation studios, and was its Vice President of Creative Development until the studio was closed by The Walt Disney Company in 2021. He is the owner of WedgeWorks, a film production company founded by Wedge.

In the 1990s, he and his studio worked on CGI effects for the movies Alien Resurrection and Titan A.E.

In 1998, he won an Academy Award for the short animated film Bunny. Wedge later directed Blue Sky Studios' first computer-animated film, 2002's Ice Age , and served as executive producer for its sequels. He also voices Scrat in the film series, performing the character's "squeaks and squeals."[6] In 2005, Wedge directed Robots, based on a story he created with William Joyce. In 2013 followed Epic, loosely based on Joyce's book, The Leaf Men and the Brave Good Bugs.[7]

In 2008, it was announced that Wedge would direct Hugo, though he was subsequently replaced by Martin Scorsese.[8] In 2009, it was reported that Wedge would direct an animated feature film adaptation of Will Wright's Spore, but since then there has been no further news about the film.[9]

Wedge directed the science fiction/action film Monster Trucks (2016).[10] Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger wrote the script for the film,[10] produced by Mary Parent.[11]

Wedge reprised the role of Scrat in a series of shorts for Disney+ titled Ice Age: Scrat Tales, in addition to serving as an executive producer. The shorts premiered on the streaming platform on April 13, 2022.[12]

In 2023, it was announced that Wedge had joined Annapurna Animation, which had revived Nimona after it had been initially canceled following the closure of Blue Sky Studios, where he would direct a new animated film called FOO about "the first fish ever to climb out of the water and onto land."[13]

Personal life edit

Wedge lives in Katonah, New York[4] with his wife Jeanne Markel. And his brother Matthew Fiorelli, in Binghamton, New York[1] They have a daughter and a son, Sarah and Jack.[14]

Filmography edit

Feature films edit

Year Title Director Writer Executive
Producer
Other Voice/Role Notes
1982 Tron No No No Yes Scene Programmer: MAGi / SynthaVision (as "Christian Wedge")
1996 Joe's Apartment No No No Yes Animation Director
1997 A Simple Wish No No No Yes Executive Creative Supervisor: Blue Sky Studios
Alien Resurrection No No No Yes Creative Supervisor: Blue Sky Studios Senior Staff
2002 Ice Age Yes No No Yes Dodo / Scrat
2005 Robots Yes No No Yes Wonderbot / Phone Booth
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown No No Yes Yes Scrat
2008 Dr. Seuss' Horton Hears a Who! No No Yes No
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs No No Yes Yes Scrat
2011 Rio No No Yes No
Adventures in Plymptoons![15] No No No Yes Himself Documentary
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift No No Yes Yes Scrat
2013 Epic Yes Story No Yes
2014 Rio 2 No No Yes Yes
2015 The Peanuts Movie No No No Yes Uncredited role [16]
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course No No Yes Yes Scrat
2017 Monster Trucks Yes No No No
Ferdinand No No Yes Yes
2019 Spies in Disguise No No Yes Yes Senior Creative Team
2023 Nimona No No No Yes Blue Sky Studios; Special Thanks
TBA Foo Yes TBA TBA TBA

Short films edit

Year Title Director Writer Animator Producer Other Voice Role Notes
1985 Tuber's Two-Step Yes No Yes Yes No
1987 Balloon Guy Yes No Yes Yes No
1990 The Mind's Eye No No No Yes No
1998 Bunny Yes Yes No No No
2002 Gone Nutty No No No Executive Yes Scrat
2005 Aunt Fanny's Tour of Booty No No No Executive Yes Hacky
2006 No Time for Nuts No No No Executive Yes Scrat
2008 Surviving Sid No No No Executive Yes
2010 Scrat's Continental Crack-Up No No No Executive Yes Act as Ice Age: Continental Drift Teaser Trailers #1 & #2[17][18]
2011 Scrat's Continental Crack-Up Part 2 No No No Executive Yes
2015 Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe No No No Executive Yes Acts as extended Ice Age: Collision Course Teaser Trailer[19]
2016 Scrat: Spaced Out No No No Uncredited Yes Ice Age: Collision Course archive and deleted footage[20]
2022 Ice Age: Scrat Tales No No No No Yes Disney+ Original Short Films; Ice Age Creative Trust

Television episodes and specials edit

Year Title Character
Designer
Prop
Designer
Executive
Producer
Other Voice Role Notes
1996 Quack Pack Yes Yes No No Episode: "Heavy Dental"
2006 Family Guy No No No Yes Scrat Episode: "Sibling Rivalry"
2011 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas No No Yes Yes Television Special
2015 The Simpsons No No No Yes Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" (as Chris "Scrat" Wedge)
2016 Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade No No Yes Yes Television Special

Video games edit

Year Title Voice Role
2006 Ice Age 2: The Meltdown Scrat
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift - Arctic Games
2015 Ice Age Avalanche
2019 Ice Age: Scrat's Nutty Adventure

Critical reception edit

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Ice Age (2002) 77%[21] 61%[22]
Robots (2005) 64%[23] 64%[24]
Epic (2013) 64%[25] 52%[26]
Monster Trucks (2016) 32%[27] 41%[28]

Awards and nominations edit

Year Award Category Work Result
1996 Ottawa International Animation Festival Award Best Production Under 10 Minutes in Length Joe's Apartment Won
1999 Academy Award Best Animated Short Film Bunny Won
Drama International Short Film Festival Award Special Prize for Animation Won
Nashville Film Festival Award Best Animation Won
Jury Award Best Short Nominated
Oberhausen International Short Film Festival Award Prize of the Children's Short Film Competition Won
2003 Academy Award Best Animated Feature Ice Age Nominated
Annie Award Outstanding Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Shared with Carlos Saldanha (co-director)
Nominated
DVD Exclusive Award Best Audio Commentary, New Release
Shared with Carlos Saldanha (co-director)
Nominated
ShoWest Convention Award Animation Director of the Year Won
2013 Behind the Voice Actors Award Best Vocal Ensemble in a Feature Film
Shared with Ray Romano, Denis Leary, John Leguizamo, Queen Latifah, Keke Palmer, Seann William Scott, Josh Peck, Wanda Sykes, Jennifer Lopez, Alan Tudyk, Joy Behar, Patrick Stewart, Simon Pegg & Rebel Wilson
Ice Age: Continental Drift Nominated
2014 Annie Award Outstanding Achievement in Directing in an Animated Feature Production Epic Nominated

References edit

  1. ^ a b Staudter, Thomas (March 21, 1999). "'Bunny' From Harrison Competes for Oscar". The New York Times. Archived from the original on May 27, 2015. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  2. ^ Lenburg, Jeff (2006). Who's who in Animated Cartoons: An International Guide to Film & Television's Award-winning and Legendary Animators. Hal Leonard Corporation. ISBN 9781557836717. Archived from the original on May 31, 2023. Retrieved May 29, 2023.
  3. ^ "Behind The Voice Actors - Chris Wedge". Archived from the original on May 24, 2021. Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  4. ^ a b Buchman, Lisa (September 12, 2012). "Meet Chris Wedge, 'Ice Age' Creator, Katonah Resident". Patch. Archived from the original on September 19, 2012. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  5. ^ "Chris Wedge, Class of 1975, Inducted in 2000". Fayetteville-Manlius Hall of Distinction. Fayetteville-Manlius Schools. Archived from the original on July 24, 2011. Retrieved May 29, 2011.
  6. ^ LaRue, William (November 2, 2006). "'Ice Age' director gives students a look into animation". The Syracuse Post-Standard. Syracuse.com. Retrieved January 27, 2007.[dead link]
  7. ^ Schneider, Karl (August 24, 2006). "Chris Wedge to direct THE LEAF MEN AND THE BRAVE GOOD BUGS". Movie News, Mania.com. Mania Entertainment, LLC., citing The Hollywood Reporter. Archived from the original on September 27, 2007. Retrieved January 27, 2007.
  8. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (May 5, 2008). "Chris Wedge to direct 'Hugo Cabret'". Variety. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  9. ^ Graser, Marc (October 1, 2009). "EA sets up 'Spore' at Fox". Variety. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  10. ^ a b "Paramount Animation Plans 'Monster Trucks' Live Action-Toon Franchise: In Final Talks With Blue Sky's Chris Wedge To Direct". deadline.com. July 31, 2013. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  11. ^ "Paramount Animation Planning Live Action/Animated Franchise 'Monster Trucks' With Blue Sky's Chris Wedge". indiewire.com. August 1, 2013. Archived from the original on May 21, 2014. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  12. ^ Calimbahin, Samantha (February 23, 2022). "Scrat's Baby Revealed In Disney+ Ice Age Short Poster (They're Adorable)". Screen Rant. Archived from the original on February 23, 2022. Retrieved March 15, 2022.
  13. ^ "'Stray' movie and 'Ice Age' director's next film a go at Annapurna". Entertainment Weekly.
  14. ^ "Chris Wedge Acceptance Speech". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Archived from the original on July 12, 2013. Retrieved June 2, 2013. And so to my beautiful wife and family, Jean*, Sarah and Jack...
  15. ^ "Film Reviews - 'Adventures in Plymptoons!". Variety. November 1, 2011. Retrieved July 2, 2023.
  16. ^ Desowitz, Bill (December 23, 2013). "Immersed in Movies: Going Deeper into 'Epic' with Chris Wedge". indiewire.com. Archived from the original on January 15, 2021. Retrieved March 13, 2021.
  17. ^ Sciretta, Peter (January 6, 2011). "Watch: Ice Age Short Film 'Scrat's Continental Crack-Up'". /Film. Archived from the original on August 18, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  18. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (November 15, 2011). "'Ice Age' star Scrat gets into more acorn-craving mischief – EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on December 19, 2011. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  19. ^ Truitt, Brian (November 6, 2015). "Sneak peek: Scrat heads to space for 'Ice Age' short". USA Today. Archived from the original on February 9, 2021. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  20. ^ Jacobson, Colin (October 17, 2016). "Ice Age: Collision Course (Blu-Ray 3D) (2016)". DVD Movie Guide. Archived from the original on March 6, 2017. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  21. ^ "Ice Age (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on January 16, 2021. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  22. ^ "Ice Age Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on July 13, 2011. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  23. ^ "Robots (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on November 29, 2015. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  24. ^ "Robots Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on January 12, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  25. ^ "Epic (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on December 10, 2016. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  26. ^ "Epic Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on June 6, 2013. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  27. ^ "Monster Trucks (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on November 11, 2020. Retrieved November 29, 2022.
  28. ^ "Monster Trucks Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Archived from the original on October 12, 2017. Retrieved April 19, 2017.

External links edit