Carlos Saldanha
Carlos Saldanha 2017.jpg
Saldanha in 2017
Born (1965-01-24) 24 January 1965 (age 58)[1][2]
Alma materSchool of Visual Arts
  • Film director
  • film producer
  • animator
  • voice actor
Notable work
SpouseIsabella Scarpa
Carlos Saldanha signature.svg

Carlos Saldanha (Portuguese pronunciation: [ˈkaʁluz sawˈdɐɲɐ]; born 24 January 1965) is a Brazilian animator, director, producer, and voice actor of animated films who worked with Blue Sky Studios until its closure in 2021. He was the director of Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006), Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009), Rio (2011), Rio 2 (2014), Ferdinand (2017), and the co-director of Ice Age (2002) and Robots (2005). Saldanha was nominated in 2003 for an Academy Award for Best Animated Short Film for Gone Nutty and in 2018 for Best Animated Feature for Ferdinand.

Early life

Saldanha was born in Brazil, growing up in Marechal Hermes, Rio de Janeiro.[3][4] Though he loved cartoons and drawing from an early age, by the time he was an adult, he initially considered a career in computer science, because he did not think a career in art was a viable option. This changed when he became aware of how computer-generated imaging was revolutionizing animation, and discovered the continuing education program at the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. He entered that program to major in computer animation, saying, "I knew from the first day in class that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life". One of his instructors, recognizing his talent, convinced him to enroll in the school's MFA program. Though Saldanha and his wife, Isabella Scarpa, thought this was a risk, they opted to stay in Manhattan so that Saldanha could do so. While at SVA, he completed two prizewinning film shorts that were featured in film festivals around the world.[3] It was also at SVA that Saldanha met MFA instructor and future film directing partner Chris Wedge, who invited Saldanha to join Wedge's company Blue Sky Studios.[3][4][5] Saldanha graduated from SVA with a master's degree in Computer Art in 1993.[3][4]


During its fledgling years, Blue Sky Studios provided special effects and produced animated TV commercials. In 2002, Saldanha and Wedge co-directed the animated feature film Ice Age. The movie was a success, with an opening weekend gross of $46.3 million, the best March opening ever. After co-directing the 2005 film Robots, he broke his previous March opening record with the 2006 Ice Age sequel, Ice Age 2: The Meltdown, which Saldanha directed by himself. He would later direct the 2009 sequel, Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs. Desiring a change of location after directing three films set in icy locales, Saldanha's next project was the 2011 film Rio, which is set in Saldanha's hometown of Rio de Janeiro. Saldanha, who felt that Rio had never been fully portrayed on film, felt a responsibility to travel to the city with the other animators so that they could accurately capture Rio's unique environment and habitats. The movie grossed a reported $484 million worldwide.[4]

In October 2012, Saldanha signed a five-year exclusive deal with 20th Century Fox to develop and produce animated and live-action projects.[6] For this purpose, he formed in June 2013 a Fox-based production company named BottleCap Productions.[7] In 2014, Rio 2 was released, which he directed and co-wrote. For 2017, he directed an animated feature film adaptation of The Story of Ferdinand.[8][9] Saldanha is also directing for Fox a live-action adaptation of Royden Lepp's graphic novel Rust: Visitor in the Field,[10] which he planned to make before Ferdinand.[11] He was also developing an animated feature film based on a book Alienology from the Ologies fantasy book series.[6]

In January 2022, it was announced that Saldanha would direct Harold and the Purple Crayon for Columbia Pictures and Davis Entertainment.[12] The film is currently scheduled for release on June 30, 2023.[13][14]

Personal life

Saldanha and his wife, mathematician Isabella Scarpa, initially lived in a studio apartment in Manhattan's Greenwich Village, but after their second daughter was born, they moved to Hoboken, New Jersey, where they had friends. They continue to live there with their children, Manoela, Sofia, Julia and Rafael. Saldanha, Isabella and their oldest daughter compete in the HOHA (Hoboken Harriers Running Club), a 5k race.[4] Manoela and Sofia voiced a "porcupine-like critter" called "Molehog" in the film Ice Age: The Meltdown, directed by their father.[15] In Rio, Sofia voiced Linda Gunderson as a child.


Feature Films

Year Title Director Writer Executive
Other Voice role Notes
1996 Joe's Apartment No No No Yes Supervising animator; Blue Sky Studios
1997 A Simple Wish No No No Yes Creative supervisor: Blue Sky Studios
1999 Fight Club No No No Yes
2002 Ice Age Co-Director No No No
2005 Robots Co-Director No No No
2006 Ice Age: The Meltdown Yes No No Yes Dodo
2009 Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Yes No No Yes Dinosaur Babies / Flightless Bird
2011 Rio Yes Story No Yes Second Waiter
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift No No Yes No
2014 Rio 2 Yes Story No Yes Amazon Quail
Rio, I Love You Segment No No No Segment: "Pas de Deux"
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course No No Yes No
2017 Ferdinand Yes No No Yes Screaming Matador Additional Voices
2019 Spies in Disguise No No No Yes Senior Creative Team
2023 Harold and the Purple Crayon Yes TBA TBA TBA

Short Films and Television Specials

Year Title Director Animator Executive
Other Notes
1998 Bunny No Yes No No
2002 Gone Nutty Yes No No No
2006 No Time for Nuts No No Yes No
2008 Surviving Sid No No Yes No
2011 Scrat's Continental Crack-Up Part 2 No No Yes No Acts as Ice Age: Continental Drift Teaser Trailer #2[16]
Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas No No Yes No Television Special
2015 Cosmic Scrat-tastrophe No No Yes No Acts as extended Ice Age: Collision Course Teaser Trailer[17]
2016 Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade No No Yes No Television Special
Scrat: Spaced Out No No Uncredited No Ice Age: Collision Course archive and deleted footage[18]
2022 Ice Age: Scrat Tales No No No Yes Disney+ Original Short Films; Ice Age Creative Trust

Streaming Series

Year Title Creator Executive
2021 Invisible City Yes Yes Netflix Original Series

Critical reception

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic
Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) 57%[19] 58[20]
Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) 46%[21] 50[22]
Rio (2011) 72%[23] 63[24]
Rio 2 (2014) 48%[25] 49[26]
Ferdinand (2017) 71%[27] 58[28]

Awards and nominations

Year Award Category Film Result
2003 Annie Award Outstanding Directing in an Animated Feature Production
Shared with Chris Wedge
Ice Age Nominated
DVD Exclusive Award Best Audio Commentary, New Release
Shared with Chris Wedge
Best New, Enhanced or Reconstructed Movie Scenes
Shared with John C. Donkin
2004 Academy Award Best Animated Short Film Gone Nutty Nominated
Annecy International Animated Film Festival The Annecy Cristal Nominated
2007 Annie Award Best Directing in an Animated Feature Production Ice Age: The Meltdown Nominated
Satellite Awards Satellite Award for Best Animated or Mixed Media Feature
2010 Saturn Award Best Animated Film Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Nominated
Russian National Movie Awards Best Animated Feature Film Won
2012 Annie Award Best Directing in an Animated Feature Production Rio Nominated
Cinema Brazil Grand Prize Best Foreign-Language Film (Melhor Filme Estrangeiro) Nominated
Best Foreign-Language Film (Melhor Filme Estrangeiro) - Audience Award Won
Italian Online Movie Award Best Animated Feature Film (Miglior film d'animazione) Nominated
St. Louis Gateway Film Critics Association Best Animated Feature Film Nominated
2014 BAFTA Children's Awards BAFTA Kids Vote - Feature Film
Shared with Bruce Anderson, John C. Donkin, Don Rhymer, Carlos Kotkin, Jenny Bicks & Yoni Brenner
Rio 2 Nominated
CinemaCon Award International Filmmaker of the Year Won
2015 Visual Effects Society Award Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture
Shared with Bruce Anderson, John C. Donkin and Kirk Garfield
Rio 2 Nominated
2018 Golden Globe Awards Best Animated Feature Film Ferdinand Nominated
Academy Award Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Nominated




  1. ^ "RIO". KidsNews,inc. Archived from the original on August 13, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2013. The mastermind behind this story, Carlos Saldanha, was born January 24, 1968, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
  2. ^ Cavna, Michael (July 1, 2009). "The Interview: 'Ice Age' Director Carlos Saldanha". Washington Post. Retrieved October 28, 2013. The engaging, Braziian-born Saldanha, 44, shares his thoughts on creativity, family and the reason why he knew he needed the voice of Queen Latifah.
  3. ^ a b c d "What's in Store". Visual Arts Journal. Fall 2011. School of Visual Arts. Page 18
  4. ^ a b c d e Baldassari, Arlene (December 30, 2012). "The Road from Rio". Hudson Reporter. Archived from the original on August 17, 2016. Retrieved October 28, 2013.
  5. ^ Hulett, Steve (January 9, 2012). "The Carlos Saldanha Interview". TAG Blog. Retrieved February 9, 2012.
  6. ^ a b Kroll, Justin; Abrams, Rachel (October 25, 2012). "'Rio' helmer Carlos Saldanha inks Fox pact". Variety. Retrieved October 26, 2012.
  7. ^ Fleming, Mike (June 6, 2013). "'Rio' Helmer Carlos Saldanha Sets And Staffs Up BottleCap Productions At Fox". Deadline. Retrieved June 7, 2013.
  8. ^ Brodesser-Akner, Claude (February 18, 2011). "Fox, Ice Age Director Bullish on The Story of Ferdinand". New York. Retrieved February 19, 2011.
  9. ^ Chitwood, Adam (May 16, 2013). "DreamWorks Animation Moves B.O.O. Release Up to June 5, 2015 and TROLLS to November 4, 2016; Fox Dates ANUBIS and FERDINAND". Retrieved May 16, 2013.
  10. ^ Sneider, Jeff (September 9, 2013). "'Rio' Director Carlos Saldanha in Talks to Replace Joe Cornish on Fox's 'Rust' (Exclusive)". The Wrap. Retrieved September 10, 2013.
  11. ^ Desowitz, Bill (March 14, 2014). "Immersed in Movies: Carlos Saldanha Talks 'Rio 2'". Animation Scoop. Retrieved March 14, 2014.
  12. ^ Kroll, Justin (2022-01-11). "Lil Rel Howery Joins Zachary Levi In Sony's Adaptation Of 'Harold And The Purple Crayon'". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-05-21.
  13. ^ Pedersen, Erik (2021-09-10). "Sony Sets Dates For Whitney Houston & George Foreman Biopics, Two Others; 'Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile' On The Move". Deadline. Retrieved 2022-05-21.
  14. ^ Grobar, Matt (October 20, 2022). "'Harold And The Purple Crayon' Release Date Pushed Back By Sony". Deadline. Retrieved October 20, 2022.
  15. ^ Lowe, R. Kinsey (April 3, 2006). "`Ice Age': It came, thawed, conquered". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved May 1, 2015.
  16. ^ Gonzalez, Sandra (November 15, 2011). "'Ice Age' star Scrat gets into more acorn-craving mischief – EXCLUSIVE FIRST LOOK". Entertainment Weekly. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  17. ^ Truitt, Brian (November 6, 2015). "Sneak peek: Scrat heads to space for 'Ice Age' short". USA Today. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  18. ^ Jacobson, Colin (October 17, 2016). "Ice Age: Collision Course (Blu-Ray 3D) (2016)". DVD Movie Guide. Retrieved April 9, 2022.
  19. ^ "Ice Age 2: The Meltdown (2006) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  20. ^ "Ice Age: The Meltdown Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  21. ^ "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs (2009) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  22. ^ "Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  23. ^ "Rio (2011) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  24. ^ "Rio Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  25. ^ "Rio 2 (2014) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Archived from the original on June 5, 2014. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  26. ^ "Rio 2 Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 15, 2015.
  27. ^ "Ferdinand (2017)". Rotten Tomatoes. Fandango. Retrieved December 31, 2017.
  28. ^ "Ferdinand reviews". Metacritic. CBS Interactive Inc. Retrieved December 25, 2017.