Chris Wedge
Wedge in 2014
Born
John Christian Wedge

(1957-03-20) March 20, 1957 (age 64)
NationalityAmerican
EducationFayetteville-Manlius High School
Alma materState University of New York at Purchase
Ohio State University
OccupationFilm director, film producer, screenwriter, cartoonist, voice actor
Years active1982–present
Notable work
Bunny
Ice Age
Robots
Epic
Monster Trucks
Spouse(s)Jeanne Markel[1]
Children2

John Christian Wedge (born March 20, 1957) is an American film director, producer, writer, cartoonist, and voice actor, whose films include Ice Age (2002), Robots (2005), Epic (2013) and Monster Trucks (2016). He is a co-founder of the now-defunct animation studio Blue Sky Studios and voiced the character Scrat in the Ice Age franchise since 2002.

Early life

Wedge was born in Binghamton, New York.[2] 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."[3]

He attended Fayetteville-Manlius High School, graduating in 1975.[4] 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

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 Where the Wild Things Are (1983), George Shrinks, The Brave Little Toaster (1987), and Santa Calls.

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. In 2002, Wedge directed Blue Sky Studios' first computer-animated film Ice Age and served as a producer for its sequels. He also voiced Scrat in the film series, performing the character's "squeaks and squeals."[5] 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.[6]

In 2007, it was announced that Wedge would direct Hugo though he was subsequently replaced by Martin Scorsese.[7] 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.[8]

Wedge directed the science fiction/action film Monster Trucks (2016), with a $100 million budget, and starring Lucas Till and Jane Levy.[9] Jonathan Aibel and Glenn Berger wrote the script for the film,[9] produced by Mary Parent.[10]

Personal life

Wedge lives in Katonah, New York[3] with his wife Jeanne Markel.[1] They have a daughter and a son, Sarah and Jack.[11]

Filmography

Feature Films

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 Scrat/Dodo
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
2012 Ice Age: Continental Drift No No Yes Yes Scrat
2013 Epic Yes Story No No Scrat (Blue Sky Logo)
2014 Rio 2 No No Yes No
2015 The Peanuts Movie No No No No
2016 Ice Age: Collision Course No No Yes Yes Scrat
2017 Monster Trucks Yes No No No
Ferdinand No No Yes No Scrat (Blue Sky Logo)
2019 Spies in Disguise No No Yes Yes Scrat (Blue Sky Logo)
2022 Ice Age: Adventures of Buck Wild No No Yes Yes Scrat

Short Films

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 Scrat
2011 Ice Age: A Mammoth Christmas No No No Executive Yes Scrat TV Special
2016 Ice Age: The Great Egg-Scapade No No No Executive Yes Scrat TV Special

Television

Year Title Art department Voice Actor Voice Role Notes
1996 Quack Pack Yes No Character designer, Prop designer
2006 Family Guy No Yes Scrat Episode: "Sibling Rivalry"
2015 The Simpsons No Yes Episode: "Treehouse of Horror XXVI" (as Chris "Scrat" Wedge)

Video Games

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

Special Thanks

Year Title Notes
2011 Adventures in Plymptoons! Documentary
2020 Sonic The Hedgehog

Critical reception

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic IMDb
Overall
Ice Age (2002) 77%[12] 60%[13] 7.5[14]
Robots (2005) 64%[15] 64%[16] 6.3[17]
Epic (2013) 64%[18] 52%[19] 6.7[20]
Monster Trucks (2016) 31%[21] 41%[22] 5.4[23]

Awards and nominations

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

  1. ^ a b Staudter, Thomas (March 21, 1999). "'Bunny' From Harrison Competes for Oscar". The New York Times. Retrieved June 2, 2013.
  2. ^ "Behind The Voice Actors - Chris Wedge". Retrieved April 14, 2014.
  3. ^ a b Buchman, Lisa (September 12, 2012). "Meet Chris Wedge, 'Ice Age' Creator, Katonah Resident". Patch. Retrieved November 29, 2012.
  4. ^ "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.
  5. ^ 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]
  6. ^ 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.
  7. ^ Siegel, Tatiana (May 5, 2008). "Chris Wedge to direct 'Hugo Cabret'". Variety. Retrieved August 24, 2012.
  8. ^ Graser, Marc (October 1, 2009). "EA sets up 'Spore' at Fox". Variety. Retrieved October 7, 2010.
  9. ^ 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. Retrieved August 2, 2013.
  10. ^ "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.
  11. ^ "Chris Wedge Acceptance Speech". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. Retrieved June 2, 2013. And so to my beautiful wife and family, Jean*, Sarah and Jack...
  12. ^ "Ice Age (2002) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  13. ^ "Ice Age Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  14. ^ "Ice Age (2002) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
  15. ^ "Robots (2005) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  16. ^ "Robots Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  17. ^ "Robots (2005) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  18. ^ "Epic (2013) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  19. ^ "Epic Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  20. ^ "Epic (2013) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved December 12, 2015.
  21. ^ "Monster Trucks (2017) - Rotten Tomatoes". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  22. ^ "Monster Trucks Reviews - Metacritic". Metacritic. Retrieved April 19, 2017.
  23. ^ "Monster Trucks (2016) - IMDb". Uk.imdb.com. Retrieved April 19, 2017.