Scrat Tales: 10 Behind The Scenes Facts You Didn’t Know
Scrat Tales: 10 Behind The Scenes Facts You Didn’t Know
The Ice Age franchise has spawned countless animated releases, with audiences proving to be enthralled with the escapades of these prehistoric animals. One of its most notorious characters is Scrat the Squirrel, whose enduring popularity with viewers has seen him receive his own spin-off, Ice Age: Scrat Tales.
Released on Disney Plus on April 13, Scrat Tales features the lovable squirrel raising a baby, while he continues to hunt for his beloved acorn. The series has captivated fans of the cartoon saga since its debut, and its behind-the-scenes story has proven equally as interesting, with the show’s cast and crew having worked tirelessly to bring the animated shorts to the small screen.
The COVID-19 pandemic has left a colossal impact on the Media Industry, with the global crisis having caused several workplaces to adopt work-from-home procedures. Ice Age: Scrat Tales’ production saw its cast and crew undertake a similar approach, with its creative team working remotely on the animated series (Via Paste Magazine).
The show’s talented crew utilized Zoom meetings comprised of 500 individuals to brainstorm the series’ six episodes and the future of their animation company Blue Sky Studios. Led by producer Anthony Nisi, the online sessions also saw the Disney Plus program’s editors divided into three separate editing teams, ensuring that the six installments could be completed in a timely and professional manner, during these deeply uncertain times.
Animation is among cinema’s most impressive genres, with these often bright and beautiful flicks captivating audiences of all ages. The latest Ice Age release features the directing work of Donnie Long, who according to IMDb has been involved in some of the most beloved animated movies.
Among her most impressive credits are Treasure Planet – which many consider to be one of the best forgotten Disney films – and Pocahontas, where she acted as part of these vibrant and colorful movies’ animation departments. Additionally, Donna Long makes an enjoyable cameo appearance as a reporter in Arthur Christmas, which sees her news anchor deliver an amusing report on Father Christmas’s delivery operations.
Ice Age is one of Hollywood’s most stunning cartoon franchises, with these cinematic endeavors featuring breathtaking depictions of cold glaciers and secret prehistoric worlds. These gorgeous films were brought to life by a highly skilled team of animators, using the “CGI Studio” computer software, however for Ice Age: Scrat Tales the team were tasked with transitioning to Pixar’s “Renderman” systems (Via Paste Magazine).
This new workflow caused a considerable amount of work for the animation crew, as they found themselves challenged with learning a new and unfamiliar computer program. To maintain the high standards of previous releases, the team were enlisted into several training sessions over Zoom, as they were taught how to use Renderman. This unexpected change meant the animators were unable to use the pre-existing Scrat model, resulting in the creation of a new and improved version of the famous cartoon squirrel.
Sharing the titular squirrel’s love for acorns, Baby Scrat is an endearing presence throughout Ice Age: Scrat Tales, with his cute and mischievous personality capturing the hearts of the show’s viewers. Kari Wahlgren provides the voice of Scrat’s new companion, and the actor can also be heard in Marvel Studios’ WandaVision, which many regard as one of 2021’s best shows (Via Behind The Voice Actors).
This witty and enigmatic MCU series sees Karl Wahlgern lend her voice to the show’s Nexus commercial, which features in the program’s seventh episode “Breaking The Fourth Wall.” The Scrat Tales star contributes a warm and welcoming performance to the otherwise strange and mysterious advertisement, as she drops intriguing hints regarding Wanda’s fabricated sitcom reality.
Disney’s acquisition of Twentieth Century Fox has seen the studio make numerous controversial moves, and one of their most questionable decisions is the closure of Blue Sky Studios. This rather surprising motion by the house of mouse resulted in a turbulent production period for Ice Age: Scrat Tales, and its behind-the-scenes talent.
Blue Sky Studios’ demise led to several of its employees finding themselves unemployed, as Disney chose to make its unfortunate staff redundant. Consequently, Ice Age: Scrat Tales’ continued development was thrown into doubt, with its devastated crew given the choice to either continue their work or abandon the project. Fortunately, Blue Sky Studios’ workers opted to carry on production of the series, gifting viewers some of Disney Plus’s most hilarious animated shorts (Via Paste Magazine).
Television has produced many enticing spin-offs over the years such as Better Call Saul and The Punisher, and one of the greatest is Ice Age: Scrat Tales. This enjoyably zany cartoon series introduces audiences to Baby Scrat, whose sweet and playful nature creates one of the Ice Age franchise’s most adorable characters. What some viewers may not realize, however, is that the lovable squirrel’s creation was inspired by director Michael Beradini’s newborn baby Charlie (Via Paste Magazine).
Michael Beradini’s adoration for his young child sparked the idea of Scrat adopting a baby, providing the determined squirrel with a new sense of responsibility. Beradini believed this fun new addition to the Ice Age mythos would add some interesting conflict for Scrat, as the squirrel finds himself conflicted over raising the youngster and seizing his beloved nut.
Blue Sky Studios’ closure led to a great deal of uncertainty for the animation company’s employees, with these hugely talented individuals facing an unclear future. One of the biggest question marks over this dark period concerned the release of Ice Age: Scrat Tales, which many of the show’s cast and crew were concerned wouldn’t see the light of day (Via Paste Magazine).
Upon completion of the six shorts, Disney opted to hold onto the series for an entire year, causing the program’s creative team to wonder whether the house of mouse had scrapped the plans for the series’ planned debut. Fortunately, Disney eventually chose to upload the series to their streaming platform on the anniversary of the project’s final production date, ensuring their work could be admired by viewers of all ages.
Scrat’s hunt for his beloved acorn forms some of the Ice Age franchise’s most hilarious scenes, as the determined squirrel’s frequent attempts to obtain his nut end disastrously. To mark the sad demise of Blue Sky Studios, a few of the company’s workers gathered together to create a final scene for various social media platforms, entitled “Blue Sky Finale,” which features Scrat finally succeeding in his quest for the acorn (Via Cartoon Brew).
This heartwarming clip acts as a fitting finale for Blue Sky Studios, who have produced some of the best animated movies according to Rotten Tomatoes. The short concludes one of animation’s most amusing running gags, with Scrat’s journey for his acorn now complete, providing audiences with one of the Ice Age saga’s biggest crowd-pleasing moments.
Ice Age features many of animation’s most likable characters, but the most popular of these larger-than-life individuals is arguably Scrat The Squirrel. Debuting in the series’ first movie, this loveable rodent’s goofy nature has captivated viewers of all ages, with audiences becoming greatly invested in his search for the acorn. Scrat’s rights ownership has proven somewhat complicated in recent years, however, with artist Ivy Silbberstein having claimed to have come up with the original idea (Via The Gamer).
Ivy Silbberstein alleges that she created the character in 1999, who she pitched as “Sqrat the squirrel” to Blue Sky Studios. The studio took a deep interest in the cartoon squirrel’s comic potential. However, rather than paying the artist for her work, the studio instead opted to steal her idea and refused to acknowledge Ivy as Scrat’s original creator. After many subsequent legal battles, Disney lost ownership of Scrat to Ivy Silbberstein, marking Ice Age: Scrat Tales as the squirrel’s final appearance.
With its zany slapstick antics and irresistibly sweet lead characters, Ice Age: Scrat Tales has proven to be one of Disney Plus’s biggest hits. The production crew’s confidence in the series resulted in the show’s creatives planning a second season, with the team preparing ideas to pitch to the Disney executives (Via Paste Magazine).
The crew had been hoping that this new run of episodes could be released on Disney Plus, delivering further farcical hijinks with Scrat and his young companion for the series’ devoted viewers. Unfortunately, the second season was not to be, with these rather intriguing plans scrapped as a result of Blue Sky Studios’ closure as well as Scrat’s complicated rights issues.
The six-episode series has captivated fans of the cartoon saga since its debut, and its behind-the-scenes story has proven equally as interesting.
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