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How The Ice Age Adventures Of Buck Wild’s Streaming Status Influenced Its Production

The war between the various streaming services available on the market today continues to rage on, with a crucial front being the legacy titles any given platform has on hand to craft original content. As the latest effort to entice the public into signing up for a Disney+ subscription, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild has revived the almost 20 year old franchise started by Blue Sky Studios and 20th Century Fox in 2002, and given it a new way forward. However, the status of a streaming original didn’t phase producer Lori Forte and the rest of the Ice Age team, as it wasn’t a factor that dictated any special influence. 

When speaking with Lori Forte, along with director and long time franchise member John C. Donkin, I was curious if there was anything special about this sixth entry that made it a prime candidate to go to streaming. While we were all discussing The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild (opens in new tab) during the film’s recent press day, this question gave Ms. Forte an opportunity to provide a unique answer to this timely question. As she told CinemaBlend, there was only one true influence at play: 

The thing about this is, and I know we’ve had this question before, we didn’t set out to make this for streaming. We didn’t set out to make this for a theater. We just set out to make a movie we normally would make a movie, and it just happens to be on a streaming [platform.] … We didn’t spare any of the qualities that we felt we would have put into the movie. Be it the story, the characters, the music, the score, the set pieces, the sets. It still is lush and beautiful, like a movie, and that was very prominent in our approach to this. We wanted to make sure this felt like an Ice Age movie, and it was like a continuation … just a new chapter in the Ice Age franchise. And I think that’s what we were really focused on, so I didn’t really think of streaming or not streaming.

Acting as the first project from the Blue Sky Studios canon to be released in the wake of the historic Disney/Fox merger, The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild achieves the function and form of any Ice Age movie before it. Following Simon Pegg’s Buck Wild as he adventures with old friends like Crash and Eddie, as well as sequel-ready newcomers like Justina Machado’s Zee, danger and laughter present themselves in a road trip friendly format. Whether a theatrical or streaming release was in the cards, all that this movie had to do to be a success was fit into the same canon that saw Sid, Diego, Manny and Ellie embrace their chosen family through a variety of action-packed adventures. 

That’s not to say that the current world of theatrical and streaming distribution is a subject that Lori Forte avoids altogether. If anything, those concerns made it more important for an Ice Age movie to feel right at home with the fanbase. Reflecting on the current realities surrounding any major release, Ms. Forte did acknowledge the key advantage that streaming on Disney+ has given The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild

I think streaming, especially during COVID, has been the place to be. The theaters had been down for the most part, so it really was up and coming. All of streaming is just ripe for content and everything.

As streaming debuts and theatrical openings both have pros and cons, that wasn’t the equation that mattered most when it came to the fifth Ice Age sequel’s debut. If the film wasn’t something that fans would accept as a fitting continuation of 2002’s initial foray into the frozen wilderness of animated comedy, neither of those platforms would make up for such a shortcoming. The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild could also provide a larger lesson for upcoming Disney movies to observe keenly, as future launches of this sort are on the horizon. When it comes time to put Hocus Pocus 2 into the world, the platform could benefit to learn what goes right and wrong with how Buck Wild blazed that very trail. 

Fans looking to stream all things Ice Age need only look in one place. Thanks to the debut of The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild, you can catch the entire series on Disney+. Those looking for the bigger picture of 2022 movie releases will need to search elsewhere, as the competitive world of cinema is too great to be contained in one realm.

CinemaBlend's James Bond (expert). Also versed in Large Scale Aggressors, time travel, and Guillermo del Toro. He fights for The User.