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Date: August 17, 1998

Bluth, Goldman on Fox's 'Ice'

     Cutting short their sabbatical, “Anastasia” directors Don Bluth and Gary Goldman are expected to take the helm of Fox Animation Studios’ next feature, “Planet Ice.”

     The duo was set to direct FAS’ unannounced third animated feature, but after a couple misfires with directors and technology, sources said they were asked to come onboard “Planet Ice.”

     Art Vitello was to direct, but he ankled when FAS explored doing the pic digitally rather than as cel animation, as it was originally developed.  After working with a team of digital directors at New York-based Blue Sky/VIFX on the digital animation, and spending what some sources said was several million dollars, the studio found that while the visuals of the space environments and space craft were superior, the characters weren’t working.

     Efforts then returned to FAS’ stronghold in Phoenix, where “Planet Ice” is now to be produced (using a good deal of the digital effects from Blue Sky), most likely with Bluth and Goldman at the helm, although certain deal points have to ironed out.

     Fox refused to comment.

     Actors Matt Damon, Bill Pullman, Drew Barrymore, Nathan Lane, Hank Azaria, Janeane Garofalo, Lena Olin and Jim Breur are set to voice the characters. The pic is slated for release next year.