Fox Animation and Blue Sky Studios have announced that they will release a fifth movie in the Ice Age series on July 15, 2016. The core cast of Ray Romano as Manny, John Leguizamo as Sid, and Dennis Leary as Diego are expected to return, though Fox has issued no further details. The Ice Age movies been the work of director Carlos Saldanha until the most recent Ice Age: Continental Drift (2012).
The reveal of Ice Age 5 should come as no surprise given the financial success of the franchise. Both Continental Drift and its predecessor Dawn of the Dinosaurs brought in over $800 million worldwide on budgets of less than $100 million each. Still, the news may disappoint some since July 2016 had originally been the release date of Anubis, an adaptation of a young adult fiction series by Bruce Zick. Zick’s story The Anubis Tapestry follows a young man as he braves the Egyptian Underworld to save his father’s spirit from a Pharaoh’s curse. Fox and Blue Sky have pushed back Anubis to 2018.
For those wondering, Ice Age still has eight films to go after this one before it matches Universal’s Land Before Time series. Who would have thought animated franchises that began with a group of prehistoric animals forming a makeshift family as they set off on a journey would be so ripe for sequel material?