THE ICE AGE ADVENTURES OF BUCK WILD Director & Producer On The Franchise's Streaming Future (Exclusive)

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild director John C. Donkin and producer Lori Forte talk about this movie's streaming debut and whether they think the franchise's future could be exclusively on Disney+.

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild continues the hilarious escapades of the sub-zero heroes as they create more prehistoric pandemonium. Eager for a little independence, the thrill-seeking possum brothers Crash and Eddie set out to find a place of their own but soon find themselves trapped beneath the ice in a massive cave inhabited by dinosaurs.

They are rescued by the one-eyed, adventure-loving weasel Buck Wild, and together, with the help of some new friends, embark on a mission to save the Lost World from dinosaur domination.

We're living in uncertain times when it comes to the theatrical experience, and while the Ice Age franchise is iconic, this latest instalment debuts on Disney+ this Friday. While some might perceive that as a "downgrade" for the series, it actually opens the door to a lot of very exciting possibilities.

After all, we've seen how Disney has expanded its own animated franchises in various ways, so we could soon see all manner of spinoffs and shorts featuring these loveable characters. With that in mind, we asked director John C. Donkin and producer Lori Forte for their take on The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild's streaming debut and where they think the series could be heading next.

Check out an excerpt from our interview with the veteran filmmakers below:

The film will debut on Disney+ and that streaming service is one that’s shown us with Pixar and Disney Animation all the different sorts of shorts and TV shows they can do. Are you excited for the future of the franchise on streaming or are you thinking about returning to the big screen eventually? Or a combination of both?

John: I think it could go any way. One thing that’s happened with streaming, and this is a little philosophical, is that it’s opened up avenues for different kinds of content. We’ve seen some amazing work on streaming we haven’t been able to see in theaters. I’d love to see them in theaters, don’t get me wrong, as I love the big screen experience. There’s such a diverse demand for content and it’s undeniable that anybody who objectively looks at the business should see there’s an amazing opportunity with streaming and the demand for even niche animation markets where things are a little more narrow guided towards adults or sci-fi. There’s always been a demand for these big family events whether it’s on the big screen or the small one. It’s something your five-year-old can watch with their grandmother, and those are the kind of things I think will always be watched.

And Lori, I assume you feel the same way about where the franchise could go?

Lori: Yes. I think content, whether it’s theatrical or streaming, the more people that are able to access the material and films, the better. A lot of people do respond to streaming and I think it’s a great way of showcasing any of the films we make.

John: I will just add on to that real quick that I wasn’t thinking about whether this was streaming or not during the making of the film. We wanted to make it entertaining, fun, big, bold, and feel cinematic regardless. We have this massive, beautiful, orchestral score. We’ve got beautiful colours and rich, vibrant environments. I wasn’t thinking in the back of my head, ‘This is going to be on TV and people are going to watch it on their phone.’ Inevitably, some will, but we made it a big movie with big sound, big music, colourful, bright imagery, so if you’ve got a great system at home, you’re going to enjoy it that much more. 

Lori: I think that’s the best point. None of us ever thought we were making anything other than a movie. Wherever they show it, they show it, but it’s still the movie we would have made whether we were in a studio for theatrical or for streaming. It didn’t make a difference to us. We were just making the movie as good as we could make it.

John: And funny and as entertaining as could possibly make it. 

The Ice Age Adventures of Buck Wild premieres on Disney+ on January 28.

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