Yesterday, Deadline reported that Disney is closing Blue Sky Studios, the animation division that created 13 animated films, including the Ice Age movies. As part of that closure, production stopped on the studio’s adaptation of Noelle Stevenson’s graphic novel Nimona. The film was set to be released in January of next year.
Nimona began as a webcomic that Stevenson started in college. It follows a young shapeshifter who takes great joy in her abilities (“I’m a shark!”) as she appoints herself the sidekick to the villainous Ballister Black, who is constantly in conflict with Sir Ambrosius Goldenloin. But there’s more to their story, and to Nimona’s past and powers, too.
In 2015, Nimona was published as a graphic novel by HarperCollins. It received glowing reviews, landed on the New York Times bestseller list, was named a best book of the year at NPR and the New York Times (among others), and was a finalist for the National Book Award for Young People’s Literature. An adaptation seemed like the logical next step, and it would have been magical to see irreverent, flawed, wonderful Nimona come to further life on screen.
Stevenson posted about the news on Twitter—
Sad day. Thanks for the well wishes, and sending so much love to everyone at Blue Sky. Forever grateful for all the care and joy you poured into Nimona ❤️
— Noelle Stevenson (@Gingerhazing) February 9, 2021
—and followed up the message of gratitude with a perfect drawing of Nimona:
thanks for everything, dragon girl pic.twitter.com/RP6x6WWJvm
— Noelle Stevenson (@Gingerhazing) February 10, 2021
The closure of Blue Sky will affect the jobs of more than 400 people, though Deadline notes that “Disney will be working with the employees at the Greenwich, CT-based studio to explore open positions at the other internal studios.” But with production ceased, there’s nothing to suggest that Nimona might get new life as part of Disney, unfortunately.