Operation Blue is a 1993 American animated spy action film produced by T.J. Entertainment and Film Roman for 20th Century Fox. The first feature film from T.J. Entertainment, it was co-written and directed by Trevor Jordan (in his directorial debut) and co-written and produced by Nicholas Pockes and Sean Andrews. The film stars the voices of Tara Charendoff, Matthew Broderick, Kristy Swanson, Brendan Fraser, and Tim Curry, and follows a young girl who is recruited into a secret organization whose mission is to thwart a foreign adversary's assault on the United States.
Production on the film began not long after Jordan's production company was founded in June 1991. Jordan and Pockes had both expressed that a spy film was the first film they wanted to produce for the company. Jordan also expressed his desire to animate the film's characters in the style of his close friend Craig McCracken's 1992 short Whoopass Stew! A Sticky Situation, describing the style as having potential to become an "underground art movement". Pockes was at first reluctant about this choice, fearing possible legal repercussions, but eventually agreed after McCracken "unemphatically" gave them permission. At the time of the film's production, T.J. Entertainment was a small studio with few employees; veteran studio Film Roman signed a deal to assist the studio with animation and production, with Jordan describing the partnership as "giving our studio a jumpstart".
Operation Blue was originally released in theaters on August 20, 1993. It received mixed to positive reviews from critics and was a box office success, grossing over $55 million worldwide against its $8 million budget. It was later released on VHS and LaserDisc on September 13, 1994, on DVD on April 10, 2001, and on Blu-ray on February 8, 2011.
- Tara Charendoff as Isabella Waters
- Matthew Broderick as Mark Stuart
- Kristy Swanson as Emily Jameson
- Brendan Fraser as Isaac Newtensen
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When he graduated from CalArts in May 1991, Trevor Jordan was encouraged by his friend and colleague Nicholas Pockes to start a production company. They founded T.J. Entertainment the next month at an unoccupied building in Central Los Angeles. Rather than starting off small, the duo decided that they wanted to start on a feature film as their first project. Jordan later explained, "We were really eager to do something big now that we were free of any constraints of college." Jordan and Pockes had expressed that they desired to produce a spy film as the studio's first project, wanting to be "a bit more realistic" than other animated films.
During its early production stage, Jordan wrote the film's original draft over a weekend in August 1991. However, after this, he, Pockes, and fellow colleague Sean Andrews realized they had no way of further producing the project, as their studio had only been founded two months prior and still had no office space, computers, or studio supplies. As a result, Jordan signed a co-production deal with veteran animation studio Film Roman, located in the Toluca Lake neighborhood, not too far from the T.J. Entertainment building, to assist the studio with producing and animating Operation Blue.
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- Further info: Operation Blue: Original Soundtrack Album
- The first theatrical trailer was released on April 11, 1993, and was shown before films such as The Sandlot, Sidekicks, and Dave.
- The second theatrical trailer was released on June 2, 1993, and was shown before films such as Jurassic Park, Last Action Hero, and Dennis the Menace.
Operation Blue received mixed to positive reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film has an approval rating of 61%.
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