I got an extra special treat earlier this year... a tour of the famous animation studio, Blue Sky! My old pal Michael from back when I made video games was nice enough to take me on a tour while I was in New York for this years comic con. Michael is a super awesome animator and was working as a temp on Ice Age 3. Here's Michael inside the lobby. There was a lot of artwork and character maquettes hung on the walls. Very exciting! Michael's girlfriend Kwan came along too and we all had a good time.Most of the studio was dark and crammed full of animators working quietly to meet their daily footage quota. Everyone was in super crunch mode and had to work CRAZY hours. I was really jealous of the creative atmosphere but not the workload :/Scrat's maquette. There was a whole room full of these things that I wasn't allowed to photograph. Maquettes are used to help create the 3-D models and also as inspiration for all the people involved in the project.Horton's maquette. I just recently saw 'Horton Hears a Who' and it was pretty good. Loved the vulture character! Everyone at Blue Sky kept asking me if I had seen the movie and what I thought of it. They really gave me a hard time when I told them it was "in my netflix queue..."!The next day Michael, Kwan, and I went into the city and spent most of the day at the NYC con. Next years con is in December 2010, which means that it is almost 2 years after this years! What are they thinking??? This years con seemed to be set up a bit better than last years and had more anime stuff so I was pretty happy. I didn't buy much but it was cool to see all the sights.Speaking of sights... I was greeted by a life sized sleestak statue. Look out kid... I think it's hungry!!! AWESOME!Oh the cosplayers! Baroness, Porkins, Chewy, Baroness. The Chewbacca guy was on stilts so he was about 7' tall and it was pretty intimidating. I'm 6'3" and I'm not used to people being taller than me, especially big hairy people in masks.There were organized activities for kids in the upstairs area. Here you see younglings preparing for their struggle in the upcoming apocalypse. Honestly, is it really a good idea to teach your kid how to use a sword? I think not....aaaand finally, here's Michael and Kwan's cat, Toby. What a sweetheart. Aghhh... he is burning me with his laser eyezzzzzz.