Despite being well into production, The Pixar Blog is reporting that Newt has been canceled.
Newt was the story of the last two blue-footed newts on earth, Newt and Brooke, who are forced to mate in order to save their species for extinction.
The film was to be Gary Rydstrom’s feature debut, after having directed Lifted, the short that was attached to Ratatouille. At first, I wasn’t too keen on the story, but once Ain’t It Cool News got some more details back in April 2008, the film became the upcoming Pixar film I was most looking forward to:
“Newt, our lead, has been in captivity since he was a tadpole. He’s lonely. His only friend is a lifeless sock puppet. He can see the mating ritual chart from his cage and practices day in and day out, getting ready for scientists to capture him a girlfriend. “And who can’t relate to that?” asks Rydstrom.
Brooke is the name of the last female Blue-Footed Newt. She is in the wild and has no idea she’s the last female of her species. She escapes all sorts of dangers in her day-to-day life, including being evasive of these crazy biologists who are always chasing her. Rydstrom describes her evasive capabilities as making her an “amphibious Errol Flynn”.
One day they catch her and bring her back to the lab and present her to Newt. They have “the world’s worst first date” before through circumstance they both end up in the wild. Newt is worthless out here, but Brooke gets him through the trials. They meet a character named Eddie, a giant Hellbender Salamander, who is a ladies’ man and passes along his incredibly shallow ideas of love to Newt. Predictably, they don’t work. “Newt is a movie about how finding a mate never goes as you expect even, make that especially, if you only have one choice.”
Also mentioned was a 9-step mating ritual that Newt tries desperately to learn, but can’t see the final step because Mr. Coffee in the way.
Dave Smith, an archivist at the Walt Disney Company, has confirmed that “Newt is canceled.” This is very unfortunate news in and of itself. The movie was shaping up to be another unique, charming feature from Pixar. What’s worse, however, is why it was canceled. Now, there could very well have been problems with the production, but it seems like Newt was taken out of the pipeline to make room for Cars 2 (Summer 2011), Brave (Summer 2012, formerly The Bear and the Bow), and Monsters, Inc. 2 (November 2012).
Originally, Newt was scheduled for a Summer 2011 release, but was pushed back to 2012, at which point the Cars sequel took its place. I’m guessing that the film was running behind schedule, for whatever reason, and, with two movies scheduled for 2012, simply could not fit into Pixar’s upcoming slate. That being said, I still am really disappointed that Pixar would dump an original story down the drain in order to develop several sequels. It’s unfortunate, but I guess that’s how business is done, and Pixar is no exception.
Now, we may still see this film eventually, but definitely not in the next couple of years.