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And Then There Were None…Pixar’s “Newt” is Canceled

May 17, 2010

By John C.


This news is already a few days out of date for us Pixar fans, but it seemed like the perfect subject for a Monday column.


2 years ago, Pixar announced their upcoming line up of films. It included Toy Story 3 (June 18th, 2010), Cars 2 (June 24th, 2011), The Bear and the Bow (now officially titled Brave – June 15th, 2012), and one called Newt (2012).  The official story synopsis for Newt was: “What happens when the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts on the planet are forced together by science to save the species, and they can’t stand each other?”


An animated romantic-comedy, involving newts that can’t stand each other, yet have to be together?  It sounded so very Pixar.  Many people, myself included, immediately took up a fascination with the project.  I’m sure I’m not the only one that considered this big announcement somewhat like a gift.  Something to look forward to.


After many scheduling changes, and the announcement of Monsters Inc. 2 (November 16th, 2012), it was rumoured that Newt had been canceled.  This past week, it was all but confirmed by Mike at The Pixar Blog – who put his investigative journalism skills to good use, that the project had indeed been shelved.


Was Newt considered too adult?  Or was it just not sustainable as a feature length movie?  Or is this just some sort of crazy marketing scheme, to gain interest in a project still going forward?  Perhaps we’ll never know.


I’m sure Pixar has had several ideas that have been shelved.  We just don’t know about them.  Newt was announced too far in advance.  Ideas should be nurtured, not announced.  If too many people know what you’re doing, then sometimes there’s too much pressure to do it at all.  Let alone do it right.


The stories for Monsters Inc., Finding Nemo and WALL•E were all thought up before the first Toy Story was even finished.  No one outside of the studio knew of these films, until the ideas could fully come to fruition.  And look at how all those films turned out, even if they did take a while to properly come together.  At one point Ratatouille was one the back-burner due to extreme story troubles, when all it needed was a reboot.


To use an example outside of Pixar, Canada’s own James Cameron wrote the initial treatment for Avatar over 15 years ago.  The idea for the biggest movie of all time sat in a file cabinet for many years, while its writer waited for technology to reach his vision.


Some gifts have to be returned, but the best of ideas are everlasting.  If it’s meant to be, then one day Newt will be dusted off and resurrected.  We can only hope.

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