It may need been an existential query for the creators of the beloved stop-motion animation characters Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep: What would occur in the event that they ran out of clay?
Fans spent the weekend worrying concerning the destiny of Aardman Animations when the British newspaper The Telegraph reported that the studio, primarily based in Bristol, England, could be dealing with its “hour of knead” after the one producer of the particular clay utilized in its creations had closed its doorways earlier this 12 months. Having purchased what it might, The Telegraph reported, the studio had sufficient clay left to make just one extra movie, a brand new “Wallace and Gromit” characteristic coming subsequent 12 months.
But no, the studio’s foundations should not crumbling. Aardman Animations mentioned on Monday it had loads of clay to maintain molding.
Fans had “absolutely no need to worry,” the studio mentioned in a press release. The studio has “high levels of existing stocks of modeling clay to service current and future productions,” it mentioned.
The producer of the clay, Newclay Products, introduced final month that it had stopped promoting its merchandise in March. The firm had turn out to be recognized for Lewis Newplast, a Plasticine beloved by animators that’s malleable sufficient to mould however robust sufficient to maintain its form throughout filming. Newclay Products didn’t instantly reply to a request for remark.
But its administrators, Paul and Valerie Dearing, advised The Telegraph that they have been retiring and had determined to shut the corporate’s doorways after they couldn’t discover anybody to take it over. They mentioned Aardman had purchased about 400 kilograms, or virtually 900 kilos, of the remaining Newplast inventory.
More than a ton of modeling clay is ordered for every of the studio’s characteristic movies, and about half that’s used to form the characters, in line with modelers for Aardman.
Aardman on Monday sought to reassure followers, telling them that after its provides of Newplast have been gone, it had plans to transition to new inventory.
“Much like Wallace in his workshop, we have been tinkering away behind the scenes for quite some time,” it mentioned, referring to the eccentric inventor who’s certainly one of Aardman’s most beloved characters.
The studio is famed for its signature Claymation model, producing hits such because the “Wallace & Gromit” franchise, the spinoff collection “Shaun the Sheep,” and the 2000 movie “Chicken Run.”
A sequel, “Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nugget,” is ready to be launched on Netflix on Dec. 15, and the studio may even launch a brand new “Wallace & Gromit” movie in 2024, premiering on Netflix and the BBC.