Aardman clay shortage: animation studio reassures Wallace and Gromit fans over supply for future movies
Aardman, the studio behind stop motion films Wallace and Gromit and Chicken Run, could run out of modelling clay
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Aardman, the animation studio behind films including Wallace and Gromit, Chicken Run, and Flushed Away is expected to run out of the clay used for its movies because the only company that makes it has shut down.
Newclay Products which made the iconic animation clay Lewis Newplast ceased trading on March 31 this year, having liquidated all of its assets. Lewis Newplast is a specialist modelling clay that can be moulded into shape but is also able to retain its shape under the glare of film studio lights, which made it ideal for Aardman.
The Telegraph reported on Friday that Aardman had bought most of the company’s remaining stock when its closure was announced, leaving the studio with around 400kg in reserves to keep going until another supplier or alternative material can be found.
What has Aardman said about the clay shortage?
Whilst it was earlier reported that Aardman had enough clay stock to make just one more film, which is believed to be an upcoming Wallace and Gromit feature, the studio reassured fans on X, formerly Twitter,
The Aardman page shared: “We are touched about recent concern over the future of our beloved clay creations, but wanted to reassure fans that there is absolutely no need to worry.
“We have high levels of existing stocks of modelling clay to service current and future productions and, much like Wallace in his workshop, we have been tinkering away behind the scenes for quite some time with plans in place to ensure a smooth transition to new stocks to continue making out iconic productions”.
It sounds like the studio has contingency plans in place once its last stock of Lewis Newplast is used up, but Aardman has not said what those plans are. It’s likely that a few films down the line, Aardman will move to a different type of clay, and the films could look a little different as a result, but the studio clearly has no plans to stop making movies.
Which Aardman films are coming out soon?
The next Aardman movie due for release is Chicken Run sequel Dawn of the Nugget, coming to Netflix on December 15. The film follows Ginger and Rocky who have escaped Tweedy’s farm and are living in a bird sanctuary together with their daughter when a nearby farm presents a new threat.
Another Wallace and Gromit film is also in the works, and will be released on the BBC and Netflix in the UK next year. Additionally, an untitled project from Bend It Like Beckham and Blinded by the Light writer and director Gurinder Chadha is in the works, though a release date is not yet known.