Everyone seems to love an original Pixar flick. They are generally more well received than the non-Toy Story sequels and prequels churned out by the studio, at any rate (some people disliked Brave, but those people are no friends of mine).
For better or worse, Pixar is continuing down both roads over the course of the next few years. The studio's upcoming release schedule includes a few original tales - Inside Out (June 2015), The Good Dinosaur (Nov. 2015), and a film about the Day of the Dead (release date to be announced) - and the recently announced sequels [Cars 3](movie:1028628) (yuck) and [The Incredibles 2](movie:673500) (Brad Bird! Woo!) to go along with 2016's [Finding Dory](movie:471757).
There is one stand-alone project missing from that collection, however. Pete Docter, who spearheaded Up for Pixar, was developing a movie tentatively titled newt.
In 2010, newt was officially cancelled.
What did the decision makers at Pixar deny the world? Originally announced in 2008, newt was a story about two blue-footed newts paired up with the responsibility of falling in love and saving their species.
If you see many animated features, that premise may sound mighty familiar. It shares remarkable similarities to the plot of Blue Sky's 2011 release Rio. In fact, those similarities were the original assumed explanation as to why newt was scrapped.
Today, new details about the cancellation emerged via Fast Company and Ed Catmull:
When we gave it to somebody new [Pete Docter, director of Up], he said, "I'll do it, but I have another idea altogether, which I think is better." And we thought it was better too.
I'm not sure how much development had been completed at the time of newt's death, but that explanation is a fair one in my opinion. The 'better idea' referenced by Catmull is next year's Inside Out, which obviously the studio has committed to producing. Only time will tell if Docter and Catmull had their heads on straight when deciding which project to pursue.
Fair or not, the axing of newt is still a damn shame. Based on everything I have seen, newt could have become one of my favorite Pixar flicks, and thus one of my favorite animated movies ever. Put simply, the film was going to be a feast for the eyes.
Let's be honest - a great deal of concept art looks fantastic. The visual appeal of newt was approaching another level though. It's a subjective matter, of course, but who would disagree as to the movie's potential? I love the colors they had in mind, and the film's sense of scale provided by the tiny size of a newt would have been brilliant.
Where do you think newt would have ranked among your favorite Pixar movies? Me, it just might have given Wall-E a run for its position at #1. Also, did you enjoy Rio?