Pixar's Newt Officially Canceled

The Pixar Blog has finally confirmed something we've suspected for quite some time, Pixar's newt has been officially canceled. The film's entry was missing from the new Disney encyclopedia Disney A to Z, and author Savid Smith confirmed to the blog that "the film has been cancelled."

Floyd Norman commented earlier this year on animation message boards that "Newt is dead", and we've been trying to get confirmation from Disney and Pixar ever since. Our e-mils were never returned. Last month Disney announced that Monsters, Inc. 2 would hit theaters in November 2012, and the previously named The Bear and the Bow which is now titled Brave, was moved to Summer 2012. newt was nowhere in the announcement.


The above newt crossing sign was photographed on the Pixar Animation Campus.

newt was to mark the feature directing debut of multiple Academy Award winning sound designer Gary Rydstrom, who made his Pixar debut with the short film Lifted (which premiered in front of Ratatouille). The plot synopsis that was released follows:

"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? Newt and Brooke embark on a perilous, unpredictable adventure and discover that finding a mate never goes as planned, even when you only have one choice. Love, it turns out, is not a science."

newtAICN had more on the project from Pixar's in depth 2008 presentation:

Rydstrom came out wheeling a complicated 9 part Newt mating ritual chart, like you'd find in a science lab or biology class.Rydstrom says the film is about the last two blue footed newts on this earth, a male and a female, who are thrown together by science and can't stand each other. 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. Unfortunately, the 9th and final step is obscured by a Mr. Coffee, so he doesn't know how the ritual ends. "It's the way of life. You wanna know step 9 and there's a Mr. Coffee in front of it."

Brook 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 Brook 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. Of course, they predictably 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."

newt seemed like the most Pixar-like feature in development post-Up, in a world where most of the upcoming Pixar productions seem like Disney productions at first glance (that, and sequels). Alas, it appears we'll never see what this film could have been.