Most of the time, when a film dies during development, that’s the last the public hears of it.
Pixar has never been a studio that does things like everyone else, though, and so it shouldn’t be a surprise that they’ve decided to offer their fans a glimpse into the process through a release of a bunch of artwork that was created to help them figure out the proposed film “Newt.”
If you weren’t aware, “Newt” was set to mark the feature directorial debut of Gary Rydstrom, whose short film “Lifted” was the UFO-themed short in front of “Ratatouille,” and Rydstrom is a sound-design genius who has won four Oscars and who was nominated for another six beyond that. I love that Pixar encourages people from every department to learn the entire process of filmmaking, and Rydstrom could be held up as an example of the best-case scenario when you do that.
Pixar released a synopsis of the film when they first announced it a few years ago, and “Newt” sounded to me like a really interesting way to get into the difficulties of relationships, even when you’re sure two people are absolutely right for each other. Check this out:
“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.”
And this one is really atmospheric and striking:
Much of the artwork is about the way you can hide these newts in various environmental backgrounds, and they play with geometry and color quite a bit in the paintings:
Of course, they had some human characters in the film, too, and here’s where you can really feel a nod to vintage Disney human characters:
And another human:
Great stuff, and now fans seem agitated that they’ll never see the movie.
I have a strong feeling that whatever it is that Pixar’s doing instead, they’re determined to make the best film possible, and that they made the choice for the right reasons.
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