“Wallace & Gromit” and “Shaun the Sheep”, it’s goodbye: the clay for modeling the puppets has run out

“Wallace & Gromit” and “Shaun the Sheep”, it’s goodbye: the clay for modeling the puppets has run out

The world of animation risks losing Wallace and his faithful dog Gromit. The two characters, protagonists of the series of popular animated films «Wallace & Gromit» born at the end of the 80s from the idea of ​​Nick Park and soon becoming a worldwide phenomenon, they could soon disappear from the scene. Similar fate also for Shaun the Sheep, a spin-off of Wallace & Gromit which was so successful that it deserved short films by him (Shaun the Sheep Movie) and a starring film (Shaun the Sheep Movie – movie). In Italy the recent productions for children are especially known «Shaun the Sheep” And “Chickens on the Run».

These are animated figures reproduced in stop-motion and created with a particular modeling clay made of clay mixed with plasticine. Now this particular material is running out: its only producer, the British company Newclay Products of Torquay, in the south of England, has closed its doors. Its two founders give up the business because they are retiring but have not found a successor. This is what was reported by TheTelegraph in these days.

The Aardman Animation studios, which make productions with Shaun the Sheep and Wallace & Gromit, are now in difficulty. According to reports in the British press, Aardman has however purchased a large part of the remaining stocks, around 40 boxes weighing around 400 kilograms. The studio is reportedly evaluating the possibility of finding a replacement or even producing Newplast itself. It is not yet clear what will happen.

Founded in England in 1972, Aardman Animations quickly set itself apart from the competition by using clay and plasticine to animate its characters. The material in question is called Newplast, after its creator Lewis Newplast, a former art teacher who originally made the clay in his garden shed in Chislehurst, England. According to the Telegraph, Newplast is particularly easy to shape and holds its shape even under the heat of studio lights. From now on, the Aardman studio will have to do without and perhaps will have to abandon its technique which is unique in the world. However, the remaining stocks will allow the upcoming film to be completed with the new adventures of Wallace and Gromit, released in 2024. In any case, it will arrive on Netflix from December 15th «Chicken Run: Dawn of the Nuggets», the highly anticipated sequel to the beloved, highest-grossing stop-motion animated film of all time, «Chickens on the run» in 2000. The film which tells the adventures of a group of chickens who try to escape from a battery farm became the most watched stop-motion film ever and earned over 200 million dollars.

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