After a weekend report that one of the most famous stop-motion animation houses in the world—Aardman, the team behind Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit, Shaun the Sheep, and more—was on the verge of running out of the unique clay they use to craft their creations went viral, the studio has now spoken out to assuage fan concerns.
A report by British newspaper The Telegraph went viral this weekend, after it claimed that Aardman only had enough supplies of modelling clay to make one more movie—its upcoming Wallace and Gromit project for Netflix—after the sole producer of Lewis Newplast in the United Kingdom, based out of Torquay, closed its factory earlier this year.
Lewis Newplast has been used by Aardman since its founding in the 1970s, and is renowned not just for its malleability but, crucial for a studio like Aardman, its ability to retain its shape under the intense heat of studio lighting. When the factory announced its closure earlier this year, Aardman purchased the majority of their remaining supplies, hoping to pad out its reserves to make the two projects it had publicly committed to in a deal with Netflix: a sequel to Chicken Run, Dawn of the Nugget, set to hit the streamer next month, and a new Wallace and Gromit film, set to release some time in 2024. But after the report sparked fears that Aardman itself might be done if a suitable replacement for Lewis Newplast couldn’t be found, the studio took to social media today to assure fans that it had no plans to go away any time soon.
“We are touched about recent concern over the future of our beloved clay creations,” the statement begins, “but wanted to reassure fans that there is absolutely no need to worry.”
Aardman further noted that its current supplies of clay are not a concern, and that “much like Wallace in his workshop,” it has been developing plans “to ensure a smooth transition to new stocks to continue to make our iconic productions.”
Let’s hope those plans go through a little smoother than some of Wallace’s typical inventions do, and we can keep enjoying Aardman’s work for a good long while yet.
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