Well, the bodies sure are stacking up.
First, King of the Elves gets whacked. The computer-animated fantasy based on a short story by Philip K. Dick would have been released in 2012.
Then, in all the marketing-driven panic following Princess and the Frog‘s lukewarm box office, Disney shelves the long-anticipated and traditionally animated The Snow Queen. Who’s up next on the hit list?
It looks like it’s newt.
Actually, I’ve been worried about this one for a long time. I’d heard a few things hinting at this, but nothing definitive enough that I’d be comfortable writing about it. Then, today in a comment thread on the Animation Guild Blog, Disney vet Floyd Norman stated that the film is dead.
newt was first announced in April of 2008 as part of Disney and Pixar’s ambitious new animation slate. It was to be directed by long-time sound engineer and guru Gary Rydstrom, from a script by Rydstrom and Leslie Caveny. Michael Giacchino was slated to write the score.
According to the press at the time, the film would have followed Newt and Brooke, the last remaining male and female blue-footed newts on the planet. Forced together by science to save their species, the only problem was that they can’t stand each other. According to the press release, “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.”
So, that’s out. But hey, at least we get Winnie-the-Pooh and Cars 2. Who wants to bet that newt‘s summer 2012 release spot goes to another Pixar rehash, Monsters, Inc. 2?
UPDATE: I’ve had a couple of people tell me that King of the Elves has not actually been completely abandoned, but that it’s still in turnaround for retooling. I know this had been the fact at one point, but other informed sources have said that it’s no longer actively being worked on. If anyone can clarify this, drop me a line. In stranger news, I’ve had two sources independently hint to me that Cars 2 is actually having production problems, and I’ve seen that rumor posted anonymously today on the Animation Guild’s blog. Whispering campaign or fact, I don’t know, but it’s something to keep an eye out for.