Aardman Animations have used Newclay products to create their masterpieces for decades but stocks are drying up, leaving fans in fear for the future of the likes of Wallace and Gromit and Shaun the Sheep.
Newclay as a company announced their closure in March this year, and animators Aardman bought up all remaining stocks.
But now it has been revealed that they are down to the bare bones of remaining stock, and cannot get any more of the specific type of clay that is not made anywhere else.
The last remaining stock was enough to create one more film, which is due to hit cinemas in 2024 – but it could be the last adventures of the man and his dog, in claymation form, anyway.
Studio workers now must either hang up the lead of the much-loved pair of Wallace and Gromit or find a new supplier – but the clay is not made like that anywhere else.
The specific clay – named Lewis Newplast – is a nylon-reinforced air-drying clay, said to be ideal for modelling as it doesn’t require long hours of firing and glazing. This also made it suitable for making models that could be easily manipulated for the big screen.
Former owner of the company Mrs Dearing, 67, told the Telegraph: “Aardman bought a lot of our remaining stock of Newplast to keep them going. They got what they said was two years’ worth. It came to about 40 boxes, which must have been around 400 kg.”
Her husband Paul added: “We ran the business for 16 years, and it was thriving, but we couldn’t find anyone who wanted to take over the firm after we retired so we sold off everything.”
Fans have lined up to share their dismay at the news, with some even coming up with ideas to keep the clay characters alive.
Time to hire this fella to steal some Clay pic.twitter.com/ZgYhMXVGCE
— RIZE | Conflictus (@DarthConflictus) November 19, 2023
Aardman’s next Wallace and Gromit film will involve an out-of-control “smart gnome” and will be directed by Nick Park and Merlin Crossingham.