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No, Aardman Is Not Running Out Of Clay

Wallace and Gromit

A bizarre headline started appearing on websites across the Net yesterday: Aardman Animations, the world’s most prominent stop-motion animation company, was running out of clay! Was it real? Was it clickbait? A tiny bit of the former, but way more of the latter.

is the world running out of dirt and water? If not, how can anyone be running out of clay? The problem at hand, stated UK paper The Telegraph, was that Aardman used a very SPECIFIC brand of clay, and the company that makes it, Newclay, is no longer existent.

Newclay’s substance is called Lewis Newplast and Aardman has used it exclusively since its founding in the 1970s. The miniature sets the studio makes its movies on are constantly baked under bright, hot lights, and not every kind of clay can hold up under such conditions. Lewis Newplast can, and so Aardman has used nothing but that until extremely recently. Clay is and will always be plentiful, but if you like to make stop motion films exclusively out of Nickelodeon Floam, you have a problem.

So that’s where all these headlines came from. A spokesperson for Aardman told ITV News, “We are touched about recent concern over the future of our beloved clay creations, but wanted to reassure fans that there is absolutely no need to worry. We have high levels of existing stocks of modeling clay to service current and future productions.” It’s only a finite amount, though — they have just enough Lewis Newplast to finish their next Wallace and Gromit movie, which is scheduled to hit Netflix in late 2024.

But here’s the thing: it’s not the only type of clay in the world that does what it does. And Aardman saw this coming well before any of us did. “Much like Wallace in his workshop, we have been tinkering away behind the scenes for quite some time with plans in place to ensure a smooth transition to new stocks in the years to come. Our fans can rest assured Newclay’s closure will not impact Aardman’s ability to continue to make our iconic productions.”

Good thing too. If they HAD to rely on Wallace, he would have invented some kind of indestructible superclay made of Wensleydale cheese that would come alive and go on a rampage all over England. Can’t have that.