April 20, 2014

‘Brave’ References Canceled Pixar Film ‘Newt?’

Back in 2010, there came shocking news (at least for those who follow Pixar) that the highly-anticipated film, Newt, had been cancelled. Employees had done years of work developing the film, so it was surprising to see the film taken off the production schedule indefinitely. Pixar likely realized how much of the employees’ great work would never be seen, and released concept art online (seen here and here). The film has lived on, though, in the form of an easter egg in Toy Story 3. We have also found what may very well be another easter egg for the now-deceased film in Brave. Take a look at the evidence after the break!


In Toy Story 3, there were several easter eggs present in Andy’s room, including the usual reference to the following film from the studio (Cars 2, in this case). There was also a sticker of a sign hanging on Andy’s wall that was undoubtedly a reference to Newt (image via Pixar Wiki):

Now, in Brave, it seems that Newt has made another appearance. This still was taken from the Potion Making clip that was recently released by Disney/Pixar. Judge for yourselves (deepest apologies for the lack of a hi-res still, but it’s all we have):

Yes, its ‘hands’ and feet may not be blue like they were in the released concept art, but that sure looks like a newt. Check out a piece of concept art from Newt below, and sound off in the comment section.

Did you spot the above shot in Brave? Do you think it is another easter egg for Newt? If it is, then will Pixar ever let us get over the loss?

All images above are ©Disney/Pixar. All Rights Reserved.

About Samad Rizvi

Samad is the Founder and Editor-in-Chief of The Pixar Times. His favorite films include The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, Vertigo, Back to the Future, Children of Men, Pan's Labyrinth, and of course, Pixar's Monsters, Inc., WALL-E and Up.

  • Anonymous

    Maybe Newt will resurrect.
    that’s what I think (and what we all hope for xD).
    But if it were to come back it would probably be after Lee Unkrich’s film, way to far from now.
    Anyways thanks for the heads up, didn’t see that one.

  • Anonymous

    Newts are a pretty common “ingredient” in fictional spellmaking. I have to doubt that it’s really a reference to anything at all.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AW3HDHIN4K3EZCVNVI6D7ZTXY4 dave parks

      this..

  • Chelsea

    ‘get over the loss’?

    It is not rare for film projects to be cancelled in Hollywood… especially when they WERE quite similar to other studio films.

    I wasn’t very interested in Newt anyway because it was my understanding that it was going to be about ‘the last two of a species who must fall in love to save their kind from extinction!’ which is impossible. Species are not regenerated from extinction by one last pair mating… a species is considered extinct long before it is dwindled down to the last two. I’m not positive this WAS Newt’s entire premise but if it was, that is one of probably many reasons Pixar realized it wasn’t a strong enough idea to continue production.

    Newt looked cute and all and it’s funny of Pixar to reference it, probably to compliment the artists who spent a lot of time on the project before it was halted. But I’ve never understood why Pixar fans want to pitch a fit about the film never being made. Hardly anything about the film was released and it isn’t as if the film was based on any popular story everyone wants to see come to life on the big screen.

    Perhaps I should just think it cute that Pixar fans are die-hard enough to want to see anything the studio produces. But if I believed that I’d have to ignore the many fans who say they love all Pixar movies except Cars/2. That being the case, Pixar fans have certain standards for the studio too. So shouldn’t they trust that when Pixar shuts down a project, it was for the best?

    • http://pixartimes.com Samad Rizvi

      Right. I’ve always said that there must be a good reason why Pixar canceled this. The story likely wasn’t where they wanted it to be. Personally, I’ve always been a fan of special features, deleted scenes, and the like – particularly for getting a chance to see what the story might have been. Even though films that make it to the big screen are far outnumbered by those that don’t, Newt had been announced, had a release date, and was in production for a few years before it was canceled. Its cancellation came out of nowhere (at least for those of us outside Pixar). So, for me, I understand that Pixar probably made the right decision in shelving it, but the behind-the-scenes “whore” that I am, I’d love to see more of the studio’s work on Newt, just to satisfy my ever-growing curiosity.

    • Anonymous

      Actually, I can’t remember where I read this, but I’ve heard it was cancelled because the plot was too similar to “Rio” which came out a little bit before when Newt was slated to release. They didn’t want to be unoriginal. I’m pretty sure Lasseter himself said that. I could be wrong, though.

  • Fantino

    The newt that the witch is holding seems all shriveled up! Whether it’s a reference to Newt or not, I’ll never get over the loss unless the whole film is actually released.

  • LessCynicalGoat

    I did catch this- the newt’s not dead though, he screams as he’s thrown into the couldron, and then it glows the colour of blue- the same colour of blue as the newt’s feet above. Check it out for yourself. ;)

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=17808331 Derrick Clements

    Brilliant, Samad!! Great post.

  • Me

    Wait, so pixar always references their next film… What next film was referenced in Brave? Was this the reference?

    • tyler

      the reference was a wood carving of Sully in the witches closet. It references forwards to Monsters University.

  • TotallyGaston

    Am I the only one who thought it was more of a reference to Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away? It looks just like the raosted newt that Kamaji gives to Lin.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_AW3HDHIN4K3EZCVNVI6D7ZTXY4 dave parks

      umm yah – i’m sure Pixar reffed “Hayao Miyazaki’s Spirited Away” just as they’ve been known to do so often in the past.. geeze..

      • Ashlee

        You’ve obviously never seen Toy Story 3 and the reference to My Friend Totaro alAshso directed by Hayao Miyazaki who is good friends with the big wigs at Pixar and that they have referred to as the Steven Spielberg of Japan…Maybe you should research before you start putting people down…I’m not saying that I what the newt is for but it’s not impossible like you are trying to make it appear.

  • Amanwithahammer

    It was to much like the movie RIO