A Chat with With The Crood’s Filmmakers!

NEWS | | March 18, 2013 at 8:11 pm

You watch a movie and and discuss, and sometimes argue, what they meant in a particular scene. You choose the option that makes sense to you and think anyone differing in opinion did not get the movie like you did. This is what happens to most movie goers but once in a while we get to go beyond that. There are many things that I have the fortune of as a blogger but I must admit that one of the best perks of my job is getting to see behind the scenes. I could tell you I met the filmmakers. I could tell you I was at DreamWorks Animation studios where they made The Croods. I could tell you I got to see the final cut of the movie before anyone else. Any of these would be enough to excite me (and they did) but getting a day to talk to the people behind the masterful movie The Croods? Well that just about ranks up way up there on my amazing life list.

With Chris Sanders, director of The Croods

During The Croods Parent Blogger summit I got to meet several amazing people but this is the discussion we had with the filmmakers which included: producers Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell, and directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco.

What if I told you that the project of creating The Croods was 9 years? What if I told you that John Cleese had something to do with it too?

From Kirk DeMicco

I was writing with John Cleese.  And that’s why John shares story credit with Chris and I, and Chris and I wrote the screenplay.  And it was an Aardman project [Aardman Animations] originally, they did Chicken Run here and Flushed Away and since done other things like Wallace and Gromit.

And it was originally going to be a stop motion movie, so it was a much smaller movie in scope, and it was about just a village.  And then, Aardman and DreamWorks, that relationship ended, but Jeffrey [Katzenberg, DreamWorks CEO] always believed in the promise of the caveman.  So, we kept working on it.

What? You’re wondering where does Chris Sanders come in? Well more importantly where did he come from? Well he came from Disney in 2007 and the the idea behind The Croods firmed up.

A drawing class led by Margaret Wuller Visual Development Artist for The Croods

Of course I had to ask the political question in the room. After I fell in love with the Lorax and was disappointed at the political spin taken on a movie focused on environmental topic, so I wondered whether the subject of evolution would raise a storm. So of course I asked the question and here is what Chris Sanders had to say in response:

The main drive of the story is so family centric.  I mean, that is the main thing that comes out.

So, I think if you jump back in time and tell a caveman story, your toe’s gonna be in pre-history somewhere, and that could come up.

But, the main drive, we kept our focus on the family.  And the main evolution in this is about the evolution of a family, and that is a real thing that everybody can solidly relate to.  So, if there’s evolution, it’s about the evolution of your own family over time


The Croods producers Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell, and directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco.

Wondering if the movie is scary? Well my 5 and 7 year old handled it well but we obviously had to ask and Kirk DeMicco obliged us with the answer:

There’s a certain amount of like checker-boarding that goes on in this movie I think in the balance of the tones in that there’s dramatic and emotional stuff, even for scary stuff, if it’s too scary, the best thing that relieves everything, the big catharsis on the other side is the big laugh, and you kind of laugh through it.

You do want to feel that thing with Grug, but when the cat cuddles up to him and then he says hold this, you feel the tone change and know that he’s going to be okay.  From that point forward, you’re with him.

Being a blogger who tells stories we were fascinated by the story telling nature of the characters. I am obsessed with history and the tales people leave behind and love learning things from caveman drawings and the stories they tell. We asked the filmmakers about the story telling within the story, and Chris Sanders had this to say:

So, we had struggled with Guy–because he’s such a sort of a newfangled creature–should he be the one that brings these more sophisticated ideas of painting and storytelling, should he bring those to The Croods, or should that be something that’s a very Crood thing, storytelling.  And we went back and forth on that a ton.

And eventually, that just sort of settled where it was.  Grug is the guy who’s the keeper of the stories.

Want more on The Croods (coming out March 22nd)?

Visit the official website

Like The Croods on Facebook

Follow @DWAnimation on Twitter #TheCroods

Re-pin great DIY tutorials, printables & more from The Croods on Pinterest!

Disclosure:  The trip was provided by 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation


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