Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Croods' Gets Imaginative with the Prehistoric Era

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

'The Croods' Gets Imaginative with the Prehistoric Era

Article excerpt

'The Croods' takes creative liberties


TORONTO - The filmmakers behind the new 3-D animated feature "The Croods" admit they didn't exactly stick to palaeontology records when crafting the story of a primitive family's first trip away from home.

For one thing, they set the DreamWorks comedy in a fictional "Croodaceous Period" filled with fantastical landscapes.

And the creatures depicted don't come from history books. Rather, they're hybrids -- from a Crocopup to Piranhakeet and Mousephant.

As for the Croods themselves, well, they're more a blend of both Homo sapien and Neanderthal, says co-writer and co-director Chris Sanders.

"Warning: do not base your book report on this film," he said with a laugh during a recent telephone interview.

Opening Friday, "The Croods" features Nicolas Cage as the voice of stubborn and fearful prehistoric father Grug, whose strict rules for keeping his family safe around their cave has teenage Eep (Emma Stone) feeling trapped.

When Eep sneaks out one night, she meets smart and free-spirited Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who warns that a disaster is about to befall the area and they should flee to a place called "Tomorrow."

The two manage to convince the clan -- which also includes wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), son Thunk (Clark Duke), and Gran (Cloris Leachman) -- to embark on an adventure filled with fun and dangerous seismic shifts.

The story idea began in 2005, when co-writer and co-director Kirk DeMicco began penning a stone-age comedy with "Monty Python" star John Cleese.

At the time, the project was more a buddy comedy featuring a technological inventor and a luddite caveman.

"It was really about the fear of technology and invention," said DeMicco, who also co-penned with Cleese an adaptation of the Roald Dahl book "The Twits" that's in development for Disney.

"John has a healthy fear of technology, that it might ruin the world, so it was something of interest to him."

When Sanders joined the project a few years later, they continued that theme of the fear of change but made it more about changes in a family. …

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