I won't give away spoilers in this post, but I can tell you how beautiful the movie is - both visually and in the story it tells
The Croods features the most outstanding use of 3D that I have seen in a long, long time. I can safely assure you that it wasn't added in as an afterthought and it enhances the experience, never distracting you from the story. I have been to many 3D movies recently and was starting to lose heart, but with The Croods, I was sold from the opening scene.
The DreamWorks team let us take a peek behind the curtain to witness the creative processes and the incredible amount of work behind the drawings, the story (which was first conceived over 9 years ago!), and how it all comes together. I realized the high level of talent and dedication that goes into a project like this, but the amount of patience required is something I still can't wrap my brain around. The staggering amount of meticulous work that goes into something as simple as a character raising an eyebrow is one thing I now have a greater appreciation for.
The Croods producers Jane Hartwell and Kristine Belson and directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco
Stories are one of the central themes of the film. Visual Development Artist Margaret Wuller gave a presentation on how she created some of the cave paintings (Grug's stories) for the movie. She demonstrated for us the process behind Grug's depiction of their family and his place in it. If you look at the laptop screen to the right in the photo above, you can see Grug at the bottom, his arms outstretched, encircling his family, illustrating himself as their protector.
We were given a chance to try our hand at cave painting (art is not my strong suit - I love it, I appreciate it, but I cannot draw to save my soul).
This would be a great craft to do with your kids after they see the movie. We took craft paper (even a paper bag from the grocery store would work), crumpled it for that rocky cave wall appearance and flattened it back out. We used black paint and red and black conte crayons, but whatever you have on hand will work!
We were also given a presentation on the process behind creating some of the interesting creatures in the film, which are generally a mash-up of two or more other animals. We were even shown a sneak peek at a few that weren't included in the final draft. There are some hilarious and creative combinations, the creative teams really let their imaginations fly. My favorite happened to be Chunky the "Macawnivore". Once you see the movie next week, you'll understand why (and likely be as disappointed as I that he's not available in a life-sized plush version). I was half-tempted to take his cardboard standee (see the far right in the photo above) home with me, but I didn't want to have to buy him his own seat on the plane.
And we have the gorgeous DreamWorks campus where all the magic happens! We were given an extensive tour and it's definitely the kind of place we'd all love to work! Gorgeous weather, beautiful landscaping and architecture, ping pong tables, catered meals, million calorie cookies at your disposal...and so much more! Wonder if they'd notice me just hanging out on the lawn with my laptop? A girl can try...
Photos by DreamWorks Animation and blogger summit photographer Eric Charbonneau