POPSUGAR Celebrity

9 Reasons Kids and Parents Will Love The Croods

Feb 28 2013 - 10:13am

We're huge animated-movie fans, and so are our kids, so it was beyond exciting when we got an invitation from DreamWorks for a behind-the-scenes look at the making of The Croods [1], the soon-to-be-released caveman film from the makers of Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, and Kung Fu Panda. Hitting movie theaters this weekend, March 22, and featuring the voices of Emma Stone [2], Ryan Reynolds [3], and Nicholas Cage, The Croods is a classic family story — overprotective dad, feisty grandma, rebellious teen — mixed with fantastic creatures, a fierce, feral toddler, and a heavy dose of impending doom. Set sometime after the dinosaurs and before the rise of mammals, the movie is full of awesome action sequences, extraordinary settings and creatures, and even a bit of romance.

The 3D film builds on the studio's impressive three-dimensional resume, truly bringing audiences into the action. "There is more 3D knowledge, experience, and movie making here within the studio than any other place on the planet today," studio founder Jeffrey Katzenberg told us. "The goal always has been transporting you into that world, really make you feel as though you're in the center of it. That's the best use of 3D. It's less about gimmicks and things that kind of poke out of the screen as opposed to immersing the audience in it."

The innovative 3D experience is just one of the reasons we think moms, dads, and kids will all love The Croods. Keep reading for more reasons why you should journey into the "Croodaceous" era on March 22.

Source: DreamWorks Animation [4]

Eep Is Awesome

Eep, voiced by Emma Stone [5], is the movie's heroine, and she is one tough cavewoman. Eager to break free of her dad's strict rules and her family's cave, Eep pushes her family to explore their changing world, embrace her new forward-thinking friend, Guy (who she has no problem throwing over her shoulder), and come together like never before.

Emma Stone fans, look closely at Eep's facial expressions; they'll probably look familiar! Filmmakers "discovered the joys of Emma Stone" during performance tests and incorporated her expressive nature into the character.

Source: DreamWorks Animation [6]

The Creative Creatures

"One of the interesting things about this film was that we wanted to create a world that felt prehistoric but was also fresh," says filmmaker Chris Sanders, who's also worked on movies including The Lion King, Aladdin, and Lilo & Stitch. "A huge part of it was going be the animals. Our solution was to take animals and combine them. You could almost imagine, a long time ago, animals were different combinations that maybe, as time went on, they diverged into separate things."

So not only do the creatures that fill The Croods look cool, but they also allow audiences to play a little game called "what is that?" A "ramu" (a ram-emu), a "mousephant" (mouse-elephant, shown here), and a "liyote" (lizard-coyote) are just a few of our favorites.

Source: DreamWorks Animation [7]

Cool Settings

Your kids will love the awesome environments. The filmmakers created more than 450 varieties of rocks and 250 trees, shrubs, leaves, and more to create the beautiful, fantastic settings. While the family start off living a small, cave-trapped life in a hostile environment ("We don't have a villain in our movie," says visual supervisor Markus Manninen. "Really the world is, to some degree, the villain, but it's also the place they live; it's home"), they are soon forced to move out of their dust-filled, color-free home.

Their new world quickly comes alive (in more ways than one) for both the Croods and the audience."This beautiful blossoming color world comes to life in front of them and shocks us as an audience because we're going through the journey with them," Manninen says.

Source: DreamWorks Animation [8]

Awesome 3D Effects

"We actually made a conscious decision when we started this movie to really embrace 3D differently than before," says visual supervisor Markus Manninen. "Before, we used it in a limited way sometimes and then as a way to make certain moments really big. Here, we actually embraced it to the point of immersion."

You'll notice subtle 3D bits of dust in the cave air and bugs in the forest, while your kids will love the over-the-top 3D action scenes, including the impending doom of a flock of "piranhakeets" (that's a deadly piranha mixed with a cute parakeet).

Source: DreamWorks Animation [9]

It's Action Packed

The film starts off with an action-packed sequence showing the family battling to find food. Mom Ugga (shown here) battles a "ramu," a mix between a ram and an emu, for her egg, while the whole family pitches in to help. Your kids will be on the edge of their seats.

Scary scenes are usually quickly resolved in the film, but The Croods isn't appropriate for toddlers and younger children who scare easily.

Source: DreamWorks Animation [10]

Romance Blooms

What's an animated film without a little romance? Eep's old-school life is challenged when she meets Guy, a modern thinker who uses his head instead of his brawn to meet the demands of the Croods' danger-filled world. Guy, voiced by Ryan Reynolds [11], adds some comic relief to the film, as he tries to survive the family's overly physical ways and introduces his adorable pet, Belt.

Source: DreamWorks Animation [12]

The Family Ties

At its core, the movie is really about family, especially the relationship between overprotective father Grub (played by Nicholas Cage) and rebellious daughter Eep. "Here at DreamWorks, there have been lots of families of friends stories, but a true father-daughter story was pretty unique, and everyone was really engaged by that." We're betting you will be, too.

Source: DreamWorks Animation [13]

Introducing, Belt!

Belt, who lead character Guy literally uses to hold up his pants is a scene stealer that kids will fall in love with. "As the story started developing and we started to animate, Belt started to become really fun," says animator James Baxter. "I thought let's put in more Belt, more Belt! He became this unintentional star." Expect to hear Belt's "duh-duh-duh" catchphrase long after the movie.

Source: DreamWorks Animation [14]

The Happy Ending

We won't give it away, but like most animated films, The Croods will leave you feeling all warm and fuzzy — and glad that you won't ever have to call a cave home!

Source: DreamWorks Animation [15]

Source URL