Kate’s back, with a recap on what to expect with the world’s first family (aka The Croods) and her amazing Dreamworks Animation backstage tour. . .
Hi all! It is Kate again! Thank you again to Breezy Mama for letting me represent them at the Dreamworks Animation Blogger Summit last month. This was a once in a lifetime (or at least once in my lifetime!) experience that I will never forget!
Our conference started with the first pre screening of the movie. I nestled into my seat into the private Dreamworks Animation screening room – you know, the one that Jeffery Katzenberg screens stuff in and I just tried to keep cool. In addition to watching the movie we were able to sit down with the directors, supervising animators and many more of the people who made this movie possible. We were able to find out more about who these characters were and how they came about!
I kept thinking,as we watched the movie, how excited I was to take my son when it opens on March 22nd. This movie is just the right balance of adventure, peril, and family for my little guy. What I loved most is the overall theme of family and love, so I want to introduce you to the awesome “First Family”!
The movie is centered around a sweet pre-historical family called The Croods. They specifically kept the people, creatures, and landscape mythical and not at all historically accurate – they are part of the “Croodaceous Era”. The Croods are totally fun and relate-able brood. They look as if they lived a long time ago, but their relationships are something just about any family around today can totally relate to.
First there is Grug played by Nicholas Cage. Grug is the long suffering father who loves his family very much, but is sometimes too tired, and too simple to articulate it. Grug’s main message at the beginning of the movie is that change is scary and it will probably get you killed. “Never not be afraid.” he says. Animator James Baxtor told us that each of the characters are inspired by animals. Grug is a big, gruff, gorilla of a dad. His intentions are good, he wants to keep his family safe, but he sometimes misses the point.
Eep, played by Emma Stone is the headstrong teenage daughter that I am sure many can relate to. Eep is tired of the cave. It provides safety, but she knows there is adventure beyond. Eep is constantly pushing beyond her father’s comfort zone, and this relationship is where the true heart of this story lies. Eep is athletic and fiesty and in many ways resembles a tiger. She is totally different than your typical animated teenage girl – she is strong, athletic, curious, and very brave. I’m not ashamed to say I shed a couple tears as I watched Eep and Grug learn to love each other for who they are. Watching Grug grow because Eep sometimes pushed them all out of their comfort zone was just something I think any parent (and former headstrong child) can relate to. Supervising Animator Lena Anderson made great efforts to capture Emma Stone’s expressions and put them into the character. Eep is a unique and refreshing animated character that I am sure girls everywhere will love!
Ugga place the role that most mother’s of a teen play – mediator between dad and teenager. She is the voice of reason and tries to help both sides see the other’s point. Grug and Eep are so drastically different that it is a full time job trying to get the two to see eye to eye. She is supportive of Grug as he needs to move on from the cave into the unknown and takes care of her family. The circumstances may be unique, but I think many mothers will identify with her.
Thunk plays a somewhat smaller role in this ensemble cast, but he is so endearing! “Thunk is always trying to impress Grug; he wants to be a carbon copy of his dad,” says director Kirk DeMicco. “He has explosive energy and enthusiasm, but he’s probably the most vulnerable figure in the family.” Directors told us his movements were inspired by a YouTube video of a little chimpanzee, he is ‘floppy and goofy’ as they say! Thunk is a HUGE but simple, sweet kid who ultimately just wants his parents to be pleased with him.
Sandy is seriously hilarious. The littlest of the Crood brood, she more like a feral animal a human toddler. I suppose as a mom myself, I have seen a bit of Sandy in each of my kids depending on the day! She is wild, busy, and very brave. We were told actually that animators compared her energy and movements to a little Jack Russel terrier.
Gran – Ugga’s Mother. Oh what movie is a movie at all with a ‘mother in law’ character for comic relief? Gran is a tough, sarcastic old lady who wears a reptile dress. Directors said they wanted her to have a “crocodile vibe” and that she does! As with every character, she surprises us with her softness at points, but overall Gran provides comic relief with her cranky old lady antics!
Guy, played by Ryan Reynolds was referred to the directors as “Human 2.0”. He serves as Eeps love interest, and also conflict for Grug. He lost his family at one point (which he explains to Grug) and is alone other than his trusty side kick Belt. He knows that the Earth is changing and they need to move on to stay alive. He is intellectually more advanced than the Croods, but that doesn’t necessarily mean he is better off. The Croods are strong and athletic and often times overpower Guy. Eep of course swoons over this new guy with his forward thinking and talk of ‘tomorrow’. Guy is more inspired by modern day humans than an animal like the Crood family. The growth in the relationship of Grug and Guy throughout the movie is heartwarming, encouraging, and again – something many can identify with!
Belt is my absolute favorite little guy. Belt is Guy’s trusty companion, and he also helps him keep his pants up – hence the name. He is a fun little sloth that provides lots of comedy every time you see his cute little face. He doesn’t really speak, but his signature “Dun, Dun, Dun!” got a laugh every time.
I hope you are as excited to meet these characters as my family is! The Croods and the friends they meet along the way are so fun and will capture the hearts of the entire family!
Enjoy ~ Kate
To see a trailer of the upcoming The Croods movie, click on the arrow below:
About Kate: Kate Hamernik writes at www.SanDiegoDealsandSteals.com about life, travel, and deals. She lives in San Diego with her husband Harry, three kids, and one naughty cat. She enjoys travel, art, horseback riding, a good deal, and watching her kids turn into big people. She would love for you to stop by and say ‘hello!’
To check out Kate’s site, click here. And be on the lookout for more of her Crood’s coverage in the upcoming weeks.