We should be grateful that mainstream entertainment has evolved enough for an animated tale of a prehistoric family not to be solely defined by how many times the work “rock” is prefixed to other nouns. The new DreamWorks film, THE CROODS, is about a primitive clan — led by cautious father Nicolas Cage — facing their own evolutionary upheavals, including a rebellious teen daughter (Emma Stone), a brainy stranger — he’s got shoes! (Ryan Reynolds), and a little thing called the continental drift. Cinefantastique Online’s Steve Biodrowski, Lawrence French, and Dan Persons saw this fanciful tale of survival, and got together to discuss the awesome production design, the occasionally-serviceable, occasionally-better comedy, and when we’ll see it’s-all-about-family plotting finally collapse from total exhaustion.
Plus: Dan discusses the low-budget horror film, A RESURRECTION; what’s coming to theaters; and Steve vanishes into a temporal rift, only to emerge later in the week for a Laserblast episode.
Jam!’s showbiz website has an interview with Dean DeBlois and Chris Sanders, the directing duo who came on to HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON literally after the last minute: the film had already gone into production when the studio decided the story was not working, so DeBlois and Sanders (the team behind LILO AND STITCH) were brought in to rework the project. Fortunately, the film is abased on 2003 children’s book by Cressida Cowell, so DeBlois and Sanders had something to work from besides a rejected script:
“One of the neatest things about her book is there’s no one dragon, there are a lot of dragons,” Sanders said. “And that’s really neat because we could imbue each of these particular species with different personalities and different traits and different strengths and weaknesses.”
Although they liked the book, DeBlois and Sanders made some changes to suit the film’s tone:
“We wanted to keep it as grounded as possible,” DeBlois said. “Because what was important for us was just to create a world that had believable stakes. And part of that was removing as many elements of magic and whimsy as possible in order to get a world that was big and bold and believable with real physics.”