You'd think given the sophisticated sorts of folks who annually attend the Berlin Film Festival that this wouldn't be the sort of crowd which would enthusiastically embrace something as crass-sounding as "The Croods."
But that's actually what happened last Friday night at the world premiere of this DreamWorks Animation production. As the credits began to roll for this out-of-competition screening, an audience of 2000 got to its feet and began to applaud wildly for this silly, sweet yet surprisingly sophisticated animated feature.
(L to R) Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco on the Red Carpet at the Berlin Film Festival for the world premiere of "The Croods" earlier this month.
And while all the DWA & Fox who were on hand for the world premiere of "The Croods" were thrilled with the reception that this new feature-length cartoon received, no one was more excited or more relieved than the film's two directors, Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco.
For Kirk, Friday night's screening was the end of an especially long road. You see, he'd been working on this particular project since May of 2005. Back when this DWA production was originally supposed to have been done in stop motion by the talented artists at Aardman Animations.
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"Back then, this film had a different title: 'Crood Awakenings,' " DeMicco explained. "Its story also had a somewhat different slant. My co-writer on that earlier version of this project Monty Python's John Cleese is deathly afraid that technology is ultimately going to ruin civilization. So we were looking to use this battle of one-upmanship between two cavemen as a way to comically illustrate this concept."
But as often happens with animated features, as "Crood Awakenings" moved through DWA's development pipeline (More importantly, as Aardman Animations stepped away from its five-picture deal with DreamWorks Animation in January of 2007), the storyline of this prehistoric comic adventure began to change. Gradually shifting from being about a single caveman (i.e. Crood, Leader of the Hunt, who felt threatened when a more evolved caveman arrived on the scene armed with radical new inventions like fire) to being about this family of cavemen who were struggling to survive in a world fraught with change.
"That's what I think makes 'The Croods' really unique," said DeMicco's co-director Chris Sanders. "This movie really doesn't have a villain. The thing that keeps pushing our set of characters forward, that constantly challenges them is change. The very ground that they're standing on thanks to the continental split is constantly changing due to earthquakes and all of these great chasms opening up. So the only way that this family of cavemen can hope to survive amid this upheaval is by ... "
Is by doing what? To get the answer to that question, you can either click on the headline at the very top of this page or follow this link: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jim-hill/the-croods-directors-reve_b_2740847.html
I feel another huge write down coming along. This movie doesnt seem to resonate with either kids or adults