Tuesday, July 31, 2012

The Art of The Croods Available for Pre-Order


“Long time lurker” Bob slipped me this scoop via the comments section:

There's an Amazon pre-order page for The Art of The Croods by Noela Hueso!

So far, the only info about this book is that it’s 160 pages, hardcover, and doesn’t come out until March 26, 2013. While it’s safe to say that there will be loads of pre-production art, a handful of behind the scenes photos, and a page or two of quotes from the cast and crew, let’s not rush to fill in all the blanks just yet. After all, we still have that gorgeous cover image to pore over. The colors are saturated and sumptuous, like visiting the fruits and veggies section of the supermarket without yer glasses. The glaring white background brings to mind the Comic-Con rumor that the movie opens in black & white before bursting into color. And the people pictured? They are the single BEST image of the cave folk thus far.

I. CANNOT. WAIT.

Related: Book Review: The Art of The Croods

Friday, July 27, 2012

Chris Sanders Debuts 'New Drawing Thursdays'


Are you curled up in the corner, sweaty and shaking, fiending for more Chris Sanders than this blog can possibly provide? You're in luck! Senior Sanders is back on his website grind, promising to post weekly with New Drawing Thursdays. So far, he's posted two sketches. Inspired by the internet's inaudible applause, he even went back and recolored the second sketch. That's THREE new Chris Sanders cartoons in only TWO weeks!

Care to join in the creative festivities? Why not draw/carve/shadow-puppet your own Croods-related fan art? I'll gladly post it on one of our long-running yet inexplicably anemic Fan Art Fridays. Shown below are a few of my crummy creations. Yours will surely shine in comparison.


To visit Chris Sanders' website, click here.
To view all of our Fan Art Friday posts, click here.

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Top 3 Google Alerts for The Croods: 7/15-7/21

When you sign up for Google Alerts, the results are always gonna be unpredictable. Take my seemingly innocuous request for alerts about The Croods. When I first arranged for email updates about any and all internet mentions of Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco's upcoming animated film, I figured I'd get one or two a week, with most of them being dryly worded DreamWorks press releases. Boy, was I wrong. Turns out, I get dozens. DAILY. The lion's share are links to this site, but there are also an exponentially increasing number of b.s. websites claiming to have the entire film for immediate download. (VIRUS ALERT!)

Still, amidst this avalanche of unwanted alerts, there are some notable mentions. Take Thursdays' early morning email informing me that the esteemed animation site, Cartoon Brew, had named me as a "via" in their post about Sanders' free Comic-Con Croods print. This led hundreds of new visitors to this site, and got me three new 'followers.' (Sad but true: This literally doubled my 'follower' count.)

On the opposite end of the all-ages spectrum was one of Monday, July 16th's Google Alerts:

Meanwhile, down on the exhibition floor, a buxom woman in a white blazer without a blouse talked up a graphic novel called "Whore," at a booth across from the one where DreamWorks Animation was giving out posters from its family film "The Croods."

That was an excerpt from Rebecca Keegan's Los Angeles Times piece about the "culture clash" that is Comic-Con. A good article, but a GREAT Google Alert.

Care to dive a li'l deeper down the creepy crevasse? Friday's first Google Alert not only prompted this piece, it also inspired me to add a special pocket for pepper spray in the Croods costume I'm creating.

Cartoon Brew reports that animator/director Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) was giving out this colored print for The Croods, the coming 2013 Disney animated feature, at the Comic-Con last week. We don’t know yet if any of its animals are anthropomorphic, but there are enough exotic non-human critters to please most Furry fans.

That sexy bit of syntax comes courtesy of The Furry News Network. No, I did NOT make that website up. Yes, it appears that even the Furries are eagerly awaiting The Croods. With this rarely-mentioned yet highly-sought-after naughty niche audience on board, it looks like The Croods is destined to make beaucoup bucks, amassing accolades and awards until finally being crowned the all-time box office champion.

No?

Well, it'll at least make for some more memorable Google Alerts.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

The DreamWorks Animation Panel Is Now Online

Remember last week's secondhand re-cap of the DreamWorks Animation Panel at Comic-Con? Well, DW just posted a video of the panel on their YouTube page. While it could be argued that this makes my previous post pointless, there is one HUGELY important portion of the panel that has been inexplicably excised from the vid. The Croods clips. They've been cut. So if you want to read Edward Douglas' detailed description of what you're missing (along with my own candid, caffeine-fueled commentaries) you should still click the link above. (Or: Lazy folks can click here.) Anyway, enjoy the video. I know I did!

Friday, July 13, 2012

The Croods At Comic-Con: A Secondhand Account


Okay, let me just get this out of the way up front. I did NOT go to Comic-Con this year. Familial responsibilities, work-related commitments, an East Coast zip code and a wallet containing nothing but pressed pennies and crushed condoms kept me from attending the festivities. Sure, I would've loved to have had a corporate sponsor fly me cross-country to watch cartoons, but that simply isn't the world I live in. What, you thought DreamWorks paid me to post pictures of my crumpled origami fan art?

HA!

No, I do this solely out of the goodness of my heart. Because I care about quality movies, funny cartoons, and you, my dear readers. Well, that and I'm hoping that someone somewhere will tell Chris Sanders about this blog and my love of his films and that it'll guilt him into sending me an autographed sketch of Stitch.

Still, I couldn't very well call this an unofficial Croods blog and not blog about the new Croods news, now could I? Hells nope. That's why, even though I have ZERO firsthand knowledge of what went down at Thursday's DreamWorks Animation Panel, I'm gonna go ahead and blather on about it anyway. How will I do this? By scouring the internet for any and all mentions of the panel, and then cut-and-pasting the best bits below.

(STOP HERE AND IMAGINE ME DOING THIS. IT TAKES ABOUT AN HOUR, WITH TIME OFF FOR BATHROOM BREAKS AND AN ICE CREAM SANDWICH.)

Okay, so let's start at the beginning. Who was at the panel? What was shown there? And how did The Croods fare?

The answers to these three questions come courtesy of Scott Collura at IGN:

The latest happenings at DreamWorks Animation was the topic of discussion at the company's panel this morning at San Diego Comic-Con. Chief Creative Officer Bill Damaschke led the talk, which kicked off with a clip reel featuring the studio's hits like Madagascar, Shrek and How to Train Your Dragon, plus the upcoming Rise of the Guardians. But the highlight of the reel was the glimpse we got at The Croods, next year's caveman family film.

No, I did not make that up. THE CROODS WAS THE HIGHLIGHT. How happy am I to hear this? You don't even know. For the first time since the third teaser image was released, I feel like I'm backing a winning race horse here. I've gotta admit, I sometimes get a little worried that I'm gonna end up like the guy who spent a year of his life blogging about that Green Lantern flick. Not Pretty. Not nice. Dude punched himself to death using a giant green fist he created using only his imagination. (R.I.P. homie.)

Now back to The Croods!

Dear Internet,
Would you mind describing the now legendary footage screened at yesterday's panel? What's more, would you do this using two separate sources?

First up, Edward Douglas over at ComingSoon.net:

The footage for The Croods began with a young cavegirl named Eep (voiced by Emma Stone) who wakes up in a cave and we hear her voiceover saying, "My family has always survived by living by my Dad's one rule—never leave the cave." We then see her climbing a steep cliff as the voiceover continues, "We never had a chance to explore the outside world. What we didn't know was that our world was about to change." She gets to the top of the mountain and says "You really need to see this," and we get a quick montage of her family of cave people experiencing this colorful new world, which included forests full of colorful and lush fauna, a giant colored egg and all sorts of creatures. The footage went by very fast but essentially it seems to be an action-adventure of this cave family exploring the changing world.

For a few more adjectives, let's head over to Brendan Bettinger at Collider.com:

The family lives in a rock mountain and follows the motto, “Never leave the cave.” As the young girl Eep is climbing one day, you see the rock—their home—shatter and crumble away. The new outside world that this reveals to the family is bright and colorful. And crazy. It was quick cuts, so I can’t fully describe what we saw. But it was a lush prehistoric land with fireworks, dinosaurs, and really unusual creatures.

Ah, the creatures. I LOVE THE CREATURES! So furry, so freaky, so ready to be sculpted in plastic and sold with french fries and hamburgers. But what about the human characters? How will they effect my Happy Meals?

Cinema Blend's Sean O'Connell reports:

There were animal inspirations for each character, which provided a guide for the animators to think about as they worked. Stone’s character, for instance, is very cat-like, moving in a feline way. The cavemen also have the ability to squat and move like gorillas. There’s a tiny, feral daughter who’s treated like a Jack Russell terrier, as well. “The whole movie is sort of a road trip where this family … is forced to go out and find a new cave when their cave is destroyed,” Baxter explained, adding that they meet a guy whose name is Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds). “He has ideas,” Baxter says. “He teaches them not to be afraid of everything, and they can survive by being a family."

Oh. Wow. This is the first I’ve heard about the humans’ “animal inspirations,” and I’m delighted. This is EXACTLY the sort of anthropomorphic caricaturing that most animators adore, and I cannot wait to see what the Croods crew come up with. Silly sight gags shall abound!

While we're on the subject of animating, were there any production anecdotes shared at the panel? Say, something about the voice actors and how they influenced the animators?

Once again, Cinema Blend's Sean O'Connell:

They raved about Stone, and the voice work she’s doing as Eep, the young, female character. “Emma is so animated when she performs her line readings in the booth,” said Baxter, explaining that the animators very quickly decided they’d pull a lot of her facial reactions and build them into the character.

What about the story itself? The Princess Bride started out as a bedtime story. The holy scriptures (take yer pick) were whispers from a wordy God. Where did The Croods come from?

Brendan Bettinger at Collider.com:

Damaschke says The Croods came about when they realized that DreamWorks had “never told a story about a family unit.” So they decided to make a story about “the very first family—a caveman family.” In part a commentary on how easy it is to feel outdated in a constantly evolving technological world, The Croods explores how hard it would be for the caveman father to protect his family in a new world that is changing all around him.

So that's it. The Comic-Con 2012 DreamWorks Animation Panel, stripped down to its bare-bones, Croods-centric essentials. Did it make you feel like you were actually there, holding a biodegradable bag full of free swag and overpriced bottled water, breathing in the Contagion-like germs of thousands of fanboys while ogling the undercarriages of the cosplay elite?

No?

Well, next year, WHY NOT GET OFF YER LAZY ARSE AND GO YERSELF?!

Cuz I know I'm gonna.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

DreamWorks To Open Indoor Amusement Park


From NJ.com:

Developer Triple Five and Dreamworks Animation have announced plans for a unique indoor theme park as part of American Dream, the latest incarnation of the failed Xanadu mega mall project.

Located in the Meadowlands sports complex, the destination would be the first North American theme park to exclusively feature Dreamworks Animation characters such as Shrek, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, Puss in Boots and Madagascar.

“We look forward to working with Triple Five Worldwide to incorporate DreamWorks Animation characters, storytelling and technology into a unique and innovative family entertainment experience at the venue,” said Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO, DreamWorks Animation.

According to Triple Five President Don Ghermezian, the creative talents behind the films will also have direct input in order to enhance the park experience.

While the idea of an indoor amusement park immediately brings to mind a Las Vegas version of Chuck E. Cheese scented with b.o. and BK, I’ve got my fingers crossed, hoping for the best. If the designers of this park really do allow the geniuses behind such films as How To Train Your Dragon, Kung-Fu Panda and Megamind to contribute, the results could be inspired. After all, when Walt Disney decided to build his first theme park, he used his studio’s animators for everything from landscaping to the creation of one-of-a-kind rides. And if you’ve ever been to Disneyland, you know how magical that park turned out to be.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Yet Another Croods Crewman's Comic-Con Tip

This tip comes courtesy of Croods visual development artist Arthur Fong. It's regarding the previously promoted Croods poster pictured below. You know, the one drawn by Chris Sanders and colored by Fong. The one that's ABSOLUTELY FREE for folks attending Comic-Con. The one I desperately dream will be sent to me by one of this site's generous readers. (All-caps and exclamation-enriched: HINT! HINT!)

Alright, alright. Enough of the begging. It's really quite unbecoming. Here's Fong's tip, imported whole from his blog, Artistic Fong:

After so many years of loving movies, comic books, super heroes, video games, etc. etc... I'm finally going to comic-con! 

I didn't plan on going this year, but I got the opportunity to collaborate with Chris Sanders on a promo poster for The Croods.  Make sure to stop by Chris Sanders' booth and pick one up!  They're limited edition, printed on really nice textured paper, and they're FREE!

For more info stop by Chris Sanders' Blog.  I'll be joining him Saturday.  Come by and say hello!

If, like me, you can't make it to Comic-Con this year, why not stop by Fong's blog and say hi via the comments section? IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS, Y'ALL...

Related: A Croods Crewman's Comic-Con Tip

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Chris Sanders' Comic-Con Catalog pt. 2

STOP! Did you check out Part One yet? If not, click here.

From Chris Sanders' official website:

Booth 5534 continued… 

More merchandise pictures!

Ogo Mug
I’ve always wanted to bring mugs to the Con, and this year that dream comes true!  These are heavy, so I’ll not bring a lot.  But I’ll bring about a hundred and see what happens.

Morgan Mug
That’s the Morgan mug on the left.  Morgan is a character I’ll add to Kiskaloo this year.  And yes, he runs a diner.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Chris Sanders' Comic-Con Catalog pt. 1


Comic-Con 2012 starts this Thursday, and Chris Sanders is bringing loads of goodies to sell and give away. What you see listed below is the only HALF of what Sanders plans on packing for the four day event. To see the rest, click here.

NOTE: Due to work and family and countless other honorable-sounding responsibilities that I am listing in lieu of the word 'poverty,' I will not be able to attend this year's Comic-Con. Should any of this site's readers wish to earn extra karma points and/or cross 'give a gift to a blogger' off of their bucket list, please feel free to send me anything from this list. Or have Chris Sanders scribble me a quick sketch of Stitch. Whatever's easier for you. Seriously, I'm not picky.

From Chris Sanders’ official website:

Comic Con Booth 5534

Okay, so the first thing you need to know is that I’ve moved. I’ll be in a new place on the floor this year, hopefully easier to find than in the past. I liked the neighborhood I was in, which was very near Stuart Ng, but my visibility was about zero, so I’m giving this new location a try. I’m pretty sure I’m against the front wall, but check your maps just to make sure. Here’s the stuff I’ll have:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Croods Crewman's Comic-Con Tip

Croods story artist Louis del Carmen recently tweeted a tip for cartoony types attending Comic-Con. Desperate for an easy post post-4th of July, I'm reprinting it here.

LouiedelCarmenLouiedelCarmen: If ur at Comic-Con come 2 the Dreamworks' DRAGONS: Riders of Berk panel 12noon-1pm Thu 7/12 Room 6A http://t.co/cgbbPEGg Sneak preview of the show

As a special service to our link-lazy readers, I'm gonna go ahead and post the info that Louis' link leads to:

July 12 12:00pm-1:00pm 
Cartoon Network & Dreamworks Animation:
DreamWorks Dragons: Riders of Berk
Picking up where the critically acclaimed feature film How to Train Your Dragon left off, this weekly animated series follows the continuing adventures of master dragon trainer Hiccup, his faithful dragon Toothless, and his friends on Berk. Dragon training reaches new heights as our heroes unlock secrets about their dragons, explore wild frontiers, and discover new dragon species, all while battling fierce enemies they never dreamed existed. Come get a first look at the series, which premieres this fall on Cartoon Network, and hear from some of the talented dragon trainers who helped bring it to life. Room 6A

Related: Our editors and legal team strongly suggest that you DO NOT READ our profile of Louis del Carmen.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

Is Chris Sanders Co-Writing a Song for The Croods?


In a word, YES! From Sanders' Twitter feed:

27 Jun Chris Sanders ‏@Chris_Sanders_
Just intro’d Croods for the Redwood City artists. I’ll be hanging out with Alan Silvestri tonight and tomorrow, working on a song.

27 Jun Chris Sanders Chris Sanders ‏@Chris_Sanders_
@sillywhims Yeah but this is just the first and possibly only song in the movie. We’re trying to write it. Which is new and fun.

28 Jun Chris Sanders ‏@Chris_Sanders_
Writing a song with Alan S in his studio. Learning a lot. Turns out, writing lyrics is hard but fun. The day has flown by.

Related: Alan Silvestri to Score The Croods!