Berlin 2013: 'The Croods' Makes World Debut With Eye Towards Possible Franchise
BERLIN – The rapturous reception given prehistoric family comedy The Croods at its world premiere at the Berlin International Film Festival already has started to stir talk about the DreamWorks Animation 3D feature being the first in a multi-title franchise.
Croods is the first animated tentpole to play in Berlin since Toy Story in 1996. It opens in theaters next month and is the first DreamWorks Animation title to be distributed by 20th Century Fox per its new deal with Jeffrey Katzenberg's company. Katzenberg is in Berlin to attend the premiere, along with voice castmembers Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone.
The subject of a sequel was quickly broached at the news conference following the film's initial press screening here, with the directors indicating, not surprisingly, that they would be up for a Croods 2.
“The nature of this film was the road trip,” said Chris Sanders, who co-directed The Croods with Kirk De Micco. "Of all the movies I've done, this was the most heavily storyboarded. So if we did have to put together another film quickly, we'd have a lot of spare parts to work with.”
Cage, who voices Croods patriarch Grug, also suggested he would be up for a sequel. “Yes, I would like to see another adventure with the Croods,” he said.
Both Cage and Stone, who voices Grug's rebellious daughter Eep in the film, commented on the experience of creating a character entirely using their voice. Cage, who recorded dialogue for The Croods over a period of two years, likened the process to keeping his “instrument” in tune for live acting gigs.
“Fifty percent of a performance is voice, and I consider all acting to be music on some level, so this was an opportunity to stay in tune with my instrument,” Cage said, noting that he would go into the recording booth with no preparation. “I just look at the lines as they were written that day and have at it. I'd be remembering images from my past, conjuring things up, as remote as a television commercial. And they could cherry-pick what worked and what didn't.”
The Croods is Stone's first animated feature, and she said she was surprised at how the process worked.
“I'd done a lot of ADR work on my movies like Easy A, with the narration, so I thought it was going to be like that -- I'd just read my lines,” Stone said. “Then I realized there was so much physicality involved; you are really playing an animated character, which was great because I come from improv and sketch comedy. I always want to go bigger and bigger, and with a character like Eep in The Croods, you can't go too big.”
The Croods rolls out in theaters in the U.S. and overseas beginning March 22.