'Croods' Parody Featurette Reveals Sloth Script Doctor Saved the Film (Exclusive Video)

It turns out that an unconventional script doctor is responsible for the success of DreamWorks Animation's The Croods.

In a tongue-in-cheek "making-of" featurette, which The Hollywood Reporter is pleased to exclusively premiere, co-writer/co-directors Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders say that after a disastrous test screening, DreamWorks studio chief Jeffrey Katzenberg chewed them out and ordered them to fix the film.

The pair turned to an unconventional script doctor (an actual sloth), who is shown writing at a snail's pace on a typewriter.

"I was about to walk," says voice star Nicolas Cage in the video, adding he decided to stay when Katzenberg said Sloth would be reworking the script.

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"I was just like, 'Where do I get the clay of which to build a statue of you right now in my living room? Because Sloth is my favorite director of all time.' "

The video comes as DreamWorks Animation is making an aggressive push for its best animated feature Oscar contender The Croods, leaving no stone unturned in its effort to bag the studio its tenth nomination and third win in the category since it was first introduced in 2001. Indeed, everyone from the film's co-writer/co-directors to its voice stars Cage and Emma Stone to Katzenberg are taking active roles in the campaign, as demonstrated by the above video.

The Croods, a $135 million 3D computer-animated adventure-comedy about a family living in prehistoric times, premiered at the Berlin Film Festival in February before opening wide in the U.S. on March 22. It was greeted with mostly positive reviews and grossed $587 million worldwide.

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On Monday, the film received nine Annie Award nominations from the International Animated Film Society, including recognition in the category of best animated feature. (Only Disney's Frozen and Disney-Pixar's Monsters University landed more noms, with 10 each.)

A studio spokesperson tells me that this video, entitled "Sloth," was put together by DeMicco and Sanders -- a famously fun and energetic duo who are obsessed with sloths -- over a period of months, without any clear intention about how or even if it would be made public. Then, after the Annie nominations, they decided to celebrate the film's strong showing by sharing it with others.

Twitter: @ScottFeinberg