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Just another family trying to survive

'The Croods' are just trying to get along in a brave new world.

March 28, 2013|By Katherine Tulich
  • Chris Sanders, left, and Kirk De Micco, right, at the DreamWorks SKG campus in Glendale on Thursday, March 21, 2013. De Micco and Sanders directed the animated film "The Croods." (Raul Roa/Staff Photographer)
Chris Sanders, left, and Kirk De Micco, right, at the DreamWorks… (Raul Roa / Staff…)

Co-writers and -directors of new DreamWorks Animation 3D film, "The Croods," Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco, are sitting in their cluttered offices at the company's Glendale campus littered with unopened boxes, posters of their movie, a pile of too-cute-to-resist furry brown plush toys of one of the film’s most kid-friendly characters, a sloth called Belt. "We look like hoarders, we haven’t really had much time to tidy up," laughs De Micco.

Not surprising, as the two filmmakers have been traveling the country for the past two months promoting their new animated feature about a prehistoric family coming to terms with a changing and dangerous world. This is no Flintstones family with stone-age mod cons, but a brutish first family surviving in a hostile environment of large predators and tectonic shifts headed by family patriarch Grug (voiced by Nicholas Cage) who lives by the motto, “Fear is good; change is bad.”

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But his tough-minded teenage daughter, Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), a rebellious teen for any age, has adventure on her mind and wants to escape their dark cave existence, unwittingly propelling her family onto a road trip of danger and discovery.

The film was made entirely at the Glendale campus, and being DreamWorks first feature about a human family, its themes resonated with all involved. “During production the project triggered so many great memories about family from all our cast and drew,” says Sanders, who lives in the Glendale area and has a 7-year-old daughter.

Kirk De Micco, who recently became a first-time dad with twins (a boy and a girl), agrees. “I think everyone sees something of themselves or their family in this movie because there is nothing to distract you. It’s really just a family. They don’t have a schedule or a job or any place to be, they are just being a family," he says. “I think it was inevitable as we were writing this movie — a lot of our past family experiences, particularly our vacation experiences, probably influenced us.”

“Chris is probably the most emergency-prepared dad I’ve ever met,” laughs De Micco. “He has everything at his house, water, generators, camping stoves.”

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