Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars
“The Croods” is the newest CG animated films from Dreamworks Animation. They are the studio behind recent films like “How to Train Your Dragon” and “Rise of the Guardians”. After “Guardians”, the studio really needs a hit. To be honest, I was not interested at all in seeing “The Croods”…that is until I read this book. I recently had the chance to check out “The Art of Oz The Great and Powerful” and I was hoping for something special there but was really let down. This book here is what I expect when I want to read an “art of” book.
The book is split into three main sections. The first section, “Finding The Croods”, looks into our cast including Grug, Eep, Guy, and Belt. We get glimpses of early sketches, digital paint images and CG models. I love getting to see different variations of the characters in order to see their evolution and in this case since they are pre-historic that work holds more of a meaning. The second part is “An Evolving World” looks at the creatures and landscapes that make up The Crood’s world. We look into the various sets into the caves, jungles, tundras and gorges. The last section looks into the “Anatomy of a Scene”. This looks into the production from the story to the effects and how they are blended together into the final product.
“The Art of The Croods” clocks in with over 400 pieces of concept art, character sketches, storyboards and digital paintings. Like with all of Titan Books releases, this is yet another high quality book and has some very colorful and sharp images. Along side the great art there are also interviews with the key animation talent. There is a foreword by Nicolas Cage, which I have to admit is one of the worse that I have ever read. Sorry Nic Cage, I am usually a fan but this is foreword is about a paragraph long. This is author’s Noela Hueso first book, so with that in mind this is a great first go at it. Previously she had worked at the The Hollywood Reporter for 16 years, so she definitely has the necessary knowledge of the business.