Chris Sanders is not only the co-director for ‘The Croods,‘ but he also draws, and very well.  Of course, being involved in animation, I suppose you might want to have that ability to create characters through some form of art.  Here, we see three very cool illustrations of what they had in mind for the creatures and characters of the movie before it was transferred to digital animation.  These are just one from three different sets of panels that can be seen on Chris’s website.  The links for each set panel are located after the explanations.  


Grug and Thunk

This is a little series where Grug, the caveman father is getting ready for an early morning hunt with his son, Thunk. On the outskirts of their hunting grounds there used to be a massive menu, which I imagined had been there for generations. With only two items, it isn’t really much of a choice. After picking what they’ll be trying to find, Grug leads Thunk over to another rock. This one depicts all the things that they need to steer clear of – all the things that can kill them. There are more things in the Crood world that can hurt you than can feed you. Pretty much everything on that rock is in the movie, with the exception of the exploding cactus on the upper right of the painting.

I really miss the exploding cactus.

Then Grug and Thunk move on to choosing their hunting tools, which consist of either a stick or a rock – the idea behind all of this was to show how spare their caveman lives are. Grug and Thunk do a round of Rock, Paper, Scissors to determine who gets what, but since there is still no Paper or Scissors, they each choose Rock and their match ends in a draw. So in the end, Grug flips Thunk like a coin.

The only bit of this that survived was the coin toss, which is still in the film. Only instead of flipping his son, Grug flips his mother-in-law.

See the rest of the deleted story panels on Chris’ blog:


Eep picking berries

This was a little sequence where Eep is picking berries. The plan here was to have Eep doing battle with an extremely aggressive flytrap-ish botanical. Eep likes this sort of stuff, she’s probably the most aggressive and certainly the most fearless of the Crood family.

See the rest of the deleted story panels on Chris’ blog:

saber-toothed tiger

Saber-toothed tiger

The first drawing is the start of some marketing ideas I was drawing up featuring Sandy and the big Macawnivore. We have a collection of animals in the Croods that are combination-creatures. In this case it’s a Macaw and a Saber-Toothed Tiger. We moved the teeth around so they face forward like tusks, and borrowed the parrot colors for his fur. He’s the only animal I designed – most credit for our wonderful creatures goes to Shane Prigmore, Carter Goodrich, Takao Noguchi, and Shannon Tindle. Takao would go the extra step and would model our characters, practically overnight. When he presented them he would typically reveal that he’d thrown in some rigging so that the creatures could do some rudimentary things like smile or move their legs.

I wish we could release our characters like we saw them on his computer screen.  Before they were covered with fur they looked like collectible vinyl toys.

See more on Chris’ blog:

I love how we’re able to see the process from sketch to screen like this.  It’s not too often these days that you get to see anything drawn by hand anymore, especially on screen, so even these little tidbits are nice to look at. 

Artist and Co-Director Chris Sanders Reveals Three Drawings for ‘THE CROODS’

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