Jonathan Melville: You can’t beat the Toons

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ANIMATION rarely goes out of fashion, it just evolves. While I’m a fan of old-school cell animated films, I’m just as happy watching a quality CGI-laden one.

This week sees the release of DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods, starring Nic Cage as a caveman who feels threatened when a younger rival turns up with the ability to make fire.

The Croods was first announced back in 2005 as a collaboration between the UK’s Aardman (the team behind Wallace and Gromit) and DreamWorks under the title Crood Awakening, with a script from John Cleese.

Originally developed as a stop-motion film, The Croods is now a 3D CGI production from Chris Sanders, the director of 2010’s How to Train Your Dragon. This means it should look amazing but lack some of the personality Aardman brings to its productions.

Thankfully CGI isn’t favoured by every filmmaker. Last year’s Frankenweenie, ParaNorman and The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists! were made using more traditional stop-motion techniques, though computer generated effects were utilised.

Sometimes CGI movies can even look better than their live action counterparts; Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins advised How to Train Your Dragon’s creators on how it should be lit, and he’s back for next year’s sequel.

Finally, if you want to own some classic animation, 1988’s Who Framed Roger Rabbit is out on Blu-ray next Monday.


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