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January 11, 2013

‘Croods’ sneak peek: Emma Stone heroine more parkour than pinup

Posted in: Animation,Movies

Eep, voiced by Emma Stone, is a cave girl in DreamWorks' upcoming film "The Croods."

Gan (Cloris Leachman), left, Eep (Emma Stone), Grug (Nicolas Cage), Thunk (Clark Duke), Ugga (Catherine Keener) and Sandy in "The Croods." (DreamWorks)

Eep (voiced by Emma Stone) cuts a brawny figure next to Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) in "The Croods." (Mark Edwards / DreamWorks Animation)

From Betty Boop to the Little Mermaid, young female characters in animation nearly always share the same silhouette — an exaggerated hourglass shape. But Eep, the prehistoric teenager voiced by Emma Stone in the Dreamworks Animation movie “The Croods,” sports a decidedly different physique.

More Olympian than pinup, Eep has the shoulders of a swimmer, the legs of a gymnast and the strength and speed to survive the apocalypse — or at least some major continent shifting.

The Crood family — including Eep’s dad, Grug (Nicolas Cage), mom, Ugga (Catherine Keener), and brother, Thunk (Clark Duke) — live in a fictional time period called the “Croodaceous Era,” when the Earth is populated by exotic, dangerous creatures and the most useful animal instinct is fear. It’s when Eep meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a lanky loner from a more highly evolved, Homo sapien-like species, that the Croods’ cozy, primitive world gets disrupted.

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“The Croods,” which opens March 22, resides tonally somewhere on the caveman continuum between the absurdity of “The Flinstones” — with its bird beak record player and woolly mammoth shower head — and the realism of the 1981 Paleolithic drama “Quest for Fire.”

“We’ve all seen the knuckle-dragging guys with clubs,” said Kirk DeMicco, who wrote and directed “The Croods” with “How to Train Your Dragon” writer-director Chris Sanders. “The big idea was to create a world where we could refresh everybody’s idea of what a caveman movie could look like, ’cause usually it’s just rocks and caves. We wanted to reinvent their physicality and the world they’re living in.”

In the case of Eep and Guy, their forms are dictated by their functions. She’s a densely muscled hunter who chases down her family’s dinner, climbing and scrambling across the landscape like a parkour runner. Guy, on the other hand, is wild-haired, lean and sinewy, with some useful accessories like a pet sloth that doubles as a belt and a pair of what can only be described as prehistoric Ugg boots.

“To Eep, Guy is the weight of a Barbie doll,” Sanders said. “Eep is unmistakably different from any other animated girl. And she’s really pretty for a caveman.”

– Rebecca Keegan

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