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CGIFeature Film

Dreamworks Teases “Guardians” and “Croods”

Two Dreamworks publicity pieces, created for display at Toy Fair (currently going on in New York), have been leaked online and they look intriguing.

First up, a look at the Easter Bunny, the Tooth Fairy, Santa Claus and Jack Frost by way of William Joyce’s Guardians of Childhood. Dreamworks’ adaptation, Rise of The Guardians, will be released this year on November 21st.

Next, Chris Sanders is following up his firstDreamworks success–How To Train Your Dragon–with a caveman adventure, The Croods, due out next year – March 22, 2013. Can’t wait!

(via Bleeding Cool)

  • DCollard

    I don’t care for the designs of The Croods, but I’ve been surprised before.

    • mike B.

      That was the first thing I noticed about both of these images. The character design quality is really low.
      These look more like direct to dvd than theatrical releases.

      • J.M.

        The cover of Rise of the Guardians looks like one of them knock off indian direct to DVD releases from early 2000 right?

  • Mike

    I’ll have to wait and see ’em in motion but DANG, right now almost all of those character designs look incredibly unappealing to me.

  • TT

    My first impressions are just…’meh’. I never would have guessed that these were by Dreamworks, had I seen these posters out on the street. There’s a second-rate, mid-00’s, European feeling to them – especially Guardians.

    But Chris Sanders can do no wrong in my eyes, his involvement is the only reason I’m interested in Croods.

    Between these and Turbo, I have to say I am very surprised by Dreamworks. And not in a good way.

    • wgan

      Chris Sanders’ designs sometime turn me off, not saying they are bad, they are just not much different from each other whatever it’s human kid, alien or dragon.

  • M. Seegz

    The Croods looks like it’s well on its way to becoming a Nickelodeon TV series.

  • Is “Guardians” an animation executive buzzword or something?

  • I’m afraid I’m not too excited. I think the designs of both films look ugly, unappealing and unartistic. But I must admit, I didn’t really care about “How To Train Your Dragon” either…

  • Actually, what happened to those gorgeous and lovable Chris Sanders designs he showed in “Lilo & Stitch”? I’d easily fall for another film based on his personal artwork.

    • DianeM

      If you look at the cat design in the piece the eyes & nose are right off of his personal artwork in design and style. Looking forward to this Mr. Sanders!

  • Ouch!

  • Hank

    Wow…how incredibly BLAND. Especially that caveman cartoon.

  • Matt Sullivan

    Is it just me or does that Jack Frost lookin dude remind you of that Twilight vampire femmy guy?

    • wgan

      righto, teens need that sick figure to buy the ticket

  • Scarabim

    Agree about Turbo. Dumbest idea for an animated film EVER.

  • Dino

    Guardians looks AMAZING, if you really like smirking.

    • Anexplosion

      I LOVE smirking!

  • Alissa

    Well, the saber-tooth kitty’s cute. Santa looks suitably creepy for someone who knows when you are sleeping. Gotta say I don’t care for Frost’s design too much, gives too much of a Disney-esque child star pop singer vibe to me.

    And nobody appears to be using the Dreamwork’s smarm brow, so that’s an improvement, I guess?

  • anonymous

    I will reserve judgement on these till the films come out,they are just posters after all! Does anyone else find Dreamworks seems to have this pattern of releasing a entertaining film followed by a a couple of less enthralling ones ( or sequels) before presenting the public with another excitable project.

  • Clint H.

    Man, the GUARDIANS ones looks terrible! I hope that it’s at least decent. The CROODS one is just ‘meh’.

  • Dan Kyder

    I’m a little surprised there is so little evidence of Sander’s style in his film there.

    Surprised and a little sad… and worried

    I have total faith though. He’s got me through the cinema door with his name on this alone. I would love to be blown away once I’m sat down…

  • I think “The Croods” was originally an Aardman/Dreamworks production and I think I am right when I say it was written by John Cleese, or he at least had some input. Unfortunately I am not getting the same levels of excitement that I would expect from a project involving either of those names. However I, like everyone will be in a much better position to judge when we see the trailer though, at this stage these posters are neither use nor ornament.

    • Neil Emmett

      Yeah, I remember Cleese being attached as screenwriter back when it was “Crood Awakening”. He’s not credited as a writer on the film’s IMDB profile anymore so I’m guessing that nothing of his script remains, if he even got started on one.

  • James

    Oh, God….that Rise of the Guardians looks so bad, especially with those horrid designs. I’ll gladly miss that one.

    The Croods looks interesting, but that poster’s a bit on the ugly and unappealing side. I hope that one is able to do more with its prehistoric 1 million BC setting than the Ice Age series. Sanders’ involvement gives me hope.

  • The Croods reminds me of a short about a caveman from 2004 that Blur did called In the Rough. the main caveman looks like a long lost brother.


  • Oh look….more CG films!

    I’m definitely suffering from CG malaise. CG is becoming so damned prevalent that there’s no sense of wonder to any of it anymore. These dreadful DreamWorks posters do nothing but add more nails to the CG animated film coffin for me personally.

    The early Disney musical of the late 80s and early 90s were just so fresh because there was nothing else like them out there. But that Disney winning formula became so mundane round about the time that Disney decided to do one animated film a year.

    For me, the same holds true for CG now. There’s so much of it between TV and the cinema that it’s all just so commonplace. It just holds no magic whatsoever. The danger is that the “magic” of CG for the general public won’t be enough to pull people into the theaters either. I believe that eventually there will be general apathy towards CG as there was of the Disney formula after the mid-90’s when “Hunchback” and “Pocahontas” were released.

    Strangely enough, I would be more interested in these films, even if the designs remained essentially the same, if these films were made as traditional 2D or in stop motion animation (the designs for Guardians remind me a bit of the Rankin-Bass productions of the 60s and 70s).

    But more CG? Ho hum……

    • how dare Dreamworks continue to put out CG movies and keep about 1700 people employed! The nerve of them!

      Hey Pierre. ;)

      • Hey Mike… ;) right back at you.

      • Yeah Mike, I’m thinking that with my comment I probably won’t find myself employed anytime soon by any major CG animation companies…me and my big middle-aged mouth.

      • Jim

        I really don’t get why there’s this attitude that CG and hand-drawn are somehow competitive mediums and one HAS to be superior to the other.

        “Oh, CG will NEVER be as appealing or better then hand-drawn, blah blah blah”

        Neither is better then the other. Neither should replace one another or go away. Each one is it’s own distinct art form with it’s own strengths and weaknesses.

        No one ever rants on their blog about how stop motion is somehow inferior to hand-drawn. They see hand-drawn and stop motion as two different mediums with their own strengths and weaknesses.

        Why is it different with CG? Why is CG seen as the inferior medium?

      • Rajesh

        Because stop motion retains the warmth and artist “fingerprints” drawings naturally have (even when drawn on computers).

        CG tends to have no warmth, no humanity, and these images do little to help its case.

        The secondary dragons from HtTyD and Furious 5 designs from KFP were right on the money. Sadly, they’ve stepped away from that.

        These may still be enjoyable movies. Megamind certainly was.

      • I think its quite possible for minimal CG character designs to be employed in a way that is both appealing and engaging. Perfect example for me is “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs” but even that took a witty script, fantastic character animation and snappy action and was not a success based on its medium alone.

        You are 100% right when you say that these images do little to help its case.

      • Tom

        I sure wish the movie execs could see through your eyes. If only traditional animation was seen as an alternative art form and not an expensive, time-consuming process extinct outside of Asia.

    • Tom

      Pierre, I agree with you and I hope CG ‘s popularity starts declining starting now from overload, but from what I’ve been seeing, it ain’t gonna happen. American audiences are into fast, loud, obnoxious, shock-and-awe stuff with little sense and story. CG animation has delivered. The fact that something like Despicable Me has made nearly half a billion dollar worldwide tells me that America seems to be addicted to this stuff.

      I want to say “bring back 2D animation,” but that’s just a dream at this point. A nice, impossible dream.

  • Lime

    And here I was complaining that the ‘Brave’ poster was too dark, glowy and with no characters… and now we get posters with nothing but characters…

    This just seems like a poster design failure… I’m sure the films will be fine.

    The character design on the other hand, cannot be saved… why do all CG characters need short legs? Let them run, let them be free, let them be functional at least… (looking at you ‘incredibles’, ‘kung fu panda’, ‘how to train your dragon’) I mean I understand the need to stylise but they still need to look like they can move never mind slay dragons, fight crime and master kung fu…

    • amid

      This is not a movie poster. It’s a promo piece for Toy Fair.

      • Lime

        Ah, my mistake. Right you are.

  • Was My Face REd

    The trouble with ploughing a very narrow furrow in terms of design is that soon, when we’re seen too many films that look the same, we’ll stop getting excited about new ones. They might be great movies when you actually watch them but in the pre-sales we’ll feel we’ve seen them before and they won’t generate any buzz – and if you’re that little bit more media savvy you’ll sense attempts to kick-start franchises too. These don’t feel tales someone was burning to tell. They feel like cast pitches for new TV series.

  • Hard to tell but the story ideas sound strong for both films so I think in the end we will be surprised.

  • Justin

    Guardians seams kinda interesting. I kinda dig the idea they have for that.

    As for the the other one.. Ill pass

  • Wow…Really underwhelming. I’ve been a Joyce fan for forever and I collect all of his books. ‘Guardians’ is a fantastic series and the inside art is incredible. The character designs I see here captured NONE of the spirit of the book. Shocking…..and sad.

  • Barry J

    Hmmm- I like both images. They both look like they could be interesting films.
    Odd, though, that many of the Guardians characters look evil.

  • For some reason Chris Sanders’ characters look kinda ugly in CGI, especially on still poses. To be fair his human characters look kind of weird even in traditional animation, but the line of the drawing has some “flair” that makes them more appealing (especially when he draws sexy girls). In CGI the line is not there and everybody looks sort of fat and ugly. That happened with the first posters of How To Train Your Dragon. But then, the characters look quite well in motion, so I’m not worried.

  • Don Adams

    Shame on you guys! The Shrek crew had to move onto something next, right?

    • Mike

      Heh….by the look of these, more like the Shark Tale crew! (zing!)

    • Tom

      ..which is something that Pixar is having a tough time achieving: no sequels. I say, bring on the originality, even if they are a bit dry like these. I’d take Croods over Cars3 or Toy Story 4 any day.

  • Both movies seem interesting. “Rise of the Guardians” has some really interesting designs. “The Groods” looks like a mash between “Ice Age” and the Flintstones. Can’t wait to see them.

  • Russell H

    Based on the posters alone, I’d be more inclined to go see THE CROODS than GUARDIANS. The characters on the GUARDIANS poster may be styled as different high-fantasy archetypes, but all have essentially the same expression, a sort of wise-guy ‘tude smirk that tells me nothing about who they really are. The characters in the CROODS poster, however, not only look different but have different expressions that give me some hint of what their personalities might be like.

  • Thank god, not everything has to be blocky.
    The Croodds looks like Chris Sanders characters.

  • DJ

    Are these Posters found at the Fisher Price Display of the Toy Fair?

  • Larry

    Wow, so much judgement from posters — not even real posters, but posters made over a year ago for LAST YEAR’S TOY FAIR, designed for the sole purpose of introducing the characters to toy makers.

    There are ACTUAL posters of “Rise of the Guardians” on display in movie theaters, that show humor and (thankfully) better design. Why don’t you put those up, Brewmasters, so people can judge based on what Dreamworks wanted the public to see?

    Or, you know, wait to judge a film until you see the film. Blog posts and comments like these here are the reason Hollywood greenlights movies based on a poster.

  • Sarah J

    When I first heard about “Rise of the Guardians” I was like “meh”, but seeing this poster… I’m not gonna lie, the character designs are WAY cooler than I expected them to be. Chris Sanders is still the main reason I’m gonna see The Croods, but like Guardians, the poster does look cooler than I expected.

  • Rick

    As far as I know, Chris Sanders did not design the characters for the Croods when I was chatting with him last year. On the other hand, I would prefer them that they have Nicolas Marlet (How To Train Your Dragon) involving the character designs though.

  • Albert

    It’s amazing how quickly people past judgement on things these days.When I first saw Rango and How to train your Dragon, I was skeptical too then pleasantly surprises at how good they were. I would have thought by now people would have learned to stop judging things on short trailers, fuzzy screenshots and posters and wait to hear more about it or at least a trailer or two.

  • Sam

    I might see one of these movies depending on what the trailers look like. I just wish Dreamworks would release a feature film that is hand drawn animation. The Prince of Egypt and The Road to El Dorado were amazing and I’d like to see more of that.

  • Dave

    I look at the Guardians poster and think: Heat Miser and Cold Miser: The Early Years.