"DreamWorks thought it would be entertaining to take modern stereotypes and put them back in history during the caveman times," Loosli said. "It's got a lot of relatable elements for today's families to connect with. Animation in 'The Croods' takes us to a new location we wouldn't have been able to see otherwise."
3-D technology has come a long way as well and is a popular option for animated features. ("The Croods" is available in 3-D.)
"When 'Finding Nemo' was made, 3-D software was nowhere as sophisticated as it is today," Loosli said. "What you see with 3-D is a level of detail in movies you didn't see previously in other movies.
"When we first started making movies in 3-D, what we created was limited on what we thought computers could do. But now there are more options available, allowing 3-D to be more compelling."
Loosli pointed to other examples of how technology has improved the process over the years.
"A lot of dynamics were used in the movie 'Cars.' Animators would animate the car and then add computer-controlled data to it. So the way we see the cars bouncing on the road because of its weight, the animator didn't have to animate that. All the animator had to do was move the car from point A to point B and computer software would calculate the way that car is going to react on different surfaces."
It's also becoming a more global process. According to Loosli, Illumination Entertainment's "Despicable Me" was written in Los Angeles, animated in France and distributed by Universal Studios.
"Usually, animation movies are produced in a huge studio," Loosli said. "This process allowed the film to be made so inexpensively compared to if it was produced in one large studio."
Kylie Lewis is an intern for the Deseret News, where she writes for Mormon Times and does other feature articles. She recently graduated from Brigham Young University-Idaho, receiving a bachelor's degree in communications.
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