7 October 2014

Landslides in the movies part 1: The Croods

Posted by Dave Petley

The Croods

I thought it would be interesting to run an occasional series showing how landslides have been depicted in the movies and on television.  The first example I came across comes from The Croods, a Dreamworks animated film that was released last year.  The plot of the film is described here, but a key scene is one in which the family is forced from their home by a large rockfall.  This almost kills them, but of course they have a miraculous escape.  The rockfall sequence appears in the trailer at about 1 minute 20 secs:


The animation is pretty good.  The main collapse is preceded by some precursory small rockfalls (and the father of the family correctly deduces from this that a collapse is imminent – perhaps the first example of a landslide warning system? The main collapse event looks a little strange – in particular it is hard to see how the mass that is seen falling at 1 min 29 secs could release kinematically:

The Croods.

But the fragmentation that is occurring around the block is really good, as is the brief scene in which the mass is impacting on the floor of the canyon, with really nice capture of rock fragmentation on impact.  Somehow on the way down the large mass seen above appears to have fragmented though, which seems a little odd:

The Croods..

The rockfall generates a blast wave and dust cloud that envelopes the family, which is also well handled.

Suggestions for subsequent parts of this series are welcome.