Wallace and Gromit creator goes prehistoric with 'Early Man'

This Feb. 8, 2018 photo shows a puppet character named Dug, voiced by actor Eddie Redmayne, from the stop-motion animated film "Early Man," in front o

In this Feb. 8, 2018 photo, Nick Park, director of the stop-motion animated film "Early Man," and the voice of the wild boar character Hognob, cradles

In this Feb. 8, 2018 photo, Will Becher, an animation director for the stop-motion animated film "Early Man," moves the arm of the puppet character Du

Merlin Crossingham, left, and Will Becher, animation directors for the stop-motion animated film "Early Man," demonstrate a waving motion for the pupp

In this Feb. 8, 2018 photo, Merlin Crossingham, left, and Will Becher, animation directors for the stop-motion animated film "Early Man," discuss the

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The kooky caveman characters that come to life in "Early Man " have been kicking around in Nick Park's imagination for decades.

Long before he created Wallace and Gromit, Park was taken with Ray Harryhousen's animated dinosaurs in the 1966 Raquel Welch movie "One Million Years B.C."

Park pays homage to prehistoric times with "Early Man." The latest film from Aardman Studios continues with the same stop-motion techniques Harryhousen used.

"Early Man" is a claymation adventure about a tribe of colorful cave people who stake the future of their homeland on soccer showdown, despite not knowing how to play.

Bringing the tribe to life took nearly 40 animators working on multiple sets, with each on a good week generating a few seconds of footage.

"Early Man" opens in theaters Friday.