The Croods

The Croods

Dreamworks Animation’s “The Croods” is easily the silliest, most cartoonish animated movie I’ve seen in a long time. It seemed to me to be even more squarely aimed at children than most modern animated offerings are nowadays.

Regardless, it’s fun, funny, brightly colored and spiritedly animated. It’s definitely a family friendly slice of entertainment.

It’s totally worth it to take your brood to “The Croods”.

Grug (Nic Cage) is a caveman faced with the daunting challenge of keeping his family safe in dangerous, prehistoric times. To do this, he insists they all stay shut in a cave except to hunt for food. This doesn’t sit well with Eep (Emma Stone), a teen girl who’s anxious to experience more of the world. One night, against her father’s wishes, she sneaks out of the cave and encounters Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a more advanced human, who, among other things, has mastered fire.

Her father is incensed, of course, but the encounter couldn’t have happened at a better time. Guy is aware that the lands they live in are undergoing violent upheaval. Earthquakes and volcanic activity are rapidly approaching the area of the Crood’s home. Their only hope is to try to outrun the cataclysm and take to higher ground. So Grug takes his son (Clark Duke), Wife (Catherine Keener), Mother in Law (Chloris Leachman), and youngest daughter and reluctantly heads off with Eep and Guy towards safe haven.

On the way towards safety, Grug and clan have to cross unfamiliar terrain and survive numerous obstacles they’ve never encountered before, including new predators. Grug is further challenged by the fact that Guy, with all his comparative worldliness, has better ides for combating these challenges than he does. It isn’t long before his family is deferring to Guy in critical situations, rather than to him.

So, with the Earth crumbling behind him, vicious prehistoric plants and animals all around, and a young boy after his daughter’s heart and his family’s minds, will Grug be able to get his family to safety and keep their love and respect at the same time? 

The plot of “The Croods” is even more simplistic and straightforward than most animated fare. With the earth crumbling behind them, the Croods are forced to outrace it to safety. As far as characters go, Stone’s Eep develops a crush on Reynold’s Guy, which causes her father to be protective at first, and later, when the family begins to follow Guy as well, he also becomes jealous. I understand that animated films aren’t typically a bastion of themes and character development, but “The Croods” seems even less concerned with it than most. Instead it spends its runtime having its characters be chased by predators, falling over cliffs, and smashing their faces into rocks.

Which I’m certain will be a complaint that will be widely levied against it, but personally I can’t hold it against the movie too much. “The Croods” takes a much more whimsical approach than most recent animated movies I can recall. It uses the “Prehistoric” setting as a license to reimagine the planet… with giant colorful flora and all manner of bizarrely designed animal characters. None of which seem to have much basis in prehistory as I understand it. Within this colorful playground, the characters have a fast paced, run for your life style adventure, with frequent bursts of child friendly humor such as tripping and falling, getting things dropped on people’s heads, and talking animals who crack wise. It was refreshing, actually, and reminded me at times of a full length Hannah Barbera movie.

Fast paced, silly, and visually unique, “The Croods” is good family fun, especially for families with younger children.

A-

Daniel Fogarty

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58 thoughts on “The Croods

  1. Can’t wait to see this one. Unfortunately for me, Uncle Toad called dibs and is taking the squirt to see it this afternoon. Guess I’ll have to wait.

  2. You know I was hoping from the trailers this would be exactly what it was, mindless, rip roaring animated fun with a little bit of heart that leaves a smile on your face! Nice Fogs!

    • Yeah, you nailed it Ric. It was. It was sillier and more “rip roaring” than most nowadays. Definitely aimed more directly at kids, but I thought that was great. We get plenty of “All Ages” animated flicks, its good to see one that just wants to be silly fun for kids.

  3. What have they (whoever they may be) done to me…I could not make it through this one even if I paid my exorbitant fee and sat in the perfect spot. I’d break out in hives 30 seconds in. I won’t elaborate so as not to freak out/offend anyone else :D

      • Why can’t they make movies about smart families? Or at least ones with a father who could never be mistaken for a chimp? It just bothers me…and I live that kind of humor but I’m letting the other stuff get in the way I guess :(

      • Ohhhh they make those movies too, cmon. Last Summer we saw Brave, that was a family with a dad who wasn’t a chimp. Although… the Mama did get turned into a bear. LOL :D

  4. Been hearing lots of great things about this one, which comes as a surprise. My daughter’s really looking forward to seeing it, and I’m starting to as well.

    • It was pretty surprising, Bubba. But I think the fact that they aimed it down a little is going to be divisive…

      Personally, I appreciated it. You know? Let’s get a kids movie that’s authentically for kids!

  5. I just saw it today and I loved it. There was adult humor in it, especially if you have your own family. I liked the movie for a lot of the reasons you mentioned. It was whimsical, simplistic, they made their own world instead of trying be realistic. I hate realistic movies, which is why I am drawn to animation, Sci-Fi and Fantasy.

    I was the one chuckling the most throughout the movie. I found the way they made fun of humans hilarious. I find humor in making fun of humans as a whole and this movie had it.

    • Great! That’s good to hear. Glad Im not the only one who saw it and liked it!

      This movie definitely didnt have any problems poking fun at people, especially Cage’s caveman protagonist, who they made to look like an absolute ass at certain points in time :D In a funny way, of course.

      I liked how they gave him his redemption at the end, too, though.

  6. my daughter has me pegged for this I think. glad to hear it’s fun without concerning itself with other themes that tiny little minds don’t need to care about. That’s my tiny mind, not hers! ;)

  7. Amen, Brother. It was funny and had heart. Loved it. Saw it in 2D but I got so wrapped up in the story that at no time did I think “This scene would look good in 3D”. Definitely way better than “Escape From Planet Earth”. I am looking forward to owning the BD of this one.

    • Ah. So you’re the person who went to see “Escape From Planet Earth”! LOL :D JK, but neither I nor your son have seen that one yet… one of the few to get past the TPMP goalies completely.

      The 3d WAS good though, Al, I suppose I should have mentioned it. I think I’m beginning to take that stuff for granted, LOL

      • So I’m the only one who liked Escape from Planet Earth. I’m easy to please. I never concern myself with deep plots and analyzing everything, lol..

  8. I got nostalgic watching all the three to ten year old kids holding their parents hands as they walked out after the movie was over. My kids are all grown (although my 24 year old did go with us she did not hold daddy’s hand and laugh on the way out of the theater like all the other kids). Just solid family film making. It doesn’t rise to the levels of greatness that we might hope for, but you are right it is like a better animated Hanna Barbera movie.

    • Glad you caught my meaning there Richard. It just seemed like it was one of those Saturday morning cartoons where the characters were always running into things and getting hit by things, and all the sound effects go off…

      I liked it, but I can see why a lot of critics/reviewers wouldnt, thus its 64% on Rotten Tomatoes…

  9. Whoa, an A-! Does that mean there’s finally a film that breaks the curse of the ICEE cup? (I’ve noticed that any time Cinemark has a promotion where they use a movie for a “collector’s cup”, the movie always stinks.)

    • LOL. I dont know, man. I dont pay attention to ICEE cups. Although I do have a Twilight cup (I saved it for the Blog-a-thon and then totally forgot to use it, LOL)

      Meanwhile, yes, the Croods was fun and recommendable. Childish, certainly, but fun. ;)

  10. A- eh? I thought you were gonna hate it after I read this ‘It seemed to me to be even more squarely aimed at children than most modern animated offerings are nowadays.’ I saw the trailer again in front of Oz today and it looks fun enough, but I probably just rent this one. I didn’t even go to the press screening, ahah.

    • At least you got a Press Screening. LOL. I’m on the list for my area, but they dont screen anything in Hartford. LOL.

      Anyways, it definitely is more of a KIDS movie than most kid’s movies nowadays, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t fun. By the end, it won me over, I have to admit. :D

  11. “The Croods is good family fun, especially for families with younger children.” Completely agree. The moral criticizing overprotective fathers was a little odd though.

    • I dont know that it was the “moral” per se… And in fairness, he was a little out of control with it… although I guess circumstances warranted it.

      Still, he redeemed himself quite nicely by the end!

  12. I’m not an animation fan, but I will admit that I have been using a line from the trailer on my team at work every time they moan about me changing things.

    “New is always bad!”

    • Wait til you see it, I doubt anyone who sees it will be able to avoid going “Dun Dun DAAAHHH…” like the little sloth does. :D LOL

      The phrase “I’m not an animation fan” does not compute though! Why not Abbi? Got have some love for the ‘toons! :D

      Oh! And that statement looks a little off, next to your gravatar!! 8O :D

      • I don’t the traditional Disney type stuff. Mostly because I don’t like the black and white moralisation and often find the treatment of female characters to perpetuate unpleasant stereotypes. I love a bit of South Park though and I like Studio Ghibli. I think it probably is time for a new gravatar though :P.

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