Starring the Voices of: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke.
Rated: PG. Animated. Running Time: 1 hour 38 minutes.
The Croods are a family bent on survival, who often forget the importance of living. Of course, they are in prehistoric times and face various danger every time they leave their cave. But their overprotective father, Grug (Cage), has become excessively paranoid after witnessing the obliteration of all the neighbors. He imposes his will on the others by sharing nightly fables outlining his rules. Grugg’s rules consist of absolutely never trying anything new, waiting for the signal every morning before hunting as a pack and hunkering down in the cave before sunset. These rules suit most of the family just fine, with the exception of Eep (Stone). Eep despises the cave and hates the dark even worse. One night, as her family sleeps, she breaks the cardinal rule and leaves the cave to further investigate some noise outside. This event is the first in many that result in a transformation for Eep, her family and everyone’s way of life. She also meets a male her age, appropriately named Guy (Reynolds), who introduces the family to all sorts of new things, including fire. The entire family seems intrigued by the young man, with the exception of Grug, who feels a growing resentment toward this new leader and his innovative ideas.
We see A LOT of kids movies and most of them are very good. The Croods is certainly no exception. It started a little slow, but once Eep left the cave and met Guy things really opened up. And, for the second movie in a row (Oz the G+P being the first), I felt the 3D effects enhanced the viewing experience. The two films are a bit similar, in the rich and colorful landscapes and wildlife, and the 3D makes them burst through the screen. A personal favorite in The Croods, is the huge flock of seemingly harmless red birds who descend upon their prey and strip them to the bone like piranhas in a matter of seconds. Make no mistake, it’s a dangerous place where the Croods live, and they have to keep moving. Along the way there are some wonderful lessons portrayed here. Learning from your mistakes and admitting when you’re wrong. Discovering how to trust and work with others. Never giving up, and as a parent, knowing when to let go. I’m not sure The Croods is going to crack the upper echelon of my animated favorites, but it was an enjoyable romp, well written, original and had me walking out of the theater with a smile on my face.
I agree, the 3D was a welcome enhancement once again. As Ross just said, we see A LOT of kids movies, because we like to take Ethan with us. I thought The Croods was the best one we’ve seen since Wreck-It Ralph, but I also don’t see it cracking my all time favorites. Those spots are reserved for my early years of Disney movies and my coveted sing-a-longs. The lessons were also a welcome addition and some important subjects were broached. Like trying new things, opening your mind, staying positive and expressing your feelings. It’s more important than ever that we try to share these lessons with young people and a lot of these movies prove to be effective segues. Of course, you don’t always need a movie just to have a nice chat with your kids.
Absolutely, parents are the number one role models and teachers, as they should be. But it is nice when Hollywood gives a helping hand too. Also, voice acting is an underrated talent IMO, and this cast does a wonderful job. Ryan Reynolds, Cloris Leachman, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke (who sounds like a young Michael J. Fox BTW), Emma Stone and Nicolas Cage really “fit” their characters perfectly. And in a positive side note, Maria, who is far removed from being a Nic Cage fan, didn’t have to “look at his stupid face.” The Croods, a win-win-win movie. Enjoy!
Maria’s Rating: 3.5 Gummy Bears out of 5.
Ross’ Rating: 3.5 Gummies.