The Croods Film Review
If trailers for The Croods, the first animated film of 2013, were any indication, it would be a movie worth skipping. But seeing as how the previews do not do the film any justice, it is definitely worth seeing with the family.
The world’s first family live their lives by one simple rule: never not be afraid. It’s fear that’s allowed them to survive while other cave dwelling families have perished. Dad Grugg (Nicholas Cage) is the head of the family. Eep (Emma Stone) is the rebellious older daughter. Though the father/daughter dynamic is familiar to modern day families, it never veers into the cliché. The rest of the family is content to follow Grugg’s rules, as doing so keeps them safe. They don’t mind confinement and darkness in the cave. Eep however, yearns for a better tomorrow and the light.
What the Croods soon find is that their world is about to change. Eep meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who has newly discovered fire. Things get off to a shaky start when he meets her crazy family. After their home is destroyed, Guy is forced to come along for the trip as they seek out a new home.
The cross-country road trip, named by Grugg, is eventful as new dangers lurk. Our prehistoric family finds themselves having to adapt, Grugg especially. Dad has always protected the family and kept fear close, but Guy is modern and full of ideas, and never afraid. He inspires some envy on Grugg’s part and the overprotective dad mode when he sees how close he gets to Eep.
Hidden amidst the dysfunctional family bonding, the wild animals, and action packed scenes is a very touching story of a father and his daughter. And though the Croods are the world’s first family, there’s a new, yet wholly familiar perspective on the meaning of family, and it’s at the core of the film. What directors Chris Sanders (Lilo and Snitch, How to Train Your Dragon), and Kirk Demicco have done is craft a genuine story with hilarious and lovable characters that you root for until the very end. They’re people you’d want in your own family.
Nicholas Cage and Emma Stone are excellent in their roles, and the same can be said for the rest of the cast, which includes Cloris Leachman as the grandmother.
There’s a strong story complete with strong characters and there is also the animation. The Croods is absolutely breathtaking to see, especially in 3D. The scenery is expansive and colorful, and the designs are all so crisp and beautifully rendered. The credits even showcase the charming hand drawn design. As with DreamWorks’ Rise of the Guardians last November, this film’s visuals are stunning, and they strengthen a sincere, heartfelt movie that proves DreamWorks clout as a leading animation studio.