Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone
Directed by: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Written By: Chris Sanders, Kirk De Micco
Rating: PG (US) Running Time: 1 hr 38 min
I’ll start with what I found wrong, so that I can quickly move onto the good stuff. Story wise, this is pretty simplistic. The Croods (crudes – get it?!) have to adapt to survive. This point is made again, and again, and again. So anyone over the age of twelve may start to wonder why the film keeps repeatedly hammering home this point. Even repeating some jokes for good measure too. The film is also absent a lead character. At first the film’s central character seems to be Eep (Emma Stone), a head strong teenager tired of playing it safe and looking for adventure. By the end of the film she’s taken on a more supporting role and Grug (Nicolas Cage) is in charge. Grug being the super strong overly cautious overbearing parent. I feel if they’d focused the story on Grug or both characters as a team, the film may have moved beyond its basic theme, and be up there with other Dreamworks pictures such as Shrek or even How to Train Your Dragon.
The Croods makes up for the perfunctory story with the quality of the animation on show. It also boasts some of the most interesting character and creature design I’ve seen since Avatar! The movement and design of the Crood family, especially Grug is perfect. The assorted animal designs are really interesting, and the film can be hilarious at times. The action set pieces are really slickly created, and the whole thing is never boring.
If you’ve enjoyed other Dreamworks releases like Rio and Bolt and the first Ice Age movie, you’ll enjoy this too. The kids are going to be entertained, and there’s enough in this for adults to enjoy too. Just don’t expect a great story.
Best viewing format:
This is a beautifully animated film so I suggest a cheaper matinee 2D viewing if you can make it. At home a HD viewing is a must. A streaming or regular DVD just won’t do the great visuals any justice.
Best moments for me: << very mild spoilers >>
The first moment of action as the Croods head out to get breakfast does an excellent job of introducing the family, and it’s hilarious! “Release the BABY!” Also later, when Grug is trying to compete with the some what more modern human – Guy. At times it reminded me of the older looney tunes animation. Very funny!