The Croods Movie Review
Eep, Grug, Ugga, Thunk. No, I’m not babbling incoherently (although I’m known to do that from time to time), I’m actually repeating the names of the prehistoric family from Dreamworks most recent animated adventure, THE CROODS. A fun-loving, light-hearted family film, THE CROODS combines cartoony wackiness, gorgeous visuals, universal humor and positive life lessons that is perfect for kids and parents alike.
Whether it be stepped on by large dinosaurs, eaten by unknown creatures or simply a common cold, nearly all the prehistoric neanderthal families have become extinct. By teaching his family to fear everything new and different, the Croods patriarch Grug (voiced by the infinitely better Nicolas Cage when we don’t have to endure another crazy hair piece) has kept his family alive longer than most. Spending days at a time locked away in the safety of their cave, The Croods are literally sheltered from all the world has to offer.
However, when Grug’s curious daughter Eep (voiced by the always adorable Emma Stone) sneaks out one evening, she meets a guy named… Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds). Guy explains to Eep that the world is going to end. “Dun dun duuuuuun.” After the Croods home is destroyed and the family nearly dies, Grug reluctantly agrees that they should follow Guy in an adventurous prehistoric road trip to find a new home.
The key component to THE CROODS likability is the great cast of silly characters. Joining Grug, Eep and Guy are Grug’s wife Ugga (voiced by Catherine Keener), their dimwitted son (even for cavemen) Thunk (voiced by Clark Duke from ‘The Office’), their growling animal like baby Sandy, and much to Grug’s dismay, his mother-in-law Gran (voiced by the more popular with age Cloris Leachman). And I must not forget Guy’s furry little long-armed pet Belt, who adds the film’s beloved catch phrase for danger that kid’s will surely be repeating long after they see the film.
Leaving the dry, rocky, desolate home behind, The Croods encounter a beautiful new land. The luscious rich environment is full of color and life replicating a world straight from Pandora. Of course for the Croods, this means more fear and the misuse of brute force. To be fair, from the shifting earth to flesh eating bugs, there is quite a bit of danger they encounter. But with Guy’s brilliant ideas including shoes and small suns (also known as fire), the family can take on just about anything. The real challenge is for Grug to realize that change can be good and that he needs to allow his daughter to grow up, find love and live her own life.
THE CROODS is fast paced and fun with a wide scope of creativity and color, which is enhanced further by some wonderful 3D work, not missing any detail. Unfortunately, the film suffers from an easily avoidable misstep, dragging on about ten minutes too long. Other than that, THE CROODS is fully aware of the target audience. While perhaps a little dark, the film is never too scary as the characters are as indestructible as Tom and Jerry. No matter how big or small, even the perceived villainous creatures are cute and huggable. The jokes will invite children to laugh out loud while still tickling the parents to no end. And that timeless ability is an impressive feat worth seeing.