The Croods, 2013.
Directed by Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco.
Featuring the voice talents of Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Cloris Leachman, Catherine Keener and Clark Duke.
A prehistoric family go on a road trip to an uncharted and fantastical world.
The Croods is the latest in the ever increasing Dreamworks Animation collection. Set at the dawn of the “New World”, The Croods are the last surviving caveman family on God’s less-than-green Earth.
Taking solace in their cave and hunting for food as a family are really the only activities they see or do, as over-protective Dad Grug (Nic Cage) believes that anything outside the norm is bad, much to the annoyance of his eldest daughter, Eep (Emma Stone).
She wants to explore and break free of the cave’s dark hold, and soon she comes across Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a young rapscallion who ends up helping the Croods to safety with the impending end of the world.
Playing like an Ice Age-after-Ice Age, The Croods is sure to have success across the world for its visual merits. Think Pandora as made by Toys R Us. Everything’s bold and bright, and the 3D element adds a nice dimension to the scope of the film, beautifully realising all the magical colours and textures the Croods’ world has to offer.
Additionally, as is commonplace with animation these days, an eclectic mix of A-listers lend their tones to proceedings. And this group sound like their having a ball: Cage is (good performance alert) great as the protective Dad who comes to learn the error of his ways, while Stone and Reynolds add their always infectious energy to proceedings.
Sure, the story is flimsy and the humour comes more from the surroundings (spiky floors, fire hazards) and strange creatures (strange pigs playing fetch) than anything clever or subversive, a la Madagascar or Shrek. No bad thing for the little ones, but nothing substantial for anyone out of its demographic.
Not at all crude, The Croods will do its job this Easter by satisfying its target audience with colour, wonder and warmth. It’s doesn’t break any new ground in terms of its animation, story or its A-list vocal talent, but is sure to help parents worldwide keep their kids attention for 90 mins.
Flickering Myth Rating: Film ★ ★ ★ / Movie ★ ★ ★