Producers: Kristine Belson, Jane Hartwell
Directors: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Writers: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders, John Cleese
Music: Alan Silvestri
Voice Cast: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Chris Sanders, Randy Thom
Synopsis: After their cave is destroyed, a caveman family must trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy.
MPAA Rating: Rated PG for some scary action
Shine Your Way
There's a difference between living, and simply not dying....
Flintstones! Meet the Flintstones! They're the modern stone stage fami.....wait...wrong prehistoric family. Oops, my bad. No, we're here to talk about the Croods, one of the world's first prehistoric families; courtesy of Dreamworks. Like all families in today's pop culture media, Dreamworks portrays them exactly how you'd expect them to be. They have an overprotective father figure who has a good heart, but he's a bit dimwitted.
You have an old mother in law that loves to give the father a hard time. You have a rebellious teenage daughter, who constantly rebels against her father. You also have a dumb a** little brother, and a mom who's basically a Mary Sue. Meaning the father is just a dumb schmuck that was lucky enough to be with her. Wow, did Dreamworks suddenly decide to borrow hints on making up a fake family from the Disney channel or something?
Although to be fair, they did introduce a younger daughter, whom acts more like animal than an actual human throughout most of this feature. But then again, you can easily argue that kind of rips off the idea from the former Nickelodeon show called, "The Wild Thornberries."
However, with those common stereotypes about how families are portrayed in media aside, how does the movie hold up? Quite well if I'm to be honest. Not only would I say this is arguably one of Dreamworks better movies, but it's probably one of the best family films that I've ever seen.
The film essentially follows a neanderthal family known as the Croods, whom spends most of their days inside the safety of their dark cave; with the only notable exception of whenever they need to hunt for food. Fearful of the dangerous outside world, as their neighbors were victims of various prehistoric creatures. One family even died because of the common flu virus.
Needless to say, this prompts the father to very protective of his kin. Making up elaborate stories to scare the family into playing it safe. Never allowing curiosity to get the better of them, and always telling them that change is bad.
However, all that changes one day when they meet a young inventor named Guy, who not only invents fire, but he even manages to show the Croods that there's more to life than playing it safe. And due to an elaborate series of events, the Croods find themselves on an adventure that'll change their lives forever.
As a wise man once said, change can be frightening. Hell, change can sometimes be dangerous, and not always a great thing. However, without change, we can never learn to grow. Without change, we can never know what we're truly capable of. And sometimes, change can be a good thing as well.
Sure, fear can keep you from doing something moronically stupid like jumping into a shark tank for example. But, one shouldn't live the rest of their lives in fear, as that's not living at all. That's merely not dying....There's a difference.
"The Croods" touches on all these issues rather well. Sure, the trailers can be a bit misleading to where you'd think this is probably just another run of the mill animated comedy, but don't let that fool you. There's a lot more deeper stuff going on with this film that might surprise you.
Plus, the direction of this film was very well done, and you can tell they definitely put a lot of effort into the animation. The CGI imagery is very well detailed, and I have to applaud Dreamworks for coming up with a lot of unique character and prehistoric creature designs. Definitely miles ahead of those lousy overrated "Ice Age" films made by one of their competitors.
As for the voice acting, I thought everyone played their parts rather well. The actors had a lot of great chemistry together. And even though the whole rebellious teenage daughter and strict father figure cliche has been done to death in most TV sitcoms and movies, this one still managed to feel very genuine and heartfelt; mainly because of the rapport that Emma Stone and Nicolas Cage had off each other.
It's almost a shame that there isn't an Oscar for "Best Voice Actor/Actress" in a film, as Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone would definitely be the favorites.
Overall, "The Croods" was a great film to watch, as it moves at a nice pace. The story is executed very well, with some great animated visuals. Sure, kids might enjoy this movie for it's humor, but adults will definitely come to love it as well, as there's a lot of deep stuff here. However, don't take my word for it. Go check it out for yourself, as it's worth seeing with a rating of four out of four.
© 2014 Steven Escareno