The Croods: A New Story of an Ancient Time
8 Out Of 10 Stars
As much as I love movies, it’s hard for me to remember the last time I saw one in the theater. “The Croods” was certainly worth the trip, and the Icee I got didn’t hurt either! “The Croods” is not about real cavemen of the past, but cavemen on an Earth-like planet, populated by few humans with lots of fantastical creatures. The movie begins with narration by the young woman, Eep, voiced by Emma Stone. Eep is the oldest child of the three Crood children, and is discontented with her family’s way of life. She loves the light and is filled with curiosity (a virtue that the family strongly discourages). Her father Grug, voiced by Nicolas Cage, serves as protector of his three children, his wife and his wife’s mother. Though each family member is capable and contributes to the family’s well-being, Grug assures their safely in the cave at night and leads the family hunts during sunshiny days. Eep gets her wish of a more exciting life, and Grug faces his greatest fear, when a mysterious and idea-filled young man enters their life. He leads the family to a safer place after their cave-home is destroyed… and earthquakes and volcanoes begin to approach rapidly.
The movie earns its PG rating from the intense situations and impending danger that the characters are almost constantly facing. Much of the film’s comedy comes from slapstick action that generated laughs from both adults and children in the theater. There are gently romantic moments between Eep and Guy, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, and Grug and his wife Ugga, voiced by Katherine Keener. Though, there is a LOT of physical fighting between the characters, it is clear that the entire family is loving and devoted to each other above all else.
Many of the creatures featured are stunningly colored and animated beautifully. I was surprised and touch by the way the cavemen and animals begin to bond in the movie. At the beginning of the movie, they are treated as nuisances, at best, and ferocious predators, at worst. That is, until Guy shows up with his adorable pet sloth and pants-keeper-upper, Belt. By the end, all of the characters formed bonds with the animals around them, and enjoy them as we enjoy God’s gift of animal companionship.
There are strong themes of familial love, acceptance of those different from us, the benefits of cooperation and self-sacrifice throughout the movie. These lessons are not heavy-handed, but naturally flow along with the story. They added depth we don’t often see in movies today, especially in animated comedies.
This was a fabulous family movie. I left the theater feeling uplifted, and with a suspiciously strong urge to text all my family and friends an impromptu “I love you!” reminder. If you are considering bringing your small children to see “The Croods,” I would recommend watching the movie for yourself first. Some action sequences could be too scary. There is a great deal of physical comedy which frequently takes the form of the characters hitting, throwing objects at, and/or biting each other. “The Croods” is a charming movie which I look forward to adding to my collection when released on Blu-Ray.
Staff Writer – Rockin’ God’s House
Copyright 2013 – Ecumenic Entertainment