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The Croods

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The Scoop

This animated road-trip comedy mixes laughs with life lessons for an entertaining take on family dynamics amongst our prehistoric ancestors.

Our Review

Neanderthal Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage) is the patriarch of the titular clan and suffers from a raging case of change-phobia. Everything new is bad and scary; everything known is safe and good. His daughter, Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), has a different approach to the world at large – one of curiosity and wonder and risk-taking… which, naturally, frequently sends her panicked pop into a tailspin.

But doom-dreading dad soon has to follow his daughter’s life-loving lead when the tectonic plates shift, earthquakes and fire hit, and the entire Crood family is sent on a trek through unknown territory to find a new home. Helping them along the way is charismatic stranger Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), a spirited young man who shares Eep’s passion for exploration and, thus, promptly becomes Grug’s number-two foe [after his cane-wielding, spitfire of a mother-in-law (voiced by Cloris Leachman)].

Filled with explosions of color and whimsy (alongside actual explosions of lava and rock), the story follows a fairly standard road-trip arc and blends that with the (stone-)age-old father-daughter drama that comes with “daddy’s little girl” growing up. The filmmakers also infuse some not-so-subtle morals (about being open to change, about being brave in the face of the unknown, and about the power and value of a family who loves you) into the otherwise comical capers of its beefy-torsoed characters.

Speaking of, there’s a weird juxtaposition between realism and cartoon-ery amongst the characters. The animators have clearly tried to make Eep look like Emma Stone, and to give both Eep and her mother (voiced by Catherine Keener), more human-like/realistic features. Grug, his son (voiced by Clark Duke) and his mother-in-law, though, are all wildly over-the-top cartoonish in their physicality. Not sure why, but I found it weirdly distracting – as though this family were made up of cavepeople from two different movies.

Anyway…

The Croods takes a while to get its footing – the first third of the film feels oddly slow and meandering – but eventually settles into a lively adventure that isn’t quite as strong as some other recent animated offerings, but is nonetheless fully entertaining for young and old.

The Croods

Manufacturer: Dreamworks Animation
Amazon Price: $10.70
Offers - Buy New From: $6.79 Used From: $5.04
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