The Croods (2013)

An avant garde adventure of caricature cavemen that we can enjoy without taking them too seriously!

The Croods

20th Century Fox in association with DreamWorks Animation present…

Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps) bumps head with Chris Sanders (How to train your Dragon) to co-write and direct this latest animated feature from DreamWorks! Originally title “Crood Awakening” (not bad with the pun) which was going to be featured by Aardman Animations a company that helped made clay animation films come to life like “Wallace and Gromit” and “Chicken Run”.

Set in the pre-historic times, a family of Neanderthals drastically tries to evade extinction from being stomped by mammoths, stung by giant mosquitoes, being eaten by any carnivorous living organism or being struck by the common cold which becomes overkill when you’re living in the age of pre-decongestant era!

The cast is lead by Nicholas Cage (Knowing) as the over protective father Grug who tries his best to salvage his family even just from their daily routines while his loving wife Catherine Keener (The 40 Year Old Virgin) who seems to step away from the lime light trying just to simply convey motherhood by being more open-minded and just reactive to what’s going on with the brady bunch!

The ever alluring even in this primordial age, Emma Stone (Easy A) is their eldest daughter Eep, the curious and adventurous sibling who brings constant dismay to her father. While the middle child is portrayed by Clark Duke (Kick-Ass) as the brainless Thunk, who gives just another supporting role to compensate and complete the interactivity between the brew. Randy Thom (The Incredibles) an Award Winning Sound Designer who compensates really well the younger daughter Ugga with her underdeveloped speech impediments!

Now, here is something that can be elaborated further! Ryan Reynolds (Safe House) plays fully-aware and inventor genius Guy with his side-kick pal a Sloth who is coincidentally named Belt! His character has the shared screen time to portray the love interest for Eep, to give the second act a bit more leverage and for the premise to move on to make good use of his God given talent. The once sought out comedian actor has been recently in the decline especially with his live action stints which turned for worst when he was casted as ill-fated “Green Lantern”. At least his animation projects are stepping off the bat (Turbo is coming soon) to make things more profitable for his acting career.

The cast was intended to be cohesive as possible but with others with a status quo of being well-known, the spotlight sharing was easily refined to have each character to be unique while others to have more screen time making the story more free flowing especially with Nicholas, Emma and Ryan. The main thing we can discuss here is it was simply a family entertainment, some comedic instances that was purely coincidental with its “well-thought” off script and screenplay. Although it never got out of the box when it comes to presenting an era as they were trying  to incorporate gimmickry in which one example was finding food to eat like “breakfast eggball”! (Ice Age anyone?)

As we can expect from animated film making, there are always ways and means to ante-up the game and although DreamWorks was able to instil a new franchise in the making, competition could never have been better with so much CGI being incorporated in animated and live action films today! To add, with Pixar from Walt Disney Studios, Blue Sky Studios anchors on 20th Century Fox and Illumination Entertainment holds up the globe with Universal Studios. All of these companies have great influence in the market when it comes to providing certified hits in the box-office, although there should still be a need for a game changer that allows more elbow room in the closet (as pertained in my first paragraph).

With all its fan service goofy moments and aesthetically colorful and unique landscapes there is still something about The Croods that makes them successful in the movie going public, they do promote cohesiveness, the love-hate between parent and children dynamic was evident and the will to survive against all odds in spite of the trials a typical family from the pre-historic ages has to go through, The Croods seeks out other adventures as they ride -off into the sunset!

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