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The Croods

2013 | 98 min | PG | 2.39:1

The Croods


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User reviews

1 user review

Movie appeal



Theatrical release date

 22 March, 2013
 22 March, 2013

Country of origin

 United States

Technical aspects

3D (native)

Box office




Overview Preview Cast & crew Screenshots User reviews News Forum

The Croods


Screenshots from The Croods 3D Blu-ray

The Croods Preview  

 / 10
Preview by Brian Orndorf, March 21, 2013

After their stab at epic storytelling with last holiday's "Rise of the Guardians," Dreamworks Animation reduces the heat on the big movie sweepstakes with "The Croods," a production that's willing to be silly and sincere, employing a cartoon ambiance of pinballing people and exaggerated body language to produce a considerable amount of laughs, while also tending to the demands of heart that squeezes every family film offering released these days. Toppling cliche to make a deep impression as a fulfilling offering of entertainment, "The Croods" is superbly constructed, dazzlingly animated, and genuinely hilarious, with a spirited mood of adventure and a pleasing read of maturation.

A caveman with a profound fear of the outside world, Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage) works tirelessly to protect his family from all dangers. With a watchful eye on wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), son Thunk (Clark Duke), toddler Sandy (Randy Thom), mother-in-law Gran (Cloris Leachman), and teen daughter Eep (Emma Stone), Grug has his hands full keeping his clan locked away in caves for safety, only exiting to hunt for food. Despite her love for her father, Eep wants more for herself, finding proof of freedom when she meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and his pet sloth Belt (Chris Sanders), two seasoned survivors trying to outrun the volatility of the land, hoping to reach a haven they refer to as "Tomorrow." Smitten with Guy, Eep pushes her family to join the quest as the ground crumbles underneath their feet, forcing Grug to deal with his daughter's independence and his irrational terror of the unknown, working to shed his addiction to shelter as the journey takes the gang through an unstable land.

It's interesting to see "The Croods" spark to life onscreen, taking a slightly more manic approach to acquiring laughs than its cartoon brethren. It's a rowdy, 3D-popping effort that's terrifically animated, playing with rounded Neanderthal designs and exploring magical realms that force the scrambling unit to navigate creatures and crevasses on their way to Tomorrow, breaking out of their canyon cave home to find a colorful, widescreen world of wonder for the group, while Grug can't help but freak out over the all the potential danger. "The Croods" is the latest film from Chris Sanders (co-directing with Kirk De Micco), who was last seen guiding one of 2010's best pictures, "How to Train Your Dragon." A gifted animation helmer who understands the need for awe and the value of bellylaughs, Sanders finds the right tone for the work, using the bustling energy of the opening act to greet the family and their foibles, comprehending the passion Grug has for a safe, undisturbed life, viewing cave time as survival time. It's an introduction marked by broad comedy and flexible CG-animated impulses, yet it's warmly conceived, building the Croods as a troop in dire need of a fresh direction.

When Guy enters the story, "The Croods" transforms into a road movie of sorts, observing the overwhelmed loner compute flirtations from an aggressive Eep, while introducing the family to the concept of shoes to aid safe passage over sharp terrain, while his skills at conjuring fire positively floor his newfound friends. Keeping to character, Grug remains at full alert, unable to trust Guy's expertise, watching his wife and children blossom as they see the world for the very first time, pulling them away after years of tight control and choreographed survival techniques. While the dramatic goals of the feature are on the soft side, the execution is marvelous, boosted by a magnificent vocal turn from Cage, who's alive in the role, clearing the cobwebs off his tattered career with work that's engaged, engorged, and vulnerable without turning into pudding. In fact, the entire ensemble is aces, meeting the elastic demands of the script with vivid personalities and crack comic timing, while Stone manages to believably express her teen character's internal tug of war between love for her father and the lure of a handsome newcomer. As gorgeous as "The Croods" is, with its rainbow saber-tooth tigers and pleasingly beefy bodies, the soul of the work is found in verbal exchanges, bringing depth of feeling and a humorous lift to material that occasionally requires the aural motivation.

There's a fleeting moment of dramatic hesitation that briefly derails "The Croods" in the third act, but to find the film standing upright after dealing with formulaic parental concerns is a minor miracle, while the movie's slightly edgy sense of humor (Grug doesn't hide his disappointment when Gran repeatedly eludes death) keeps the effort alert and darkly comic.

"The Croods" is filled with charm and heart, while visually stimulating with moments of surprise and expanse. Successfully managing crowd-pleasing elements of adventure and endearment, the movie remains breezy, generating a memorable jaunt across a chaotic Earth. It also makes Nicolas Cage appealing again, and for that it deserves a deep, tight hug.

Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke
Directors: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders

» See full cast & crew

The Croods, Forum Discussions

Last post
The Croods (2013) 85 Sep 30, 2013
Dreamworks "The Croods" 5 Oct 04, 2012

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