Voiced by Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, Clark Duke, Chris Sanders, Randy Thom
Directed by Kirk Di Mico and Chris Sanders
Plot: A family of cavemen must trust a newcomer to help them find safety when they’re cave is destroyed.
“The Croods” had been low on my radar until shortly before the movie opened. Yeah, I’d seen the trailer a couple of times, but it felt like “Ice Age” with cavemen so I kind of wrote it off. Despite a script that combines “Ice Age” with a healthy dose of Disney’s “Dinosaur” and a little “Clan of the Cave Bear”, “The Croods” is a highly enjoyable animated film that is sure to melt the glaciers of your heart.
Nicholas Cage voices Grug, a patriarchal cavemen who has kept his family safe following a very simple set of rules – the most important being that change is bad.
The problem? He has a teenage daughter named Eep (Emma Stone), and as anyone who has or has had a teenage daughter can attest, change kind of comes with the territory. Grug keeps his family safely in a cave, but Eep sneaks out one night and happens upon Guy (Ryan Reynold), who is more evolved but is also on the run trying to keep ahead of the end of the world. Grug is determined to keep the two apart, but he soon finds himself having to follow Guy after their cave is destroyed during a cataclysmic disaster.
With some delightful animation and wonderful characters, “The Croods” works as a great selection for family viewing. While the elements of the plot lack originality, the filmmakers compensate with fine storytelling and some of the most gorgeous computer animation to date.
The voice work is great, particularly Emma Stone (when is she anything less than awesome?) and Ryan Reynolds who have a natural chemistry that plays well off their animated counter-parts. Cage turns in his best performance in quite some time, and Cloris Leachman is hilarious as world’s oldest mother-in-law.
What I loved best about the movie though was the relationship between Grug and his family. While he makes mistakes and is slow to change (what guy isn’t), he never wants anything less than happiness and safety for his children. Does he make mistakes? Definitely. But when pushed into a corner, he makes his neanderthal brain come up with an idea that will save his family.
“The Croods” is a wonderful movie – sure to delight kids and grown-ups alike.
Dad Suitability: It can be rare to find a movie that treats dads respectfully – especially a children’s movie. So jump on this one with your family.
Kid Suitability: Rated PG for some scary action scenes, use your judgement to how you think your child might react to them. (1264)
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The Giver (Rated PG-13)
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