Cleverly blending a rebellious teen comedy with an animated prehistoric adventure, this witty film wins us over with sharp characters who are written, voiced and drawn with plenty of personality. It may be yet another hyperactive, silly romp, but the attention to detail is extraordinary, and the rather overfamiliar message is genuinely inspiring.
The Crood family has survived the primordial chaos because dad Grug (Cage) keeps them in a constant state of fear, never letting them out of the cave after dark. There's just too much out there that wants to eat them! But teen daughter Eep (Stone) is restless to explore the world. Her mum Ugga (Keener) has her hands full tending to feral baby Sandy (Thom), lunkheaded pre-teen brother Thunk (Duke) and feisty Gran (Leachman), so Eep sneaks out in the middle of the night. There she meets Guy (Reynolds), a slightly more evolved human who has mastered fire and has what sound like radical ideas about survival. Grog is not happy about this at all. But when the world starts shifting around them, he has little choice but to allow his family to follow this new kid into what is clearly certain death.
Only of course, this being a comical cartoon, we know they'll all be fine, even though most of their adventures are seriously perilous. Filmmakers De Micco (Space Chimps) and Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) create a lavishly imagined world of mash-up creatures that seem like lost links in the evolutionary chain. Gigantic predatory kittens, mouse-sized elephants, crocodile puppies and walking whales are not only hilarious, but they make us want to buy a plush version all our own. In other words, the film is a riot of marketing possibilities, including the promise of a long-running franchise.
Continue reading: The Croods Review
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