The Croods introduces the second best animated stone age family. Despite distancing themselves from satire, DreamWorks Animation continued to make original comedies in between franchises. I honestly thought The Croods was a step backwards for the computer animation studio. Apart from The Flintstones, I’ve never been a huge fan of caveman media. Since I was 17 at the time, I wasn’t sure if The Croods was worth seeing in theaters. It turned out to be surprisingly hilarious and even heartfelt in an appropriately crude way. The Croods is the first DreamWorks animated movie distributed by 20th Century Fox. Although originally pitched as a stop-motion Aardman movie, the story evolved with stylized computer animation.
The Croods are a crude family of cave people consisting of cave father Grug, cave mother Ugga, cave grandmother Gran, cave son Thunk, cave baby Sandy, and lead cave daughter Eep. Rising star Emma Stone is perfectly suited for the tough, wide-eyed, but rebellious teenager Eep. All she wants is to leave the cave, but her dad keeps the family safe by warning them against anything new. Nicholas Cage goes full caveman as the hilariously headstrong Grug. Catherine Keener is a little more open to change as the caring Ugga. Cloris Leachman is a frequent scene stealer as the oldest living cavewoman and overbearing mother-in-law Gran. Clark Duke is just as funny as Eep’s dimwitted brother Thunk. Sandy is a typical feral baby who gets plenty of fun moments too.
I was mostly on board with the Croods, but Guy really gets things going when he warns them of the end of the world. Ryan Reynolds lights the way with Guy’s scary new ideas and inventions humorously based on modern convenience. His Belt is actually a sloth who memorably says “Dun dun dun.” The animation really shines when Guy leads the Croods cross country to find “Tomorrow.” The path is full of colorfully bizzare sabertooth cats, cannibalistic birds, and my personal favorite Punch Monkeys. Grug is understandably protective of his family’s way of life, but everyone learns to open up throughout the course of the movie. Eep falls for Guy, Thunk gets a prehistoric pet “dog” named Douglas, Ugga lets her hair down, Gran softens up, and Sandy becomes less ferocious. Ending with a well earned new way of life. The Croods has more than enough new ideas to help its cave family standout.
Followed by: The Croods: A New Age