The Croods

June 2nd, 2013


The Croods

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The world's very first prehistoric family goes on a road trip to an uncharted and fantastical world.

Release Year: 2013

Rating: 7.0/10 (1,252 voted)

Director: Kirk De Micco

The Croods is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows the world's first family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures -- and their outlook is changed forever.

Writers: ,

Taglines: Meet the first modern family.


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Did You Know?

The first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed by 20th Century Fox. See more »

User Review

You Had Me At Tomorrow...

Rating: 8/10

First off... this is a highly recommended film for anyone with a good heart - and even a few lacking it. The film opens with voice-over narration introducing The Crood family. The animated sequence is minimalist and emulates cave drawings (a theme running through the film) while it also felt like an homage to Dusan Vukotic, The Zagreb School and other 'reduction' animators of the 1950s and 60s. The story has a monomyth structure that integrates family roles in at the critical spots (future husband as herald, villain as co-paternal figure, etc.). The first scenes have a specular quality and with a minimalist mise-en-scene it might have been regarded that these directorial choices were purely exploitative to the 3-D gimmick. Good fun action establishes the quirks of a 'pre-nuclear' family experiencing 'cave-in fever'. Father Crood (voiced by Cage) has all the qualities and clichés of a responsible father. In fact, the characters and the story are quite cliché - but it isn't exploitative. Freshness is retained through moments of self-reflexivity (the popcorn pile, Guignol shows) and clever situational puns. The minimalist elements of the staging and mise-en-scene are banished like darkness in light once the family are forced to venture out into the more majestic parts of a fantasy world. It is a fantasy world - with dozens of original creatures and hybrids that make one think of Disney's Alice in Wonderland. Some of these creatures provide strong 'support' such as Belt and 'Duggie'. Even 'villains' are appropriated as pets in this dangerous, threatening but awe-inspiring and enlightening world. The threats are ominous but not frightening and children of all ages will enjoy the show (just keep the kids away from Gears of War Kryll instead). The Croods are cute animated characters and the animation itself is of top quality and the highest possible technical sheen (the luscious fur was the most enticing and tantalizingly tactile lure in the film). The cave-family is physically atavistic in appearance, but jovial and comically gentle in demeanor. The diastema creates warm smiles and helps forge loving moments. The ending is a happy one and there is no Bambi-mother slaughter moment in the entire film (I guess we are past that now huh). One of the advantages of digital rendering is the open possibilities that lie outside the strict film medium - the 180 flip dive into the water is mesmerizing. There are great moral lessons about learning and acceptance that do not preach nor are prophetic. My favorite part of the film is a sequence where Father Crood makes his first effort at a change-for-the-better by adorning himself in 'modern' innovations like the 'Pre-Funk' George Clinton coif. His ideas backfire into a laugh-out-loud homage to Looney Tunes mayhem. One other homage stood out (for this reviewer) in the genial portrayal of a quest for paradise - that is Wil Vinton's Adventures of Mark Twain and the Adam and Eve story that Vinton retells within that film. You can't tell me there aren't Biblical allusions either - with the Noah's Ark moments at the end, paradise lost theme and Adam-Eve procreation imperative underlying a more overt father-daughter relationship of trust, growth and acceptance. This film text is rich for scholarly and critical analysis. The relationship of minimalism and magnitude play well for a sophisticated viewer while the genial takes on universal family - and human - values will entertain all... oh and the mouse-elephants... if you see The Croods for no other reason, do it for the mouse-elephants.


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