Review: The Croods

Daniel Kendi ’16 / Emertainment Monthly Editor

Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and Eep (Emma Stone) get to know one another, as Guy´s friend and pet Belt (Chris Sanders) looks on. The Croods © 2013 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.
Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and Eep (Emma Stone) get to know one another, as Guy´s friend and pet Belt (Chris Sanders) looks on. The Croods © 2013 DreamWorks Animation LLC. All Rights Reserved.
While Disney Pixar continues to dominate the animated market, other companies like DreamWorks still create amazing animated films. DreamWorks’ newest film The Croods tells the story of a family of cavemen who are forced to leave the safety of their cave and head out into the dangers of the world. The father of the family, Grug (Nicolas Cage), is a cautious person who tells his family that anything new is wrong. He believes that it is important to stay in the cave, and shares stories with his family in which the protagonist dies after experiencing something new. His daughter, Eep (Emma Stone), is a curious and adventurous teenage girl who wants to explore the world around her. Her dreams of leaving the cave come true when she meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a smart and inventive nomad who warns her of the coming earthquakes and volcanic eruptions. These disasters lead Guy and the Croods on a journey across the horizon to find safety at a place known as tomorrow.
The main themes of The Croods are old vs. new and the acceptance of change. Throughout the film, Grug tries to maintain his position as the leader of the family. He wants to be the one who protects them and gets them out of trouble. However, he unfortunately lives in a changing world where his old cave dwelling ways do not always apply. Grug struggles with the idea that Guy, an inventive wanderer, knows how to protect his family better than he could himself. He is especially distraught by the fact that his daughter Eep sides with and follows Guy. Over the course of the film, though, Grug learns to change and accept new ideas for the sake of his family.
The characters of the film are well thought out and hilarious. Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds all expertly bring their characters to life. Surprisingly though, the minor characters steal the show. Cloris Leachman is fantastic as Gran, the grandmother of the family. She has many great moments in the film, especially during her humorous banter with Grug. The animals of this film are arguably the most interesting and funny characters. Belt (Chris Sanders), Guy’s pet sloth, has many amazing moments and a hysterical catchphrase. While Belt has a few lines in the film, the next two animals do not speak at all. Despite this, they truly are memorable. Douglass is a dog-like animal who is only in the film shortly but has one of, if not the best, comical gags of the film. Finally, there is a tiger-like animal throughout the film that is a great edition to the cast of characters.
The Croods is a fantastic animated film with a great story that evokes emotion in its viewers. People will truly feel for the character of Grug and understand his relationship with his daughter when they see this film. The characters, story, voice actors, and score by Alan Silvestri are all wonderful. The only problem the film has is its animation style. While most of the locations and creatures in this film are absolutely gorgeous, the design of the Crood family themselves leaves a lot to be desired. This is a small thing though and will not ruin the experience of the film. The Croods is a highly entertaining animated film that is one of DreamWorks’ best pictures to date.
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