The latest animation to hit the big screen is “The Croods” starring Nicolas Cage as the voice of Grug and Emma Stone as the voice of his daughter, Eep. The Croods are a family of cave-people. There are actually six in the whole family, but the main characters are Grug, Eep, and a young man named Guy (voice by Ryan Reynolds).
Grug is the father in the family, and he’s a bit paranoid. His mantra is “never forget to be afraid” or “Never be not afraid” or something like that. He has the entire family living in a cave from which they exit only to find food. They live together, sleep together, and never give in to such terrible things as curiousity or intrigue. Then, one night, Eep sneaks out of the cave because she spies a light. She encounters Guy, a young man who has mastered the use of fire (hence, the light). He tells her that the world is ending, that fire, earthquakes, and destruction are heading their way. Shortly afterward, his prediction comes true, and the Croods’ cave is destroyed. So, together with Guy, the family must brave the frontier and go in search of safety before the changing landscape swallows them. Along the way, there is a raging conflict between Grug and Eep revolving around Guy. He’s Eep’s love interest, if you haven’t figured that out yet. But I won’t give you any more details about that; I’ll let you see the movie yourself.
Strengths: there were some good parts. I did laugh out loud once or twice. And it’s a typical animated film: Most of the humor is clean and child safe. But only most. Through much of the movie, Grug has a death wish for his mother-in-law. I suppose it is intended as black humor, but I found it highly inappropriate for a kiddie-movie. Also, it follows the same tired pattern that I see being replicated in all kids’ movies these days. Repressive father is being too protective of his teenage daughter; they fight, have falling out; father admits he was wrong, and they make up. You know, I would like to see a movie where just once the parent was actually the one in the right. I get tired of this propensity Hollywood/Disney/Whoever has for denigrating parents. They aren’t complete idiots, you know. Maybe a movie that emphasized that, is in order.
Overall, I’ll give this film three and a half out of five stars.