In theatres: The Croods

Editorial intern Hannah Terry-Whyte reviews The Croods, the latest 3-D family-friendly animated adventure from DreamWorks.

Photo: DreamWorks Animations’ The Croods.

What do a family of cavemen, a sloth called Belt, 3-D glasses, a plethora of fantastical creatures and the motto “Never not be afraid!” all have in common? Why, they’re all integral to The Croods, the new DreamWorks 3-D comedy adventure movie hitting theatres today, of course!

The premise
Written and directed by Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders (the man behind Lilo & Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon) and with a story that John Cleese had a hand in writing, The Croods tells the tale of a prehistoric family being forced by earthquakes and lava into a new and astonishing world beyond their cave. While there is an element of teen romance between eldest daughter Eep (Emma Stone) and inventive nomad Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who creates shoes, fire, and even stilts to overcome obstacles faced by the Croods, at its heart this movie is about the bonds of family as well as the value of courage and imagination.

What we loved
Adults will nod their heads at the journey of understanding that takes place between the rebellious Eep and her father, Grug (Nicolas Cage), and laugh over the comic tension between Grug and his mother-in-law, Gran (Cloris Leachman). Kids will relate to the Croods’ love of bedtime stories, and giggle over the slapstick humour and chase sequences that pepper the family’s journey. However, you all might find yourselves paying more attention to the wondrous and entertaining prehistoric creatures brought to breathtaking light by the high-quality DreamWorks animation and (thankfully restrained) use of 3-D. While watching The Croods, I couldn’t help thinking how much fun it must have been to be a writer or animator conjuring up the many weird and wonderful creatures and plants in this movie!

The Croods is, at base, a relatively straightforward tale of braving the unknown and discovering that the world can be a magical place as long as you have people you love around you. For all the explosions, sharp-toothed creatures and molten lava that the Croods face, they ultimately learn that there’s nothing they can’t face if they’re together — and with a helpful sloth by their side, too!

Canadian rating
PG (parental guidance advised)

Parental advisory
The Croods do face danger throughout their journey, from sharp-toothed prehistoric creatures to earthquakes and explosions of fire and lava. Small kids may be frightened by some of the explosions and chase sequences. In addition, there is romance between the teen characters, though nothing to take this beyond a PG rating.

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