Review by Lucía Santiago Dantés
We always wonder how and when man started to think in abstract concepts. Maybe we’ll never know, but that’s the idea behind this animated feature following the adventures of a very dysfunctional family that somehow use their disadvantages to stay alive…it’s not the survival of the fittest but fit to survive… in a sort of speak… until one day a man with ideas arrived.
Meet the Croods, a family of neanderthals who lived in a cave many moons ago. Grug (voice of Nicholas Cage) is the overprotective father who has taught his family that no good comes from being curious. Further more, to reinforce his theory Grug tells stories every night to his entire family with the teaching that something bad will happen to those who dare to explore or be curious. Grug has his reasons… they are the only survivors from a bigger group whose one by one ended up dead under several tragic circumstances. Grug worries too much because he has also too much to lose: his wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), teenager daughter Eep (Emma Stone) baby girl Sandy (Randy Thom) teen son Thunk (Clark Duke) and a very old mother in law (Cloris Leachman). They all live in a cage hidden and protected from the world but also in a VERY isolated way. Eep beign a teenager, is restless and curious. One night Eep scapes from the cave and meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds) an homo sapiens who thinks that the world is coming to an end. Guy and Eep feel attracted but Grug finds them and takes Eep to the cave just to find out that an earthquake destroyed the cave and almost kills his entire family. Turns out Guy was right, earthquakes are changing the natural habitat. As Earthquakes are more violent Grug and company run for their lives until they accidentally arrive to an otherworldly forest behind the mountain where the cave used to be. There, they reunite with Guy who’s forced to help the family to find a new and safe place to live. Together they start a new and funny adventure that’s quite an odyssey.
The story is not only entertaining but somehow it makes the kids aware of the importance to be creative and use their minds. For example, I loved how somehow Guy makes the family aware that they can be smarter too if you only pay attention to what’s around you and use your brain. For that, they do have to get rid of Grug’s old method of survival: fear. Once they realize this, each of them start to develop their own concept about the world. It’s just brilliant the way everybody evolves, each character reveals themselves once they overcome the fear that kept them locked in. Turns out, everybody has their own persona but what really cracked me was the escene when Grug begins to act like Guy and starts to do crazy things. At the beginning you don’t know if Grug is only mocking Guy or he just really lost it. But as the character evolves we realized that something happens to Grug that makes him more creative with his own ideas. Funniest part: he creates the instant photograph (or painting in this case) along with the snapshot. It’s just too hilarious!
The film has its moments and certainly kids will enjoy this flick.
Technically speaking the animation is superb! the texture, the resolution of the image, even the way the hair moves is so detailed. You can’t avoid thinking about the battalions of animators that must have been worked for long hours to get the job done with such detail, but when you see the final product it’s just amazing.
Watch Trailer #1
Watch Trailer #2