Release Date: 21 March 2013
Running Time: 98 minutes
Distributor: 20th Century Fox & DreamWork Animation
Director: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Screenplay: Chris Sanders, Kirk DeMicco
Starring: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Emma Stone
Plot: The Croods tells the story of the world's first family road trip. When their cave is destroyed, the Crood family must embark on a comedy adventure into strange and spectacular territory in search of a new home. As if patriarch Grug (Cage) didn't already have enough to handle, it goes from bad to worse when they encounter an imaginative nomad named Guy (Reynolds.) With Guy's help the Croods conquer their fear of the outside world and discover that they have exactly what it takes to survive - each other.
The titular family, the Croods consists of overly-protective father Grug, conventional mother Ugga, an annoying grandparent Gran, a dumb son Thunk and a rebellious daughter Eep. The family survives the harsh stone age by living only on several rules, based on the drawing inside their cave and passed down from generation to generation. One is to believe that anything new is bad - fire is bad, night is bad, umbrella is bad too. Another one is to live under the fear, as daddy Grug (Nicholas Cage) constantly warns them of the consequences of going outside the cave. But one night adventure outside the cave changes everything Eep (Emma Stone) ever knows. She meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a more 'evolved' boy who warns Eep about the impending Armageddon. But the catastrophe arrives sooner than later, forcing The Croods and Guy to embark in a journey not only for survival but also a journey to rediscover the meaning of acceptance and new life.
The Croods, on the basis is a very standard adventure animation that lacks in originality in subtances and fluidity the story telling. In fact, it copies certain elements from Ice Age and the same kind of elements that drives me nut in the fourth Ice Age. The elements that include shifting in the world's tectonic and forced eviction into a new land, are nothing new. Probably the only different is the absence of a villain character to divide the shares. But the biggest letdown is the fact that the story lacks of empathy or emotion to drive the themes about family and their struggle to keep everyone together and safe. The failure of addressing important familial issues and to produce a more worthwhile adventure that packs with message are regrettable.
But The Croods is not only about the bad, though. It still arrives with some effective punchlines and humors that will provides entertainment to the whole family, even when its story does not scales it up further. The other plus is the voice talent which hits the tone so gracefully. Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds do great justice even if their chatacters go stereotypical. Alas, the weak and repetitve plot hinders the movie after all. The cinematography and the palette of the rock age landscape are stunning, highlighting another mature grow in the animation genre.
The quest to deliver a magnifcent product for animated feature, which has been partially lifeless over the last two years, continues. The Croods is not an excellent movie by DreamWorks' standard, with recycled and inoriginal materials seem to dominate the picture which also hollows in emotion and meaningful message. It will still delivers some entertainment to the kids even with the shortcomings in mosr departments. Better than Ice Age 4. No way to Rio's standard though.