Movie Review: The Croods

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.

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About atoasttodragons

The author, Matthew D. Ryan, lives in northern New York on the shores of Lake Champlain, one of the largest lakes in the continental United States, famous for the Battle of Plattsburgh and the ever-elusive Lake Champlain Monster, a beastie more commonly referred to as Champy. Matthew has studied philosophy, mathematics, and computer science in the academic world. He has earned a black belt in martial arts.

6 responses to “Movie Review: The Croods”

  1. Sarah Angleton says :

    You make a really good point about the parents always being in the wrong in these movies. I never thought of it from that perspective. I’ve always considered these movies encouraging to parents and kids because that relationship is really tricky as a child grows up and takes on more independence. In general, I liked this one. I also thought the running gag about Grug wanting to kill his mother-in-law was inappropriate, but I thought the father as cautious protector was actually a pretty positive image of fatherhood. He wasn’t in the wrong. It was a dangerous world they lived in and he was right to be scared for them. He was just a little slow to adapt to change, which, frankly, many good parents are because we worry about our kids. In the end, Eep came to appreciate that about him, I thought. I also liked that finally we have an animated female lead who isn’t a toothpick-sized beauty queen.

    • atoasttodragons says :

      Grug may have been protective like a good father is supposed to be, but he took it too far. I wouldn’t consider him a “positive” image for fatherhood because he was almost paranoid. Anyway, that still leaves the issue where all parents are goofs according to Disney or whoever made the film (I don’t remember) (Oh, and I don’t have kids of my own but I still noticed this) and I actually am starting to get annoyed by it because it’s 1) predictable, and 2) not necessarily true.

  2. debyfredericks says :

    It depends on who you think is the protagonist. If Eep is the protagonist, she has to be the one making decisions, and so Dad has to be negative as an obstacle to her. If Dad was the protagonist, then it would be a totally different movie even if most of the events were the same.

    Thanks for the review. I’m even less interested now than I was before.

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