Everyone loves a good animated film. Toy Story probably made them fashionable, quickly followed by the likes of Shrek, Madagascar and The Incredibles. The Croods is one of those loveable family-friendly films. It tells the story of the Croods, a family who are among the last people on earth. They live in the safety of their cave, emerging once every few days to hunt for food. The protagonist is Eep who, despite all outward appearances, is the stereotypical stubborn teenage girl. She breaks the strict rules set down by her father, Grug, and ventures out of the cave one night. This leads the family on a venture of survival and Grug having to deal with Eep’s first teenage crush, Guy.
Despite the title, there was no ‘crood’ humour; the comedy flows from start to finish. The family unit is as dysfunctional as you would expect from an American on-screen family; a rebellious daughter, an over-protective father, a dim-witted son, an animalistic baby daughter, a battle-axe grandmother and the sensible mother who holds it all together. This leads to some great scenes with the family trying to survive not only a pre-historic apocalypse but also each other’s personalities. The storyline is entertaining and keeps up with the pace of the humour. There are scenes that everyone can relate to, from family spats to more tender moments. There is a strong theme of love throughout, from Eep’s crush to the love of a father for his daughter. Animal lovers will also be pleased with some cute and not-so-cute creatures playing a blinder in support roles, chiefly ‘Belt’, the sloth who is, according to Guy, is a “Conversational. Navigator. Also keeps my pants up”.
The blindingly attractive leading couple, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds, are perhaps wasted behind the facades of their animated characters but Nicholas Cage, the voice of Grug, blends in well with his on-screen persona. The supporting cast is made up of Catherine Keener, Clarke Duke and Chris Sanders, to name a few.
All in all, The Croods is a very enjoyable film with strong comedy and a decent storyline. It is yet another DreamWorks film that is universally watchable. If you are babysitting, going on a date or treating an elderly relative to a trip to the cinema, The Croods is definitely a good option for all occasions.