“The Croods” – For Kids and Adults Alike

Annie McKay

“The Croods,” Dreamworks’s latest animated flick, is not only the highest grossing film thus far in 2013, it proves to be an animated film that is enjoyable for both children and adults. With current box office sales of $43.6 million, “The Croods” tells the tale of an overly cautious caveman family being forced into learning about discovery: discovery of the world around them, of their intertwining relationships and of themselves.

The film begins by introducing us to Eep (Emma Stone), the daughter of Grug (Nicolas Cage), who is eager to get out and explore the world around her. Grug, the overly-protective father of the Crood family, is terrified of the curiosity within his daughter, and has therefore never allowed his family to leave their cave home.

“New is always bad. Never not be afraid,” Grug preaches.

When the family’s cave is destroyed by an earthquake, Grug, as well as the rest of the Croods, have to find a way to become comfortable with the world around them and adapt to a new life. Along the way they meet Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a “caveboy” with an adventurous spirit, who chooses to use his intelligence rather than his strength. Together, they learn to break out of their comfort zone and explore the world around them.

The plot has many dimensions that are relatable to all audiences. Of course, the film appeals to children, who witness the amazing cinematography and get wrapped up in the Croods’s adventure. Especially interesting, however, is the relationship between Grug and Eep, a parent/child struggle of acceptance and growing up. This relationship will be endearing and touching to older audiences as well.

Along with the story being so appealing, Dreamworks does not let its audience down from a cinematographic standpoint. Stone, Cage and Reynolds do not hesitate to give the producers and animators credit, emphasizing how easy their job is compared to others involved in production.

“It’s the best job in the universe,” Reynolds told Damen Norton of HeyUGuys. “Make no mistake at all, recording a Dreamworks movie doesn’t get any better. You work two-hour sessions … you can’t do much more because your voice is blown after a couple of hours. It’s these hard-working animators and producers and storyboard artists, those are the guys who are slaving away around the clock. For us, it’s just an incredibly plush, lovely gig.”

Stone also credited directors Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders when explaining her lack of a need to prepare for recording.

“It just sort of happened once I got in there recording,” she said. “Our directors are really interactive and they really bring you into the world.”

Although some critics have found “The Croods” to be a type of “been there, done that” movie, most agree that “The Croods” really does make an impression and separates itself as its own entity, rather than just piggy-backing off of “The Flintstones,” as some have argued. “The Croods” provides a show that has all the components of a great animated film: amazing visual cinematography, entertaining to watch and relatable to all audiences. This delightful and uplifting film certainly does not disappoint.