Okay time to review a film I have had my eye for a while, the latest animated film form DreamWorks, The Croods. Now it’s come to my attention in recent years that DreamWorks have finally become a force to stand up against the animation powerhouse that is Pixar. Their work with Kung-Fu Panda 2, Puss In Boots and more recently Rise of the Guardians proves that they can deliver both good stories, characters and impressive visuals too. So when I saw the trailer for this film I was unsure about it at first, but then given DreamWorks’ recent track record it would have to be worth a watch right? So how’s the film? Read on to find out.
So the story of the film involved The Croods, a cavemen family who have survived their lives by abiding by rules, living in fear and never leaving their cave to avoid danger. Though the eldest daughter Eep yearns for more and wants to be adventurous and free much to the annoyance of her father. After their cave is destroyed by the change in the Earth’s tectonic plates, the Croods must venture into unfamiliar territory and trek through this new, fantastical world with the help of an inventive boy by the name of Guy.
I thought the story was good, the themes of family, change and adapting to survive was believable, relatable and understandable. Though for all of its unique aspects the plot was a bit basic and comes with a lot of the standard plot elements that are associated with children’s animated films. It does go down the Pixar route of having an emotional message implanted in the film and while it works well for Pixar, it’s not quite as impressive here.
When it comes to characters they are all pretty unique, interesting and has their own quirks. So let’s start with Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood, he was almost unrecognizable in voice as the head of the family who means well for his family, but is overprotective and fears change. His character was a little annoying due to his constant need to control all situations, but I could comprehend why he was like that. Emma Stone as Eep Crood was probably the most relatable character as the cavegirl who’s filled with curiosity and a desire for adventure. Stone did will to convey her emotions in this role and while her constant need for adventure was a little annoying at times her character was nice overall. And then there’s Ryan Reynolds as Guy, he’s like a smarter, more advanced caveboy who comes up with ideas and invents things. He’s also accompanied by a sloth called Belt which keeps his trousers up and provides moments of humour (which don’t always work by the way). Guy is also Eep’s love interest; both of them have interesting chemistry together and nice to see it build. Reynolds was actually likeable in this film providing some funny scenes especially when he screams, oh and one other thing to note about him the fact that his strength is nowhere as strong as the Croods which leads to some funny scenes.
As for the rest of the cast they all do good jobs including Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood (Grug’s wife), Clark Duke as Thunk Crood (Grug and Ugga’s son), Cloris Leachman as Gran (mother-in-law of Grug and the mother of Ugga, Chris Sanders as Belt, (Guy’s pet sloth), Randy Thom as Sandy Crood, (Grug and Ugga’s ferocious baby daughter). When it came to characters my favourites were definitely Eep, Guy and Sandy.
When it comes to the presentation of The Croods in this department is was flawless! The CGI was amazing and is possibly the best I’ve seen from DreamWorks so far (next to Rise of the Guardians). Thanks to the prehistoric setting, natural disasters and changes in location it made for a varied, colourful and fantastic-looking film. The level of detail in the locations, creatures and human characters was lovely. So many of the scenes and sequences were well crafted and have that great blend between the cartoon-like art style and realism. One particular sequence in the beginning really stands out; it was really energetic, loud, bombastic and athletic accompanied by some great music to match the action on-screen. The slick nature of the animation and the use of motion blur was stupidly impressive. Also the soundtrack by Alan Silvestri was nice and had some really memorable pieces near the beginning of the film and near the end too.
So to conclude The Croods was good a good and solid animated film for all the family. However the film was not nearly as great as I’d hoped, the story was pretty basic and generic but from an animation perspective it was spectacular! I know DreamWorks can do better because I’ve seen it in the past. If you’re not too fussed about the specifics of an animated film then check out The Croods, its good, just not amazing.
Rating: 6.5/10 (A fantastic-looking film but it’s hampered by an okay story)
So what did you think of The Croods? Did you love it, hate it or just think it was alright? Whatever your thoughts are drop them below and I’ll see you on the next review yo! 😀