Film: "The Croods"; Voices by: Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds, Cloris Leachman, Randy Thom, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Chris Sanders (III); Directors: Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco; Rating: ***1/2
For kids and accompanying adults, what an excellent way to begin their summer vacations, "The Croods" is a simple 3D animated comedy adventure film that offers clean light-hearted entertainment beyond expectation.
It is a tale that exposes the yields of fear and curiosity along with the joys and pangs, risks and rewards of evolving. It's a story of an over-protective father doing his best for his family given his limited beliefs and worries.
"The Croods"; father - Grug (Nicolas Cage), mother - Ugga (Catherine Keener), older son- Thunk (Clarke Duke), teenage daughter - Epp (Emma Stone), younger son - Sandy (Randy Thom) and Gran (Cloris Leachman) are a family that lived in the prehistoric era where just about everything around them is a potential threat.
Papa Crood - Grug with his belief, "fear keeps us alive and anything new is dangerous and fun is bad," lays down strict rules to ensure that his family stays alive. His solution to this problem is to lead a very cautious and protected life. And this is done by spending most of their time hurdled in a dark cave, coming out only at times only to get food.
But Eep, his rebellious teenage daughter is a curious about the world and wants to explore more of life. One night, after seeing a light outside their cave, Eep sneaks out to investigate and ends up meeting Guy (Ryan Reynolds), an evolved human who enlightens and charms her with his knowledge and lifestyle.
Eep wants to follow her heart, but her wary father just won't let her have her way. Their cave gets destroyed as predicted by Guy. And Grug decides to find a new cave, but the entire family decides for a change. They want to be with Guy and "follow the Sun to a better place called Tomorrow."
Things go from bad to worse, but then 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 terrain the Croods and Guy traverse, is utterly new and spectacular, filled with creatures you will find familiar and foreign at the same time and so also the dangers that they have to overcome.
Co-directors and co-writers Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders have ensured that the content is fresh and good-natured, except for a few mother-in-law gags which seems routine in this family.
Witty, clever, original, and very well made; "The Croods" dazzlingly combines beautiful visual effects with a simple enough story for a child to follow, but in a world pulsating and attractive for adults. It sends a great message and displays a great example of positive family values and team building. Adults can appreciate the humour even though it's geared towards kids.
Except that the 3D experiences are few and in between, the cinematography, colours, lighting and the background score is good. The voices lent by the stars complement the characters.
Overall, it's definitely worth watching.