The movie follows the Crood family: Grug the dad (Nicolas Cage), Ugga the wife (Catherine Keener), son Thunk (Clark Duke), daughter Eep (Emma Stone), a wild baby named Sandy, and mother-in-law Gran (Cloris Leachman), who are trapped in the same old rut of hunting and gathering. They are the last family in their neighborhood and as such progress wants to pave over their stomping grounds, but instead of highways and box stores this version of progress is more of the evolutionary sort. We’re talking earthquakes, volcanoes, and sharp-toothed Darwinism.
Eep meets a modern man named Guy (Ryan Reynolds), the first, apparently, of less forehead and more innovation, who introduces the Croods to such discoveries as fire, shoes, animals you don’t eat, and staying up past sunset—all of which flies firmly in the furrowed brow of Grug’s award-winning philosophy: Never not be afraid.
They all travel together toward a new land—one that isn’t blowing up or sinking every three minutes, and along the way they punch a monkey or two. It happens.
I must admit that I was apprehensive about the film as The Croods seems like the perfect setting to establish the world’s first stereotypes, which, to an extent, it does. The dad is overprotective and dumb (more neanderthal than sitcom), the mom is strong and dutiful, the son is bumbling and naive, the teenage daughter is rebellious and conformational, the mother-in-law is cranky and the bane of Grug’s existence, and Guy is awesome and saving the day. They are stereotypes across the board, but funny enough, they work.
The Croods are actually more relatable than a lot of families portrayed in the media today, and I think it may have more to do with the constant and obvious display of love that never, despite arguments, flesh-eating birds, and teenage angst, ever wavers. They go through their trials and tests, and they face them together. They become not only a better family, but better individuals, and their journey is about as colorful and breathtaking as any 3D movie could ever be.
The Croods is actually quite sweet. It is also very funny, full of adventure, and ends (SPOILER) with all family members alive and well, which is nice.
My boys (7,9) enjoyed it immensely, especially Guy’s pet Belt, who, in addition to being a great conversationalist also holds up his pants. Da, da, daaaaaa!
The Croods opened last week and is currently playing in theaters everywhere. It’s good family fun.
Read more from Whit Honea at his site Honea Express and the popular group blog DadCentric. You can follow Whit on the Twitter or Pinterest (his opinions are his own and do not reflect those of Babble or most rational people).