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[tab title="Movie Review"]

The Croods - Movie Review

4 stars

No new gound is broken with DreamWorks’ latest release.  Its simple theme isn’t genre-defying either.  But the hilarious hijinks never stop for very long as the first family of cave-dwelling, affectionately called The Croods, takes a family vacation of sorts in this highly relatable road trip from DreamWorks Animation.  Written and directed by Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco (from an original story idea by Monty Python’s own John Cleese), the narrative might never reach How to Train Your Dragon‘s emotional heights but, with a simple message about change being - above all else - a good thing, The Croods is suitably entertaining for the family and that, in the era of never-ending witless Madagascar sequels, is a rarity these days.

Extending the “so easy a cave man can do it” metaphor from those now-retired GEICO commercials, The Croods presents a yarn about a neurotically protective dad named Grug (smartly voiced by Nicolas Cage) and his family as they find their way of life unexpectedly threatened .  He’s a definite cave man; clinging to his old way and suspecting of anything new.  A perfect set-up for the unexpected changes his family faces.

Forced out of their comfortable cave, Grug’s family – which includes wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), son Thunk (Clark Duke), daughter Eep (Emma Stone), mother-in-law (Cloris Leachman), and a terror-causing baby named Sandy – The Croods embark on an adventure and learn to trust Eep’s hunk of a male specimen love interest (appropriately) named Guy (Ryan Reynolds).  He, his knowledge of fire, and his friend named Belt (and, yes, he also holds up his trousers) are about to take them on a wild ride.

The 3D animated world outside of the cave is a new and threatening one for them.  However innocent or threatening it appears to us, the prehistoric family of Croods – except for the throw caution to the wind antics of the brave Eep – face their wide open skies with fear and hilarious apprehension.  It’s a natural world full of Piranhakeets, fluffy bear-like owls, and other wondrous creatures the animators at DreamWorks have thought up.  Cinematography master Roger Deakins is credited as visual consultant and it shows in almost every scene; there is an intelligence motivating this animated feature.

Regardless of its luminous splendor, the family of Croods is having none of it.  The landscapes of The Croods are brightly lit and lush; it’s definitely something you will notice.  The worrisome Croods see none of this beauty and these encounters – written as a series of man vs. nature gags - are where much of the comedy comes from.

Certainly – and definitely at its core - caveman comedy has its limits and there is a bit of tiredness to some of Leachman’s disappointing glares and Keener’s standard mom bits but, mostly, The Croods remains engaging and almost perfectly lands a nice little father-daughter moment between Grug and Eep.  Stone, as Eep, balances her character out with enough youthful energy and serious razzle dazzle raspiness that she seems more substantive than as written.  The others – including her father - might be more of caricature types but this leaves younger girl audience members with a much better tale than Pixar’s disappointing Brave (which, ironically enough, is the exact opposite of its title) tale to enjoy.  After all, the only Crood who originally wants to explore the world outside of the cave is, in fact, Eep.

You’ll laugh at their discoveries and recognize your post-modern self in their prehistoric declarations as The Croods traverse their exciting land.  The fast-moving cartoon – imagine The Flinstones on roids – is kinetic enough to engage most audiences but not always clever enough to capitalize on its Ice Age inspiration. That’s not necessarily a bad thing but it does limit its overall impact.  Regardless, The Croods is some good old-fashioned (in the pre-historic sense) entertainment.


[tab title="Film Details"]

The Croods - Movie ReviewMPAA Rating: PG for some scary action.
98 mins.
: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
: Kirk De Micco, Chris Sanders
Cast: Nicolas Cage; Emma Stone; Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener; Cloris Leachman
Genre: Family | Adventure
Are you better off now than you were 4 million years ago?
Memorable Movie Quote: "Come with me to a place where things are better."
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation
Official Site: www.thecroodsmovie.com
Release Date: March 22, 2013
DVD/Blu-ray Release Date:
October 1, 2013

Synopsis: The Croods is a 3D comedy adventure that follows the world's first modern family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always been their home is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods are rocked by generational clashes and seismic shifts as they discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures -- and their outlook is changed forever.[/tab]

[tab title="Blu-ray Review"]

The Croods - Blu-ray Review

Component Grades
Blu-ray Disc
4 stars
3 stars
Blu-ray Experience
3.5 stars


Blu-ray Details:

Available on Blu-ray - October 1, 2013
Screen Formats: 2.35:1
: English SDH, French, Spanish, Arabic, Greek, Hindi, Icelandic, Romanian, Serbian
English: DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1; Spanish: Dolby Digital 5.1; French: Dolby Digital 5.1; Polish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Portuguese: Dolby Digital 5.1; Turkish: Dolby Digital 5.1; Greek: Dolby Digital 5.1; Hindi: Dolby Digital 5.1; Icelandic: Dolby Digital 5.1; Romanian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Serbian: Dolby Digital 5.1; Arabic: Dolby Digital 5.1
Discs: 50GB Blu-ray Disc; Two-disc set (1 BD, 1 DVD); UV digital copy; iTunes digital copy; DVD copy
Region Encoding: A, B

The Croods arrives on Blu-ray in a 2.35:1 aspect ratio with a1080p/MPEG-4 encode. The 2D transfer is quite a stunner featuring all the bells and whistles you’d expect from a brand new computer-animated feature. Everything is razor sharp; from hair to facial features, to clothing and creature skins. There’s not a lot of depth to the picture, though.  Too many early parts of the film take place in shadows or darkness, killing that chance.  On the other hand, the 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio is exactly what you’d expect. Music and dialogue come through crystal clear while the surrounds take full advantage of sweeping you into DreamWorks Animation’s The Croods.



  • None

Special Features:

The special features are a little lacking, if only because they’re tailor made for kid viewers. “The Croodaceous Creatures of Croods” features 40-second segments centering on each creature found throughout the film including Belt, Bear Owl, Liyote, Piranhakeet, Punch Monkey, Turtle Dove, Turkeyfish, Girelephant, and Sharkodile. “Belt’s Cave Journal” is a 6-minute animated feature consisting of Belt’s drawings of his adventures with Guy, including their new pet, the Jackrobat.  “Croods’ Cuts (Lost Scenes)” is 8 minutes of storyboard animated deleted scenes; there’s an introduction with co-directors/co-writers Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders.

  • The Croodaceous Creatures of 'Croods' (8 min)
  • Belt's Cave Journal (6 min)
  • 'Croods' Cuts (8 min)
  • Be An Artist (35 min)
  • Trailer (2 min)


[tab title="Trailer"]