Voice Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener
Director: Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco
The Croods marks the return of a Dreamworks animation movie to the big screen as Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco team up in the director’s chair for the first time.
The Croods is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows the world’s first family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always shielded them from danger is destroyed.
Travelling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures - and their outlook is changed forever.
You go into The Croods thinking that you know what you are going to get - a film about cavemen that looks at caveman life - but instead you get this rich story that is driven forward by the meaning and importance of family.
Given the time period in which this movie is set it would have been so easy for the story to have slipped in cliché or gone over old ground but instead this is an original and terrifically fun film with some great characters at its heart.
And it’s these characters that really push this movie along - in particular the central relationship between Grug and his daughter Eep.
Grug’s sole job is to keep his family safe and he believes that the only way to do that is to hide in a cave. Eep is your typical teenager who is ready to break all the rules; she hates the cave, the dark and wants to explore the world.
Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone both give terrific vocal performance as these two characters constantly butt heads as communication between father and daughter breaks down.
But it’s these two characters that go on the biggest journey as Grug learns that not everything new is bad and that he has to let his daughter go while Eep realises that her dad has the hardest job in the world and he only ever had her best interests at heart.
Ryan Reynolds is also great as Guy - he is voicing an animation character for the very first time - who brings excitement and new experiences into the lives of the Croods.
Directors Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco must be applauded for the seamless way in which they blend of the different aspects of this movie together as The Croods is a road trip movie, love story, comedy and drama all rolled into one.
They seem to juggle all of these elements with absolute ease - throw in some weird and wonderful creature creations and you really have a movie that has something for everyone.
The Croods also looks fantastic from start to finish from the dull and dry world that the Croods know to the wonderfully vibrant world that is just over the hill.
These two worlds contrast each other perfectly and the latter really is so incredibly rich that the creatures and the surroundings really do just leap off the screen.
The Croods is a great story, it has fascinating characters and looks fantastic but it really is just missing that knockout blow that would take it from being a good animation movie to a great one.
It just lacks that truly powerful moment that makes you sit up in your seat and think ‘wow’ but then most of the animations that we have seen in recent years suffer from the same problem.
The Croods is an exciting and fun movie that you really can just kick back and enjoy as you get dragged into this weird and wonderful world.
The creature creations and the action will keep the kids happy while the family orientated storyline will be touching and poignant to older audiences.
The Croods is out now