“The Croods” was a Dreamworks animated film that was directed and written by Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders. DeMicco had only directed 2008’s “Space Chimps” but wrote other animated films such as “Racing Stripes” and “Quest For Camelot”. Sanders had previously directed “Lilo & Stitch” and “How To Train Your Dragon” but also wrote other Disney films including “Beauty and the Beast”, “The Lion King” & “Mulan”. The film stars Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman. This film received both an Academy Award and a Golden Globe nominations for Best Animated Feature.
During the prehistoric times, a particular cave family, The Croods, have survived natural disasters by sticking together no matter what. Grug, (Cage) has been doing everything he can to protect his family over the years. His wife, Ugga (Keener), his oldest daughter Eep (Stone), his son Thunk (Duke) baby daughter Sandy and Ugga’s mother, Gran (Leachman). As Eep has gotten older into her teenage years, she becomes more distant and more interested in the outside world. One night, Eep discovers another human using a torch to light his way across the dark valley. This other human is revealed as Guy (Reynolds) and he warns Eep of an impending death on those who stay behind. When the rest of the Croods meet Guy, they are a bit unsure of his habits and “new” lifestyle. The more they get to know Guy they more the actually like him. All except Grug who is unimpressed with his way of life. Guy tells them of a better “Tomorrow” awaits them beyond the valley. Grug immediately argues the fact that it is too risky to leave the valley to a place of they’ve never seen or been to. However, Guy’s and Grug’s worst fear came to as a volcano erupts and begins to destroy whats left of the valley. Now, Guy and the Croods must track across the unknown to safety in order stick together and find a good place to stay and regroup.
This was actually a pretty good movie with a simple story of family and adventure. The voice cast is great and gel really well together. The look of the prehistoric times was impressive and much like the “Ice Age” films, has its own unique look and feel. Dreamworks had been known for some impressive film series including “Shrek”, “How to Train Your Dragon”, “Madagascar” and “Kung Fu Panda” as well a few hidden gems like “Megamind”, “The Boss Baby” and “Trolls” but this film in particular went in a new but great direction. It does have similarities to other Disney movies like “The Lion King” but it has own charm to separate itself.
Overall, this was a good adventure film for the whole to enjoy. While Dreamworks would release more sequels to their other franchises, “The Croods” remained a standalone until “The Croods: A New Age” was released in 2020.