Croods, The (3D) (U)

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The ViewLondon Review

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Review byMatthew Turner22/03/2013

Four out of Five stars
Running time: 98 mins

Enjoyable, colourfully animated and frequently funny comedy with a witty script, some inventive ideas, impressive 3D work, a strong message and strong comic performances from a talented vocal cast.

What's it all about?
Directed by Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders, The Croods is an animated adventure starring Nicolas Cage as prehistoric caveman Grug Crood, who protects his family – rebellious daughter Eep (Emma Stone), mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), feral baby Sandy (Randy Thom), panicky pre-teen Thunk (Clark Duke) and sassy Gran (Chloris Leachman) - by insisting that they never leave the safety of their cave after dark. However, when Eep (Emma Stone) sneaks out in search of adventure, she meets slightly more evolved caveman Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who has learned the secret of fire and who warns her that danger is coming.

Sure enough, when Guy's predicted seismic activity destroys their cave, the Croods are forced to flee to safety as their valley collapses around them. With Guy leading the way, Grug has to confront his fear of change and adapt to his new surroundings if he's going to keep his family safe.

The Good
The vocal performances are excellent: Cage is very funny as Grug and there's strong comic support from Stone (whose character even looks a bit like her), Reynolds (completely reigning in his sarcastic screen persona, to winning effect) and Duke, while director Sanders puts in a scene-stealing turn as Guy's sloth sidekick Belt (‘Ta-daaaaa!’). In addition, De Micco and Sanders maintain a decent pace throughout and the film is packed with great gags, both verbal and visual.

On top of that, the script delivers a strong message and there are several inventive ideas, not least in the character designs for the creatures the family encounter, many of which (croco-puppies, walking whales, flying piranha birds) are a gift to the film's merchandising department and could be seen as a fairly subtle dig, considering the anti-evolutionary fervour espoused by certain elements in America. Similarly, a lot of thought has obviously gone into the way the characters think and behave, which pays strong comic dividends.

The Great
The animation is lively and colourful throughout, with strong attention paid to the various landscapes. The film also features some of the best 3D work of recent years and it's good to see animators fully embracing the gimmicky aspects and actually using 3D to have things fly around in front of your face again.

Worth seeing?
The Croods (3D) is a thoroughly enjoyable animated adventure with likeable characters and a sharply observed, frequently funny script. There's also definite franchise potential here and on the evidence of the first film, that wouldn't be a bad thing. Bring on The Croods 2: More Croods.

Film Trailer

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Content updated: 23/10/2017 14:36

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