Review: ‘The Croods’ balances story with animation

Ryan Morris

Editor’s Note: The following reflects the opinions of the author.

“The Croods,” a newly released animated film, follows the story of the last surviving family in prehistoric times.

Equipped with an all-star cast and led by the director of both Dreamworks’ “How to Train Your Dragon” and Disney’s “Lilo and Stitch,” the film delves deeply into the elements of family and what it means to be alive, all the while incorporating humor and beautifully crafted scenes.  

The movie begins with an introduction from Eep, voiced by Emma Stone, the semi-traditional rebellious daughter of the caveman clan. She explains that all other homo sapiens are now extinct and it is essentially her father’s fear of everything unknown that has kept her and her family alive.

When she meets a young man named Guy, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, he informs her that the end of the world is coming and they must abandon their cave to travel to safety.

Though the entire experience is exciting for them, it is also very trying as they are forced to relearn every aspect of life and to erase any kind of preconceived notions.

The film is decorated with breathtaking landscapes and a startling variety of original animals. Even without the story, it would be exciting to view a universe painted with such talented artistry as this.

Despite the childish feel and emphasis on imagery, “The Croods” has some pretty heavy themes in it. There is a constant fear of death and an ever-present awareness that it actually could happen at any moment.

Family is also a huge aspect of the film. The events and dynamics all make the main characters seem even more real and relatable. Eep’s shunning of her father’s teaching, Grug’s hatred of his wife’s mother and his resentment of Guy are all authentic aspects of true relationships.

Grug is perhaps the most interesting character in the film as he personifies the personality of a typical father, making him tangible in a way that the other characters are not. This is really the one and only issue, since it might be nice if minor characters had more depth to them.

The main relationships are between Grug, Eep and Guy, and they are the only ones that receive any real attention. There are only seven human characters in the movie, but, because of the negligence of minor characters, it becomes more difficult to keep up with them, which can add chaos to the already chaotic life of a caveman family.

Aside from this, there are no other apparent flaws with the film. The animation does not overwhelm the story, nor does the story take away from the animation. Overall, “The Croods” is delightful from beginning to end.

Rating: Three and a half out of four stars.

Story: CHELLA MCLELLAND, Intern A&E Reporter