Genre: Comedy | Animation Director: Randy Thom , Chris Sanders Cast: Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman Runtime: 93 minutes Watched at Prasadz, Hyderabad
I love ANIMATION – that’s a fact. And this love is the only thing that motivated me to travel 50 odd kilometers to watch its paid premiere screening at Prasadz, Hyderabad.
The Croods tells the story of the world’s first family road trip. A smart montage of crude cave drawings is used at the start of the film to illustrate rebellious Eep’s (voiced by Emma Stone) narration explaining the reasons why her overprotective father Grug (Nicolas Cage) insists the family “NEVER LEAVE THE CAVE”, while Grug uses the cave walls to sketch out the STORIES he tells the clan every night. Despite Grug’s best efforts to shield his family from the dangers of the outside world, an EARTHQUAKE destroys the cave and leaves them with little choice but to EXPLORE the world beyond. As they try to find a new HOME, they are joined by the SMART, but lonely Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who is convinced the world as they know it is coming to an end and the only way to avoid certain death is to reach a distant mountain.
From the directors of 2010′s HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders, The Croods has a great animation style and a colorful world. Everything from the character design to the hybridize creatures made for The Croods, the film is pretty to look at. But when it comes to story and plot, The Croods falls flat at points.
The main difference between DreamWorks and Disney is, only STORY-LINE Disney continues to give us story lines that are top class, just like last year’s Wreck-It Ralph. That’s not to say that the animators at DreamWorks don’t execute a good idea well every so often, How to Train Your Dragon, Kung Fu Panda, and Shrek are all top-notch entertainments for kids and adults alike. But with the same fate as Rise of the Guardians, The Croods storyline is mediocre. You don’t really get involved with the story line until half way through the film, and get bored easily throughout it. The Croods is a decent mix of The Flintstones and recent released Hotel Transylvania.
We’re used to seeing impressive visuals in computer-generated animations these days, but The Croods is particularly stunning and a big reason for this can probably be put down to Oscar-nominated cinematographer Roger Deakins being drafted in as VISUAL CONSULTANT. I was really impressed with the amount of detail in every scene, and was connected to the scenery. The Croods showing inquisitiveness, energy and characters staring up at fire/ galaxy of stars are brilliantly shown. Aimed more at kids, there are enough cute animals to keep kids entertained, although adults will struggle to find much to latch onto. I just loved SLOTH (A Belt of Guy’s).
Coming to Voices the only voice that seemed to be out of place was Nicholas Cage. I felt the voice did not seem to connect to the character and deserved a much deeper voice, and Stone and Reynolds work nicely off each other as the hormonal teenagers whose curiousness regularly lands the clan in danger. BTW!! Eep’s appearance is remarkably similar to that of Merida from Pixar’s Brave, right down to the big red hair. Rest of the voices suited the animated characters.
The 3D is good at points, but not necessary. If you have the cash to shell out for the 3D, definitely go and see it in that format.
After watching the first trailer of The Croods, I thought it was going to suck. The first half was unfunny, with its big laughs being already spoiled by the trailers. But the second half was fun, with better visuals and with the predictable but well executed poignant moment before the ending. The Croods, may be prehistoric when it comes to offering up anything even vaguely original, but there’s enough fun here to make the animation fans entertained.
This is no How To Train Your Dragon. Decent for kids, lackluster for adults. Still, not exactly torture either. If you have kids who are dying to see this film then go see it. Otherwise wait for DVD.