Oscar® Nominee for Best Animated Feature Film
Reviewed by: Kirsten Palmer
Animation Kids Family Adventure Comedy IMAX 3D
1 hr. 38 min.
Year of Release:
March 22, 2013 (wide—3,900+ theaters)
DVD: October 1, 2013
don’t be ruled by fear
Parents need have a wise balance in their protectiveness.
caves in the Bible
Has there ever been a time on Earth that was truly pre-historic?
fire in the Bible
Origin of man
ADAM—What was the first man, really like? Discover the fascinating facts about this unique man from whom we are all descended! Answer
The family that prays together stays together. However, in “The Croods,” the family that hides from darkness and avoids anything new or different survives together—at least, according to the father Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage). In this prehistoric setting, Grug aims to keep his family safe, because that is his job. To do so, he keeps his family in line with rules that should never be broken. Grug considers fear a very good thing, because it helps his family survive. His daughter Eep (voiced by Emma Stone) is tired with the same old routine, day in and day out, and she especially hates the cave. As her curiosity grows, her father attempts to keep her safe by telling the family stories that warn of the dangers of curiosity, warning them that curiosity leads to death.
Despite these warnings, curiosity wins Eep over one night as she follows a light that turns out to be fire. She meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a more modernized human, in his advanced ways of thinking. Guy warns Eep that the end (insert cute sound effect, “dun dun dun”) of the world is coming, he’s seen it and tells her of the signs (earthquakes, lava). She declines his offer to take her with him; she has to stay with her family. So he gives her a gift, a conch shell to play, if she survives “the end.”
Before she can return to her family, Grug awakens to find Eep is gone. Believing her to have been snatched by one of the dangerous creatures forever chasing the Crood family, he goes looking for her. Discovering she left of her own choice and met some guy, he tells her she’s grounded. As they return to the cave, “the end” begins, and the Crood family is forced to abandon their now destroyed cave.
Grug leads the family on a search for a new cave, but, in a moment of danger, Eep finds a horn and is able to play it and get Guy’s attention. Guy returns for Eep and meets her family, the father who wants Guy gone, her mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), her brother Thunk (Clark Duke), Gran (Cloris Leachman), and the baby. Afraid of Guy’s advanced ways of thinking, yet impressed by his ability to make fire, the Croods force Guy to help them journey to a group of mountains where Grug hopes to find a new cave.
Slowly, Guy wins over the whole family with his ideas, such as shoes, setting traps for food, and animals as friends/pets. Grug is set in his ways and unwilling to change and starts to become jealous of his family’s affection for Guy. This is where I will stop summarizing, because I don’t want to give away too much more.
Overall, I was fairly impressed with this movie. There was no bad language and no inappropriate innuendos, that I noticed. They are cave people, so they’re wearing animal skin clothing to cover what needs to be covered. The exception would be Guy, who wears no shirt, just pants for the most part.
The only thing I would like to warn potential viewers about is, if you have little ones who are sensitive to violence in movies, there are scenes of scary looking animals chasing the Croods. Grug gets beaten up by some monkeys; Guy takes a beating a few different times. Some cute looking birds who descend on what appears to be a land whale (a whale walking, with legs and all), and when the birds take off there’s nothing left but the bones. My oldest son probably would have been terrified by this movie when he was three.
I really enjoyed this movie. It made me laugh, it made me cry… One thing I truly like about this movie is appearance isn’t always everything. As I just mentioned, there are some adorable looking creatures who turn out to be vicious, but there are also some threatening looking animals who end up becoming cuddly pets. Grug is a flawed, but, loving, father who wants what’s best for his family. He believes that keeping his family alive is what’s necessary, that fear is a good and necessary thing for survival. He tells his family stories that always end in death, hoping that fear will keep his family safe. But remember, 2 Timothy 1:7 tells us…
Then they meet Guy, who tells stories of hope. As the family turns from Grug to Guy for leadership, Eep tells her father that “not dying” is not the same thing as “living.” They leave a life of surviving for a life with purpose, “following the light.” While there is no mention of a creator or higher power in this movie, the message of the movie is that there is hope, there is purpose in life when we follow the light.
For those looking for a family-friendly movie to take the kids to this weekend, “The Croods” is actually pretty good and family safe… but if your little ones are sensitive to movies with a little violence in them, this may not be for them.
Violence: Moderate / Profanity: None / Sex/Nudity: Minor
See list of Relevant Issues—questions-and-answers.
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