The Croods

The Croods, a story about a prehistoric family’s road trip, took in an estimated $44.7 million over the weekend, easily capturing the number one spot. It is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It features the voices of Nicolas CageRyan ReynoldsEmma StoneCatherine KeenerClark Duke, and Cloris Leachman.

 
The_Croods_posterI have to admit, that after seeing the trailer a few times, this wasn’t a movie my kids or I were too interested in watching.  We really only went to see it because it was the only family movie showing that wasn’t Oz, and we plan to see that next weekend.

I thought the trailers made the film seem like just another stereotypical kids’ film with a protagonist who has dreams to explore and find adventure, and the usual set of over-protective parents who don’t want to give their child the freedom to “find” themselves. And in a way, it is. But it’s also a story about Eep learning to trust her father’s judgement, and about Grug, her father, learning to let go and trust his daughter and everyone else around him.

 
I did read a few reviews that rated the film as mediocre and not all that funny. I laughed a lot more than I expected (especially at Douglas) and was pleasantly surprised upon reading the credits to discover that John Cleese was one of the writers.  Yes, there are a lot of mother-in-law jokes but there are a few good funny moments that more than make up for the cliche.

The Croods’ representation of females:
There were a few times when Eep, voiced by Emma Stone, was climbing rock faces, and the view was from below – I really didn’t like that.  There wasn’t a very clear view of her underwear but enough was seen and for long enough that I was uncomfortable. I did like that Eep was a strong female protagonist and wasn’t a skinny-minny glamorised version of a cave woman. Her mother got hair make-over half way through the movie that can only be described as totally random. To read more about the representation of females in films, click here.

Overall, I would say that this film was definitely better and far funnier than I thought it would be, but it’s not something I’ll be rushing out to buy on DVD or one that would become a firm family favourite.  It’s definitely better than Jack and the Giant Slayer. (Click here for my review.)

Movie going in the United States and Canada remains deeply troubled. Ticket sales for the year to date total $2.06 billion, a 13 percent decline from the same period a year ago. According to Paul Dergarabedian, attendance has fallen 14 percent. (From New York Times)

I can’t help but wonder if this because a trip to the movies is so expensive that it’s downright ridiculous – we went to the cheapest theatre on a Saturday night and it cost $31.00 for an adult and two kids – that was for the tickets only and before the purchase of any snacks.

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11 thoughts on “The Croods

  1. Good review — thank you.

    Re: “and the view was from below” Ahh Disney…like the manga girl who coyly winks at the reader/viewer each time there’s a double entendre, scenes like these form part of the powerful Id to the Disney narrative’s super-ego. I know,” The Croods” is DreamWorks, but Disney markets and distributes DW films, so there’s a relationship there.

    That said, I’m not anti-Disney (or DW for that matter). Maybe it’s hypocritical, but I prefer to call my enjoyment of Disney/DW “informed consumption”. 😉

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  2. I’d go with “informed consumption”, it’s like the best of both worlds. And makes me less guilty about seeing Disney On Ice last week – review to follow. I’ve never watched any manga, and haven’t got any intention of watching it, either.

    I think all those double entendres are in the films to help appeal to the parents, so that they get a kick out of the movie too. Personally, I’d rather do without them.

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  3. I forgot to mention that we saw Ice Age 3D last year (third one made, I think) – the one that was out before the one out recently, and I was horrifies at the double entendres and adult jokes. I think it shows a complete lack of imagination. It was the only Ice Age film we’ve seen and we won’t watch any more.

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  4. We are going to see this next week. Can’t wait.

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  5. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised. I was. And I loved all the new creature/animal creations.

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  6. I look forward to it.

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  7. Let me know what you think of it. My next two reviews are going to be of Disney on Ice’s Rockin’ Ever After, and Scooby Doo’s Musical Mysteries Live!

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  8. ro says:

    i truly enjoyed the movie. did not expect it to be this funny. I was laughing so much. ‘douglas – roll roll’, snapshots! fire!!!

    however, like you i wonder why the mama hair got a makeover, while the grannie did not? strange.

    Nonetheless, it was one of the funniest movie for me this year so far.

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  9. I agree. It was definitely funnier than I thought it would be.

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