Movies / Animé and Toons

The Croods: A Traditional Prehistoric Family

By Hervé St-Louis
October 5, 2013 - 16:26

Prehistoric cave girl Eve rebels against her over protective father Grug and wants to explore the world and be curious. But Grug, who takes protecting his family tempers with Eve’s curiosity at every turn. When a wandering Cave boy called Guy shows up, escaping wanton natural destruction in the area, Grug has no choice but to allow Eve and the rest of his family to go on a trip in a dangerous land filled with bizarre creatures. Will the Croods survive their prehistoric trip?

If you’ve missed this movie when it was announced and playing last summer, here’s your chance to watch it for the first time. However, if you have watched it already at the theatre, you may choose to skip this causal animated feature for the very reasons I disliked it. The Croods are an update on the old Flintstones theme but they don’t go as far in terms of the adaptation of current technology into a prehistoric context. The most distinctive use of current day technology is their approximation for a camera. What is very modern about this family is its dynamics with the rebellious teenage daughter, protective father, understanding mother, dumb son, feral baby and annoying mother-in-law. Much of the humour in the film comes from the sitcom premise of the cast.

What I disliked was the absence of colour in this film. I’m not writing about the various colours used on the animals, plants and sets. These were very colourful and enjoyable. The Croods are your typical 1960s idea of what middle class American were. It’s totally white, not even with neighbours of a different shade. The family is the typical nucleus with father, mother and the rest of the cast. It was like looking at The Simpsons or Family Guy, but without Apu or Cleveland making cameos. Even the boyfriend, Guy, is the typical American jock, although he is less barbaric than his in-laws. In fact, it is hinted that the Croods are Neanderthal and that Guy, whose body is much slimmer, might be a homo sapiens.

Guy is not afraid of the rain, of creatures in the forest, is very resourceful and has knowledge of how to create fire. He’s also very inventive and not much of a hunter.  The Croods are the very idea of an American conservative family but they live in a prehistoric America that’s totally white. I understand that Hollywood creators don’t want to be held responsible for creating contents that appeal to the real cultural makeup of America and the world, but The Croods was too excessive in ignoring cultural diversity.

I liked the character designs as 2D drawings much better than their 3D rendition which borrowed from Shrek and other Dreamworks productions. The story was very weak with a very anti-climatic climax that was quickly resolved and stretched credibility even in a movie that wasn’t very plausible. The idiot overweight son was a superfluous character in a crowded ensemble. I wasn’t impressed with this movie but the behind the scenes and children-oriented activities are very interesting.

Rating: 6.5 /10

Last Updated: May 19, 2020 - 12:25

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