Sunday, April 14, 2013

A Movie Review - The Croods

 
We went and saw this today and what a treat it was!
 
I do not think computer animated = good, funny, wholesome kid movie. There are a few that I've seen that have questionable content, where the jokes fall flat or are based on crude humor, or are just not good over all. But in this case, I was thoroughly entertained from beginning to end.
 
First and foremost, this is a movie for kids, so let's go through the movie from a parents' perspective on content. I am the type that can not stand when writers put in words like "butt" just for a cheap joke, so words like that just make me cringe. I didn't hear one word in this movie, not one "fart" joke, not any situations that were inappropriate for kids. I believe the only word I heard that gave me any pause was "sucky," which I believe was referring to the situation they were in, but even that didn't bother me. The dresses were not inappropriate or show anything revealing. There was a love story with the two younger characters, although there was no kissing, just a couple of glances within close proximity of each other. There was a underlying joke between the older mother-in-law and son-in-law, in which he would count all the family members, after a perilous situation, and be "excited" if he didn't immediately see her, but even in the end, that relationship is mended.
 
From an entertainment perspective, this has much for adults and kids alike. If you are concerned with the historical factuality of cave people and evolution, there really isn't anything about this movie that is based in fact. While this movie discusses the beginnings of ideas like fire, shoes, and traps set for food, instead of living in caves and crudely hunting, unaware of the outside world, it is, in no way, intended to be teaching children of anything historical. This world might have well be somewhere else other than Earth. In fact, the scenery was so colorful and other-worldly, Jason and I looked at each other at one point and said, "This reminds us of Avatar!" There were fantastical animal hybrids, like turtle birds, whale-looking hippo creatures, alligator dog creatures, and mammal-like creatures that shared a tail. The forest scenes had beautifully colored flowers and vegetation. It certainly was a pretty movie to watch.
 
Since this whole movie is based on changing one's perspective on the world around you, and on situations in the world that are new, it's central story line is a father, voiced by Nicholas Cage, trying to keep his family alive in a dangerous world, while his daughter, voiced by Emma Stone, is tired of being cooped up in a cave for days on end, wondering, what is the meaning of all of this? Is our only purpose to simply not die and just exist? I loved this movie because it shows a very strong family unit, navigating the perilous unknown as a family. The kids in the unit are Eep, the oldest daughter, who is questioning her meaning and her existance, Thunk, the middle son, who is lovable yet naive, and Sandy, the youngest daughter, who is a cross between a toddler and animal of some kind. Her character was a little strange to me, as she growls and shows her teeth and acts tiger or wolf-like, even though she is a baby, but she offered some wonderful jokes and scenes.
 
Guy is the strange human introduced to the family after Eep sees him out, in the dark, with fire. She doesn't understand what fire is, and later on, when the rest of the family is introduced to it, it is one of the most humorous scenes I've seen in a long time. Watching this family go from cave-dwelling people, afraid of their surroundings, to people who adapt as their world around them is changed, is just as funny as it gets. Then Guy begins talking about navigating your world with a brain and ideas, which the dad, named Grug, struggles with the entire movie. It is a very endearing, heartfelt movie, and I, for one, enjoyed it immensely. Avery is 2 and a half, and watched intently the entire time, and our 11 year old son said it was "pretty funny," which is two thumbs up, compared to, "it was ok" which is two thumbs down. At least in our house, those are the comparison ratings. Even my father was laughing during the movie. If he was laughing, that means any adult would find it funny.
 
I highly suggest this movie! It's probably going to movie we will have at our house, because it is not a movie that I would mind watching 45 times a month. (The others that are in that category in our movie vault are Tangled, The Incredibles, Wall-E, Bolt, Finding Nemo, and Brave.) We might even take the kids to see it in 3-D, as just from watching it in 2-D, I can tell that this movie was really made with the intention of a 3-D experience. Overall, what a wonderful movie treat!

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