At the end of February, one of my daughter’s friends said that she was having a delayed birthday party because she wanted to see The Croods for her party. At the time, I had not heard of The Croods. But my daughter and her friend had seen the trailer in January when they saw Rise of the Guardians. Then a week later I received an invite to a screening of The Croods. After we saw the movie two weeks ago, it seemed that I was suddenly seeing commercials for The Croods everywhere.
The Croods are a family of cavemen who are the last of their friends and neighbors to survive the harsh life of cavemen. They survive primarily through the strength of the father, Grug (Nicholas Cage), hiding in their cave most of the time, and fearing new things. However, their oldest daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is frustrated by hiding in the cave and longs to explore. Drawn by a light, she sneaks out of the cave one night and meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds). In stark contrast to her father, Guy lacks pure physical strength, but embraces new things and is inventive in finding solutions to problems.
Guy is convinced that “The End” is coming because of earthquakes, lava bursts, and more (the breaking apart of the continents). After their cave in a dry, dusty, desert like environment is destroyed, the Croods find themselves in a world of new experiences as they find themselves homeless in a lush jungle environment without caves. Guy is their reluctant guide through these new experiences as Grug tries to hold to the theory of finding a cave and holing up in it.
My daughter absolutely loved the movie. Her favorite character was Guy’s sidekick Belt. Her favorite thing about Belt was that anytime someone would say “The End”, he would say “Da-Da-Daaaaaaaa.” She says that she likes it more than the animated movies that she saw last year (Brave, Hotel Transylvania, and Wreck it Ralph). She cannot wait to go see the movie for a second time at her friend’s birthday party.
I also enjoyed the movie. I did not feel that it was just for the kids. There was plenty of humor for the adults – especially in the relationship between Grug and his mother-in-law, Gran (Cloris Leachman) and how he was the over-protective father as Eep and Guy grew closer. I enjoyed seeing how he took things from the environment to create now everyday items like shoes.
We saw the movie in 3D. I am not always a fan of 3D as I sometimes feel that things look fuzzy especially in action sequences. I saw a little of that in the first action sequence, and then did not notice it again (I wonder if my eyes need a little while to adjust to focusing on the 3D). I enjoyed the way they used the 3D to float embers, dust from rock slides, etc. towards you. It was done subtly enough to not feel like a 3D movie gimmick. I thought the movie was worth seeing in 3D if your kids will wear the glasses.
On a side note, the screening that we attended was in Sterling Heights since we were unable to attend the Ann Arbor screening. Dreamworks had invited several local Girl Scout troops (from the Southeast Michigan council) to the screening. As a Girl Scout myself (formerly a Brownie, Junior, and Cadette and currently a Girl Scout Parent, Adult Girl Scout, and Cookie Mom), I am glad to see them supporting the Girl Scouts. My daughter was a little sad not to have been in her uniform too but when they heard she was a Girl Scout they gave her the patch the Girl Scouts were receiving.
In Ann Arbor, The Croods is playing at both Quality 16 and Rave Cinemas.