THE CROODS is the Dreamworks Animation UK box office blockbuster hit, earning over £26 million! If, like us, you missed it then you will be pleased to know that Twentieth Century Fox Home Entertainment are releasing it on DVD and Blue Ray just in time for Christmas! By that I mean the 9th December – so there’s time to buy it, wrap it, and make sure Father Christmas gets it in time to deliver it.
Set in the prehistoric era of Croodaceous Eep, the teen daughter of Grug, explains how they are the only remaining family to survive thanks to her dad. Although she doesn’t feel very grateful for it as the only reason they didn’t die is because they are not allowed to do anything “we followed all the rules written inside the cave”. That anything that is fun was bad. She tells us that then it all changed when their World as they knew it came to an end – and there was no writing on the cave walls to prepare them for it.
I love who true to modern life the family dynamics are – like when the dad has done all the work but as he’s the last to eat there’s nothing left, and how he’d love his mother-in-law to be out-of-the-way. I love the message of how important family in this film – which is what we should think about at Christmas time. “Fear keeps us a live,” Grug says, “no-one says survival was fun.” In true dad-teen relationship neither of them are listening to one another, and nor do they understand how the other one feels. He tells the story of how curiosity kills. But still Eep’s curiosity draws her out of the cave to where she finds fire and a boy! (named Guy).
Guy tells Eep that the World is going to end. I love the bit where all the family break Eep’s shell horn because they are that fearful of anything “new.” I guess it is back to the basic fight or flight instincts, a lot of things are daunting to do and anxiety levels go through the roof, but sometimes you have to take some risks to live a little. For me this echoed around many conversations I hear in the school playground about whether we should allow our children’s photographs on the internet, should we let them play outside, have a mobile phone – yes life has evolved from life inside a cave but the decisions we make about our parenting seem to remain the same – with some giving free-rein and others being so over-protective that are they not letting their children live?
But then their cave IS destroyed, and what they see Is beautiful, but still Grug will not let them explore it. The dad trying to kill the first boy his daughter meets is just a normal over-protective father response – isn’t it?!
There is humour running throughout the film, such as when Guy explains what a pet is, and that you don’t eat them, then Gran then replies with “A pet you don’t eat – we call those children!” Not forgetting Guy’s pet Belt going “den den daaah!”
Grug tells them a story about how a girl left the cave and then it was destroyed (their story) and that they all died. Then Guy tells a story about how the girl was told not to go to the edge of the cliff and that when she got too close she flew! (Again echoing the fight or flight response).
As Grug challenges himself to walk over the spiked rocks, that he has previously said that you cannot cross, there lies the message that sometimes to get what you want you need to do things that you do not want to do, or to think about them differently. Just some people need different reasons to be inspired to act than others. It’s when Grug starts to listen to Guy, and appreciate the reasons behind what motivates him that really changes things.
Crude is a “natural or raw state, not yet processed or refined,” the Crood family are definitely like this at the beginning, but certainly not by the end.
What I love about watching a film on Blue Ray or DVD is that it does not matter if a child needs the toilet, or one does not like it – they can get up and walk away (or pause it). All 3 of my youngest sat glue, memorised for the entire duration (approx. 94 minutes. My youngest clearly liked it because as soon as he saw the credits he asked for it again.
The animation is fantastic and you can really see the detail in their hair, as it blows about. Most important for me is the sentiment – I love a good 3D animation that can bring tears to my eyes. Of course if you were lucky enough to have already seen it, not only can you watch it again but you can also catch the Extras: Belt’s Cave Journey, Croods’ Cuts (the lost scenes), a Theatrical trail, Sneak Peek (Turbo, Epic and Holiday Favorites), and World of Dreamworks Animation.
Written and directed by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch) and Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps). With an outstanding voice-cast: Golden Globe®-nominee Emma Stone (Eep), Ryan Reynolds (Guy), Oscar Winner Nicholas Cage (Grug), Chris Sanders (Belt), Catherine Keener (Ugga), Cloris Leachman (Gran), Clark Duke (Thunk), Chris Sanders (Belt).
I was sent a free copy of Dreamworks The Croods in order to review it. I stand a chance of winning an ipad mini.
All thoughts and opinions are my own.