IN CINEMAS NOW
RUNNING TIME: 98 mins
REVIEWED BY: Dr Lenera, Official HCF Critic
The Croods are the last remaining family of Neanderthal Man in an arid desert landscape. They have survived by following family patriarch Grug’s rules to the letter, including staying in the cave after dark and fearing anything that seems new. Despite this, teenage daughter Eep wants to break free and rebels against her father, resulting in a chance meeting with the highly inventive homo sapien Guy, who warns her that the end of the world is nigh. When the Croods’ cave is destroyed in an earthquake, the family is forced on a journey into a strange new world where Grug’s rules clash with Guy’s techniques for survival…..
Dreamworks seem to be churning out films very frequently these days but their films are usually good fun [and actually increasingly superior to those of Pixar] and The Croods, which was first announced in 2005 as one of the proposed collaborations between Dreamworks and Aardman Animations, is certainly that. It’s kind of a cross between The Flintstones and Ice Age, though it totally lacks the mild sophistication of the former and much of its humour relies much on the archetypal cartoon comedy where awful things can happen to somebody but they never get hurt. Once again the story centres around a teenage female heroine who wants to break away from the restrictions of her life, and I’m not sure if the constant flow of stories these days that make the father a wrong-headed fool are a good thing, but for the most part it’s just an excuse in this film for lots of slapstick and action. The world the Croods find themselves in betters Avatar’s for visual beauty, strangeness and imagination [look out for the elephant mice!] and the animation is state of the art. Lots of kids laughed at the showing was in while the adults didn’t seem bored, and there’s even the odd bit of education thrown in too. Nothing special in the end, with a script that could have been wittier, and certainly nowhere near the level of How To Train Your Dragon or Rise Of The Guardians, but never boring.