The Croods

  • Review Date: March 14, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013

Common Sense Media says

Gorgeously animated adventure has intense themes.
  • Review Date: March 14, 2013
  • Rated: PG
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Positive messages

Lots of affirming messages. Eep and the rest of the Croods learn that hiding leads you nowhere, that courage opens up your world, and that love needs to be expressed. Also, to be yourself. As one character says: "Don't hide -- live!" Some bodily function humor (nose picking, etc.).

Positive role models

Though Grug is fearful and makes clear (albeit jokingly) his disdain for his mother-in-law, he does make decisions out of a need to protect his family. He's the first to throw himself over them when the Earth rumbles and rocks start falling or when animals around him attack. (He does sic his baby, who's pretty tough, onto prey that he's trying to catch for food.) Most of all, he cares deeply about Eep, his daughter on the verge of womanhood. He admires her but worries for her. Eep adores her father but isn't swayed by his fears; she's eager to expand her horizons, literally and figuratively. She pushes Grug to explore, and he encourages her to think before she acts. Ultimately, he also teaches her how to share her feelings by modeling that behavior himself. Guy also shows Eep the joy of living freely, unencumbered by anxiety. Female characters sometimes rely on male characters to save them, and Eep sometimes acts a little silly around Guy.

Violence & scariness

Frequent talk about death/the risk of death in this wild, unstable world; at one point, viewers are even led to believe that a central character may have perished. Guy mentions the death of his parents, and a bedtime story includes a reference to a character dying as well. There's also plenty of talk about the end (of the world) being nigh, what with all the earthquakes and fires and such, which could scare younger or sensitive viewers. Mountains tumble, the ground splits, and animals big and small descend on others they deem prey. (The animation is so top-rate that you can practically feel the rocks crashing down on the ground.) There's some pretty serious -- and seriously competitive -- hunting and gathering going on (admittedly in a cartoonish way), with Grug urging everyone to huddle for a "family kill circle" before they go nuts trying to catch anything they can eat. Characters push and shove and hit one another to get at the (potential) grub. Characters wield spears and rocks and fiery sticks and fall or hurl themselves off cliffs. It's definitely survival of the fittest, and the bravest, in Croods-land.

Sexy stuff

Plenty of flirting between a teenage boy and a teenage cave-girl. They hold hands and come close to kissing in one scene.

Language

Some name-calling intended to be humorous -- "fat," "dummy," etc., plus "sucky."

Consumerism

Although the movie itself contains no product/brand references, DreamWorks has merchandise partnerships with everything from video game companies to tofu.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Croods, while quite funny and gorgeously animated, deals with some pretty heavy themes: the constant risk of death and worries about the end of the world. Prehistoric times are convincingly wild, dangerous, and unstable: Rocks fall, mountains tumble, and the Earth opens up and swallows the ground whole (all made even more immediate when seen in 3-D). The frequent peril and talk of the end of the world are likely to make younger kids nervous. And then there are the conversations about parents dying and kids themselves being in danger; at one point, viewers may even think a central character has perished. Other scenes show characters battling other creatures for supremacy and food, so there's plenty of slapsticky whacking and hitting, too. Female characters do end up getting saved by males, and you may find yourself heading to the Internet to research the accuracy of the movie's creatures and events. All of that said, The Croods has a wonderful message of courage and celebration of adventure at its core, and there are strong, loving family relationships.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), a teenage cave-girl living in prehistoric times, longs for adventure in the big open world right outside where she lives with her entire family -- mom Ugga (Catherine Keener), grandmother Gran (Cloris Leachman), brother Thunk (Clark Duke), baby sister Sandy (Randy Thom), and dad Grug (Nicolas Cage). Grug is a traditionalist, believing that there's no safe place beyond the cold dark of their hideout cave. He thinks that Eep should rein in her adventurous side because it can only lead to danger, that you should "never not be afraid." He means well, but Eep feels very constrained. She longs to explore what lies beyond their hole-in-the-mountain wall, and not only when it's time to hunt for food. One day, she sneaks out, lured by a sliver of light, and meets a young man named Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who knows how to start a fire. He's a confident explorer with an adorable creature named Belt (Chris Sanders) as his only companion. Guy knows there are big changes ahead: The ground is literally shifting under their feet. Guy thinks Eep and her family have to run to safety with him, but to where? A whole new world that even the anxious Grug concedes may be the only key to survival. But that means going out into the open for the Croods, and they aren't used to being so vulnerable.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

What makes THE CROODS great is how it doesn't just rest on its CGI glories (though they're pretty amazing -- see below!). Though the visuals are exciting, there's a steady heartbeat that booms at the movie's center. Stone Age they may be, but Grug -- and, to a certain extent, Ugga -- struggle with a parenting dilemma that iPhone-lugging moms and dads experience, too: having to let go of children on the cusp of adulthood and, even more important, learning from them, too, as they experience a bigger, more complicated world. The Croods explores this dynamic with compassion and surprising depth. There aren't as many knowing winks at the audience as most other movies in this genre, but you won't miss them much. Would it be icing on the cake if a film with an assertive, intelligent teenage girl as its main character didn't end up having her -- and the other females, for that matter -- rely on the men to save them? Yes. Does it take away from the film's girl-power message? A little. Is this an awesome film anyway? Definitely.

And now back to those visuals: The Croods brings us into a world we've only imagined, animating it with what begins as a textured, painterly rendering and changes into a colorful, remarkable prehistoric world filled with every color on the wheel. The landscape is a buffet of eye candy. The characters' voices are expressive, their faces and gestures equally so. When Eep is lured out into the sun by a tantalizing ray of light, her joy in exploring is palpable. When we see what she sees, we understand why she disobeys. Directors  and  don't hurry the story along -- a welcome relief -- because there's so much to see and experience with Guy and the Croods. Some scenes are actually a bit overstuffed, teetering on the edge of migraine-inducing: Prehistoric animal mash-ups whiz by, squawking and squealing, while Eep and her family grunt, hurl, bounce, jump, shimmy, and serve up quick banter to boot. But thankfully, we also get quieter moments that allow the characters -- and, by extension, the audience -- to think and appreciate the previous thrills.

Families can talk about...

  • Families can talk about The Croods' themes. In a wild world like the Croods', danger really was around every corner. But did the talk about the end of the world and characters dying scare you? Parents, reassure younger kids that times are very different today!

  • Talk to your kids about Eep. How does she break stereotypes (or conform to them)? Is she a role model? Is Guy?

  • Grug's family motto is "Never not be afraid." Is this good advice? If not, why not? Does it work for Grug and his family?

  • How historically accurate do you think The Croods is? How could you find out more about prehistoric facts? And how important is it for animated, fictional movies to stick close to history?

Movie details

Theatrical release date:March 22, 2013
DVD release date:October 1, 2013
Cast:Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds
Directors:Chris Sanders, Kirk De Micco
Studio:DreamWorks Animation
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Adventures, History
Run time:98 minutes
MPAA rating:PG
MPAA explanation:some scary action

This review of The Croods was written by

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  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
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Teen, 15 years old Written byToonPrincess March 24, 2013
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Fun, charming, but a little too violent

I saw "The Croods" a few days ago and I was pretty impressed. It had a good story, a few funny and charming heartwarming moments, an amazing scenery, and a good voice cast. The story is about a family of cavemen who live in a dangerous world where they hide from danger, struggling for survival; and they would rarely go out to hunt for food. One of the cavemen, Eep, (the daughter of the overprotective father of the family named Grug) is tired of hiding and wants to explore the harsh and hostile world. All that changes when Eep meets a guy named Guy, who tells her that the world is about to come to an end, and that they must leave the cave and get to high ground; thus leading to an adventure of fun, survival, and a little bit of disaster (I won't spoil a lot for those who haven't watched it yet.) I was amazed because I had a connection with a character (Eep) who's father never knew how she felt about him. I cried a little because I loved my father but he never loved me back; but during their adventure, they got to bond a little bit, and it showed me that dad's love you too, but they forget to tell you because they're often busy with their lives. Besides the charming scenes... yes, there WAS violence in the movie. When I watched the movie, there were a bunch of little kids (probably 4-6 years old) and their mother sitting beside me, and soon as the violent scenes began (such as the Croods' cave collapsing as the 'world is ending', some sort of whale creature getting eaten by pirahna-bird hybrids (the skull is shown too), a bird getting caught in a trap and being eaten, some chase scenes involving a tiger-like creature named Chunky, and a scary and disastrous climatic scene near the end) the mother and the children left and asked for a refund. You can take your kiddies to see this if you and they are aware that this movie has some scary scenes in it, but don't take them to see it if they can't handle stuff like this.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Educator and Parent Written by4OHickeys March 23, 2013
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

Way Above My Expectations - Great Family Movie!

I originally did not want to see this movie AT ALL. I wasn't impressed with the previews and really couldn't imagine where this storyline could go. I imagined the characters being flat, chased by (or chasing) dinosaurs, or hanging out in the cave. Boy, WAS I WRONG! This movie has a great storyline, meaningful subjects, beautiful animation, imaginative/out-of-the-box prehistoric animals and moves along very well. I enjoyed and appreciated this movie on many levels and found myself laughing out loud as much as both of my sons. The chase and running from danger scenes were never gratuitous or filler to move the movie along. They were all meaningful and actually very funny when you consider really how imaginative the animals really were (brightly colored, enlarged and merged figures such as a brightly-colored saber-toothed tigers and elephant mice). My 8-year-old loved it and said it was a definite see-in-the-theater movie (next time in 3D, he said) and for our download/DVD library when the time comes.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence
Parent Written byrizkisari March 23, 2013
AGE
6
QUALITY
 

colourfull movie good for the whole family

It is a fun and colourfull movie.Family can enjoy it together.Beginning of the movie was a bit dark and intense,especially Grud used the ending of hes story.
It abused the family members and makes them really scared.
After that the movie was ok because it explore and make kids think and act problem solving with creativity.

What other families should know
Educational value
Great messages
Great role models
Too much violence

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