A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Dawn of the Croods is an animated series that takes place before the events of the popular film The Croods. Set in prehistoric times, the show often features intimidating, oversize predators that try to catch and eat the Croods and their neighbors. This can be scary for youngsters who watch, but it packs less of a punch than similar content in the full-length movie because of this show's less sophisticated animation. Even so, there are some implied deaths, crashes, painful bumps and falls, and a constant sense of peril. At the same time, there are strong sentiments about family affection with an "all for one and one for all" cohesion that helps the Croods resolve their spats. Expect to see some mild rebellion from Eep, who's testing boundaries as she gets older, and some general mayhem (chasing, biting, growling) from the wild tot, Sandy. You'll also hear a fair amount of name-calling such as "idiot" and "stupid."
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What's the story?
DAWN OF THE CROODS introduces (or reintroduces, if you've seen the DreamWorks film) the cave-dwelling Crood family -- father Grug (voiced by Dan Milano), mother Ugga (Cree Summer), teen daughter Eep (Stephanie Lemelin), middle child Thunk (A.J. LoCascio), and baby Sandy (Grey DeLisle). Together with Ugga's mom, Gran (Laraine Newman), the Croods live contentedly in a prehistoric community teeming with both adventure and danger. While Eep tries to find her social niche, Thunk's clumsiness causes one mishap after another, Grug and Gran butt heads over their close quarters, and Ugga just tries to keep the peace. This series follows their ups and downs in the time leading up to when the movie picks up.
Is it any good?
Though nowhere near as engrossing or as visually captivating as the popular movie, this animated series has its moments of levity and emotion, much in the same way the film did. Parents will relate to Ugga and Grug's child-rearing struggles, from managing their wild youngest offspring to learning to accept Eep's newfound maturity. Most viewers will also be able to see things from central character Eep's point of view, embracing new possibilities as she grows up and changes. For all the coarseness of the time, there's quite a lot of gentleness and human insight that makes this more than just another comedy.
As a prequel, Dawn of the Croods sets up the characters we see in the movie, laying the groundwork for the mutual animosity between Grug and Gran, Grug's unrelenting struggle to keep his family safe, and Eep's desperate need for adventure beyond their cave. With its strong family sentiments and Flintstones-esque caveman humor, it's a win-win for viewers regardless of whether they know ahead of time how the characters' fortunes play out in The Croods.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about what accounts for the Croods' solidarity as a family. How do they manage to overcome those times when they lose patience with each other? In what ways do their family rules resemble your family's? How are they different?
Is Eep's behavior always worthy of role model status? When she breaks the rules, is it justified? What does she learn in those moments?
Kids: We don't have to worry about predators and the elements the way the Croods do, but our society has its own dangers. How do you stay safe at home? In school? On the Internet?
Themes & Topics
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