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Thu April 11, 2013
Movie Review: The Croods
The Croods is a quite enjoyable animation that might have been a little better if it had made up its mind what it wanted to do and worked a little harder to avoid repetition.
Its problems are in the script, not the production, and what problems it has are not very serious.
The Croods are a family of cave people, only the father of which seems to be a Neanderthal. The rest are typical sitcom stereotypes and clearly intended to be nothing more, except at a point or two where heart-tugging is pushed a bit more than is necessary or effective.
The mother is motherly, the older son is bratty, the baby is an absolute horror, and the star of it all, the pubertic daughter, is a good deal sexier than this kind of material usually allows-- maybe than it should allow-- though the animation is not realistic enough to allow anybody to object without looking pretty silly. And the storyline has nothing to do with sex whatsoever.
The story, in fact, becomes one of The Croods' few weaknesses, as it consists almost entirely of a series of disasters and escapes without developing any theme or character, though it occasionally makes a little nod in those directions as if it were developing them.
There is little point in mentioning it, but The Croods does not stick to any particular theory of evolution or Earth history or anything else, so even its animals sometimes represent real creatures-- past or present-- and sometimes are the wildest kind of imaginary beasts. The color department, especially, seems to have had a free hand.
But characterizations, within the limits of stereotype, are very well done, special effects and CGI in general is up to anybody's standards, there are a huge number of chuckles and a fair number of guffaws-- all where intended-- and, in general, this Dreamworks animation looks like a Pixar, and you don't get any better than that.