What do you get when you mix together equal parts The Flintstones, Father of the Bride, and How To Train Your Dragon? The obvious answer is Dreamworks Animation’s newest feature The Croods, starring Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, and Ryan Reynolds.
This film is about a prehistoric family that is forced out of their cave by necessity and into a rapidly changing world. With a great cast and a creative storyline, The Croods seems like it will be a hit for the likeable studio’s animation department.
For those unfamiliar with the family, check out a quick introduction below:
First you’ve got Grug, the patriarch of the family voiced by Nicolas Cage. He’s the caveman version of that horribly out of touch father who, despite everything, just wants to protect his children. Even if the things he wants to protect them from are totally and completely inevitable, like “change” and “growing up.” Also, I’m picturing Nicolas Cage doing a caveman voice, and there is no part of me that isn’t amused.
Then there’s Ugga (voiced by Catherine Keener), Grug’s wife. She’s a little bit more understanding and forward thinking than her husband. It’s sort of like that dynamic between some parents, when the mom uses Facebook and has an iPad, while the dad struggles to find the End button on his Tracfone. Despite their differences, they’re both fully committed to their children, trying to make sure they survive each day.
Their oldest child is Eep (voiced by Emma Stone). Out of the whole family, she’s the one who’s most excited about getting out of the cave and having a little fun.
“For The Croods, anything new is super scary. New is bad. On this journey, every single thing they come across is going to be new. For Grug, it’s a nightmare. For Eep, it’s the greatest thing that ever happened to her,” says co-director Chris Sanders.
Next in line is Thunk, voiced by Clark Duke (Hot Tub Time Machine). As his name might suggest, he’s not going to be inventing the wheel anytime soon. He’s a big, hulking nine-year-old with a great heart, but doesn’t seem like he’ll ever get a handle on this whole evolution thing.
Then we’ve got Sandy the Baby, who just makes me think of Donnie from The Wild Thornberrys. She’s a savage little creature whose favorite activities include biting and communicating with non-intelligible animal noises. But Sandy is also a fierce survivor, so in a way she’s the kid her parents least have to worry about.
And finally there’s Gran (voiced by Cloris Leachman), the wizened paternal grandmother who seems to be there mostly to impart homespun wisdom and argue with her son Grug.
So that’s the family. But where’s the source of conflict? What makes them leave the cave in the first place? Oh. Ryan Reynolds, you say? I should have known.
Ryan Reynolds plays Guy, the next step on the evolutionary chain. He’s not as big and strong as the Croods, but he’s got the brain power to make up for it. Apparently this whiz kid has figured out fire, which makes him a valuable asset for the Croods. But he’s also an innovative thinker, full of crazy new ideas that don’t exactly endear him to Grug. They do, however, make Eep very interested in the intellectual newcomer.
The Croods is being co-directed by How to Train Your Dragon collaborators Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco, with a little development help from Monty Python’s John Cleese.
The film follows the reluctant adventures of a prehistoric family as they explore the world outside of their cave, with a little help from a resourceful, more-evolved stranger.
Slated to hit theaters in 3D on March 1st, 2013, The Croods seems like a unconventional play on a familiar, well-loved storyline, which should earn Dreamworks another hit.
Source: First Showing