I just finished watching the recent Nicolas Cage movie The Croods (2013) in theatres the other day and couldn't help wondering how much alike this film was (minus the swear words) with Ronal the Barbarian. I have to insist that Nicolas Cage does make for a great animation voice and everyone can pretty much tell right away who the cast is: Ryan Reynolds and Emma Stone.
This movie is terrific for the family, in my opinion, since it follows a traditional heroic narrative archetype and the eventual fulfillment of a mission. The film is basically about six cave dwellers of Neanderthal-stage semi-prehistoric individuals whose interactions and thirst for life evidently lead them to discover traits about themselves they never knew, gaining great personal insight and self-development--this is essentially a different concept of the coming of age, in this sense, we can call it the process of human ingenuity, creativity and self-improvement.
So there are about six characters, each signifying a different type of personality that we experience and learn in our day to day lives. Personally, as a children's movie, it might be hard for the little ones to really relate to them, I feel that this Walt Disney film really attempted to get at the heart of teamwork, loyalty and pride.
The Croods at a Glance
Nicolas Cage of course plays the father figure (Grug) and the mother is played by Catherine Keener (Ugga) teenage daughter Eep (Emma Stone), tweenage son Thunk (Clark Duke), the girly baby Sandy and gran, well, Gran (Cloris Leachman). It's kind of a strange plot! The characters are created in a classical family epic. In a fit of fear, Grug convinces them that they should never leave their cave because the world is dangerous, fearful and terrifying and one should save themselves. Of course the teenager Eep, like all teenagers, detests that kind of thinking--she wants to see the world, experience new things and fall in love (but I wonder if cave people actually really thought like this, haha). Next is another, Gui, some kind of seer. He tries to convince Grug that their cave is going under from an earthquake, but Grug isn't convinced! And lo and behold, it happens. They're forced out of their cave and now they have to wonder throughout the unknown perils of their world.
How much did Dreamworks Animation Spend on The Croods?
The Croods was actually made in 3D, that means that they spent more time and more money on it than they ever even imagined. Can you believe that it took Dreamworks Animation Studios 80 million hours to render this movie in 3D? Compared to their previous film, The Rise of the Guardians, it's 15 million more hours! Dreamworks reported that they had 300 to 400 animators working on this film over the past three years. Dreamworks animated movies are starting to become extremely competitive to Pixar animation studios, in that they are using more and investing massive proportions in order to win your attention. Does The Croods win your attention? This recent Nicolas Cage movie was quite a good one, but not the best that I've seen him do to be honest. I think that Dreamworks animated movies could be better, but in the time that they spent on The Croods, it was pretty decent.
My Thoughts about The Croods (2013)
I honestly thought The Croods could've been better. The story line seemed a little too similar to Rise of the Guardians and trusted far too much in the simplicity of their audience. I think it should've been more accustomed to a more complicated audience, but naturally, as a children's movie the themes are evidently clear: simple is best. Honestly though, this wasn't all too simple, since the relationship that Eep and Guy (played by Ryan Reynolds) was actually too much filled with innuendos that the children don't really understand. I would rate this film as being 3/5 and I think that's pretty generous.
Have you ever seen The Lorax?, it kind of follows a similar trend but the emotional appeal is so much greater, personally. It is strongly metaphorical and highly educational for young children. It doesn't contain these innuendoes and provides a more practical solution to the environmental disaster. The Croods falls short in inspiration for me. Although really insanely cool, The Hobbit might also be a movie worth checking out with your children! If you want to watch a Nicolas Cage movie, check out The Sorcerer's Apprentice, if you're a big fan of Walt Disney Pictures.
Family-wise, The Croods, a recent Nicolas Cage film, is adequate for the audience in general and should be awarded its PG MPAA rating. I would have to warn you though that at times it could be too much. Disney Movies aren't my thing, but it could be yours. Give it a try, it might even be as bad as I think it is, haha.