Friday, January 31, 2014

Saturday Movies: The Croods (2013)

I don't usually go out of my way to watch animation movies, which is a shame. I saw The Croods available though to watch, and couldn't help but take some time out to watch it especially since it doesn't take much involvement nor time to watch. The Croods was a surprise on just how much I laughed and it entertained me. For girls who have been teens or had a dad like the one in this movie you might be able to relate, and on the plus side the story offers lots of visuals that are just vivid and lively.

Summary: Eep is adventurous and tired of living with her family in the cave in fear. Grug isn't letting up on how protective he is of his family though that also includes his son, Thunk, his wife, Ugga, his youngest child, and his wife's mother. After Eep meets Guy she learns about the fate of the world, but until the cave's crumble do they react to what Guy has foretold. Now with the help of Guy the family travels through tropical terrains to get to a new location and save themselves from what appears to be the end of the world.

Acting: This might be Nicholas Cage's best role in awhile and he fits the role of Grug. I like they way the character catches everything down to Cage's facial expressions to make it extra real. Emma Stone is Eep, and Stone is having a lot of fun with this voice over. She didn't come out with much last year, and the only thing I can remember outside of this was Gangster Squad. Ryan Reynolds was also in the movie as Guy, for Reynolds this might be one of his better roles in the past couple of years as well. He doesn't stand out as much as Stone or Cage, but his voice is fitting. Clark Duke is another recognizable face as Thunk, and the guy seems like he is everywhere yet a guy who is struggling to find a break in a movie, but his voicing is good for Thunk here. Catherine Keener was the voice of Ugga, the mother, and the one I couldn't place. Ugga is suiting as the mother, but also doesn't really have anything apart of her character that makes her memorable. Cloris Leachmen plays the very fitting voice of Gran though. Leachmen brings the funny even with a voice over.

Filming: The movie is really a visual festival. Every detail is colorful and vivid, even before they get into the forest. I also really enjoy the movements of the characters that they have choreographed into the movie because it makes them feel real, but also still brings that cartoon factor that is always interesting to watch about cartoons. There is also a quality to Dreamworks animated movies that do make them a lot different than one might feel than watching Pixar, and while a lot might make this rank the movie lower than Pixar I personally think it gives the movie a vibe that you would only search for in either or. Dreamworks is usually a little more adult but family friendly, and Pixar is definitely more for kids, but provides nostalgia when you're watching as an adult.

Plot: The plot is where a lot may believe the movie struggles to hit home at. It doesn't quite leave you with the warm and fuzzy feelings you might get after watching other animated movies. The story though is one I could relate to, and while it doesn't provide anything deeper than the value in cherishing family and learning how to work together, which is a great lesson, others might feel that is a bit lackluster to take away from a movie considering it is a generic theme. The movie handles it well, and I like the way they cover a father and daughter relationship in particular in a realistic way. I grew up in a home where the means of the dad not getting the kids to disobey was to make them fearful about the world. I lived in fear of a lot of things for a lot of time, and still do because of it. I could relate to Eeps rebellion, but still felt I was much like Thunk as well who respects his parents and has really taken their warnings to heart.

The Croods is an enjoyable movie for adults and kids. It's a great family movie that keeps the jokes pretty contained to be safe, but they were actually funny, and as you grow more attached to the characters they become more funny. The adventure aspect of the movie also compelled me. It provides great color as well, and cutely designed characters that really are cute.

Rating 8.5 of 10.

The Croods (2013) on IMDb

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