Sunday, March 31, 2013
One of the most puzzling things in this world is the fact that animated movies rarely receive negative reviews. If you haven't noticed, it's quite true. Sure, there may be a few people who occasionally dislike an animated film, but there is hardly ever a negative critical consensus... EVER. I don't know why this is. If you know, please comment! Anyway, because success is expected, my expectations were high for The Croods, as they would have been with any other animated film. I've even read a few critics who were ready to hand The Croods the Oscar for best animated feature. Regardless, the previews were absolutely hilarious, with the buffalo falling in the fault and what not. So, I decided to become a child for a couple of hours and go watch The Croods...
Just like every animated film, there was a definite moral storyline. In The Croods, the story was focused on the family (just like James Dobson), specifically focusing on the father figure Grug (voiced by the indebted Nicolas Cage). The lesson, taught by the story, was great for people of all ages, and I will guarantee that you will enjoy watching this with your kids, if you get the chance. As for the dressing up of the storyline, I was not quite as impressed. Not that it was ridiculously awful, but I felt like I was watching Ice Age, featuring humans! The oblivious nature of the characters was quite inconsistent, leaving an inconsistent air about the film. For an extreme and fake example, one day, the family would not understand what a tree was. Then, they would be perfectly ok with playing on their iPad the next day! This example is a bit over the top, but I wanted to give you a clear for instance. For me, this inconsistency was not an issue, because I just wanted to laugh at the ridiculous characters. However, Oscar voters will not approach the film with the same thinking.
The family dynamic of the film was made possible by the creative characters and the events that surrounded them. There were a few characters that I didn't care for, but, overall, they were great.
Usually, characters do not fall to the background in animated films, but the mother of the family, Ugga (voiced by Catherine Keener), was one of the most useless characters. The story was focused on the father-daughter relationship, and there was really nothing for Ugga to do, which is disappointing. On top of that, Ugga's mother, Gran (voiced by Cloris Leachman), was nowhere close to as funny as she could have been. She should have been so so so funny. I envisioned a caveman Betty White for the role, but it just didn't work out that way.
The relationship of Grug, Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), and Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) was really what made the film as good as it was. As I said, the father-daughter relationship was great, but it was made even more special by Guy's presence as the love interest of the young Eep. Even with this great relationship, the best (and funniest) character was undoubtedly Thunk (voiced by Clark Duke). I laughed my butt off at his stupidity, and I loved his pet dog/alligator, Douglas. You will also laugh your butt off! I promise!
After many laughs and a heart warming story, I would definitely say that the critics will have a hard time naming The Croods a rare animated failure. Did I want to see it fail? No, not at all. But, I do want to know what makes animated films so dern bulletproof. Then, I want to go out and make one of them, reaping the benefits without the risk. If your kids are out of school tomorrow and you need a film to watch with your family, I would certainly suggest The Croods. It really is a great family film that no one would deem inappropriate. I won't spoil why, but I will promise that your kids will be screaming "Da, Da, Daaaa" and flailing their arms after watching this film. To be honest, I have been doing for a week! I give The Croods 2.89 out of 5 stars.