This weekend, we were lucky enough to be invited to a preview screening of Dreamworks’ new animation feature, The Croods, by Odeon UK. Testing the boundaries of ‘family film’ somewhat, I was joined by de brevren: a touch off 18, and a smidgeon shy of 15. Testing, it would certainly be.
Happily though, this movie really does appeal to all ages. The Croods are a family of cavemen, living mostly in their cave, in fear of being eaten, like most of their neighbours, by various wild animals.
All this changes when the cave is destroyed and the family: Dad Grug (played by Nicholas Cage), Mum Ugga (played by the awesome Catherine Keener from The 40 Year Old Virgin) and kids Eep (Emma Stone), Thunk (Clark Duke) and the brilliantly wild baby Sandy (‘release the baby!!!’) along with Gran have to move out into the sun, meeting slightly more evolved Guy (Ryan Reynolds) along the way. Their journey is filled with loads of laughs and the most amazing creatures you could possibly imagine. There is more than a hint of Avatar about some of the scenes, with beautiful animation in incredible colours.
Along the way, the Croods lose a few of their caveman traits and even learn to appreciate each other a little more. The animal characters are in danger of stealing the show, especially ‘Chunky’ (above) who spends a large proportion of the film trying to eat the family, and ‘Douglas’, a dog-like prehistoric creature.
We giggled, smiled and (okay, just me…) even shed a tear. Verdict: uplifting, beautiful to look at and with incredible 3D technology.