Posted March 20, 2013 by Mikael Angelo Francisco in Movies/TV


DreamWorks Animation, 20th Century Fox
Philippine Release Date: March 22, 2013
MTRCB Rating: G
98 minutes

Perhaps the most surprising thing about The Croods is the casting.

I didn’t bother to look up the voice actors before watching this film, because I didn’t give it too much thought and definitely wasn’t expecting to be pleasantly surprised. Let me tell you now – The Croods is perhaps Nicolas Cage’s best movie yet. There’s really nothing more I can add to that, aside from “oh my God, that was Nicolas freakin’ CAGE?!” so I guess I’ll stop here (but not without commending Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds for inspired and entertaining performances as well).

The Croods follows the adventures of the titular characters, an uptight family of cavemen who could just as well have called themselves “The Proods”. The movie shines the spotlight on the headstrong daughter Eep, and her constant attempts to go against the mantra imposed upon them by their overprotective patriarch, Grog: to stay in their cave at all times, and to “never not be afraid.”

Looking at the threats they face during the entirety of the movie (as well as the fates of other families, setting the premise that the Croods are the only family of hominids left), this is actually sound advice, and what any sane parent would abide by under the circumstances.

Of course, because this is a family-oriented feature aimed primarily at children, a bright and upbeat conclusion is to be expected, and so Eep proves, with the help of her newfound friend Guy, that there are a lot of things that her father – and the rest of the family – really need to see with their own eyes.

The child-friendly nature of this film, however, does not detract from its quality. The colorful world and fantastic imaginary creatures that populate the landscape serve as the backdrop for intelligent humor, engaging action scenes (the entire breakfast sequence comes to mind), and lessons on maturity, acceptance, and balancing caution and curiosity.  The relationships between father and daughter and father and son-in-law (heh) are also explored here, without going overboard. Additionally, the setting of the film was definitely appropriate for the overall message of adapting for survival, and it was taught in a way that wouldn’t fly over the heads of the audience.

Perhaps my sole complaint about this film would be about all of the animals – even and especially the predators – looking too cuddly and adorable. The Ice Age franchise, for example, managed to show us perfectly frightening saber-toothed tigers and pirate apes. In this case, as soon as the green-furred icepop-toothed kitten (yes, that’s what I’m calling it, and I’m sticking with that) appeared, I already got a strong feeling that it would have a much bigger role that just “mindless predator”. Besides, how could anyone possibly let anything bad happen to that little kitty?

The Croods is a good choice for a weekend movie with the family, and will certainly provide you with 98 minutes of wholesome entertainment. It’s a nice, delightfully “kiddie” movie to watch before the iron men and men of steel (and steel claws) start punching their way to the silver screen (because come on, we’ve ALL been waiting for those films, let’s not kid ourselves).



Hats off to 20th Century Fox (like their page here!), DreamWorks, and our friends at Ayala Cinemas (like their page here, too!) for the special screening of The Croods!

Mikael Angelo Francisco