The Croods tells the story of the eponymous family of Neanderthal cavemen who live trembling under a rock. Father Grug (Nicolas Cage) likes to scare his kids with tales of the worldís dangers (the tales invariably ending with ď... and then they died!Ē), but daughter Eep (Emma Stone) yearns for excitement and adventure. When a ridiculous, 2012-esque apocalypse looms (Pangaea apparently broke up in the space of about a week), the family must follow Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a resourceful Homo sapiens sapiens, towards a safe new home.
Thatís about it, really. Raymond Chandler this is not, and whimsical slapstick replaces plot for most of the filmís 99 minutes. Most scenes involve the family running away from either volcanic explosions, lethal animals, or a combination thereof Ė but in true kidsí flick style, itís not entirely clear what can actually harm the characters given that they are routinely crushed by boulders and survive falls from great heights.
Reynolds is much less irritating in animated form, in which I donít have to look at him ďact.Ē Of course, I canít see Emma Stone either, but then again her voice is half the fun. The real star, however, is the animation. Shockingly, the 3D actually enhances the experience rather than making my brain hurt, and The Croods features a fantastical, psychedelic environment thatís part Avatar and part Alice in Wonderland (the 1951 acid version, not the 2010 Tim Burton monstrosity). I wanted to see more of the flying tortoises, but sadly it wasnít to be.