Chris Sanders is one of my favorite animation directors of all time. He's worked some pretty fantastic animated movies both at Disney and DreamWorks and I have loved the previous two movies he's directed, "Lilo and Stitch" and "How to Train Your Dragon". Now he and director Kirk DeMicco bring us "The Croods" which focuses on a prehistoric family trying to survive in a crazy environment. It's not as a good as his other works, but I still think that this is a pretty fun movie with an okay story, gorgeous animation and some memorable characters to go with it. Here's how the film plays out.
In prehistoric times, a cave family called The Croods is stubborn to typically leave their cave due to their stubborn father named Grug (Nicholas Cage) being scared of the dangers of the outside world. Although most of the family consisting of his wife Ugga (Catherine Keener), her mother Gran (Cloris Leachman), son Thunk (Clarke Duncan), and his ferocious young daughter Sandy are fine by these rules, his older daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is curious about the outside world and sick of always being stuck in a cave and goes out to explore. Pretty soon, however, the families cave is destroyed in a massive earthquake and the family soon discovers a massive tropical forest and are forced to find a new home in a matter of time. After discovering another young boy who can create fire named Guy (Ryan Reynolds), they embark on a crazy long journey to the mountain to find a cave before an impending apocalypse destroys them all.
Now before we go over some of the problems the film has, let's talk about the good things that are in it first. The best thing about the movie is the animation. This is some of the best animation I have ever seen not just from DreamWorks, but in general. Everything looked so vast and beautiful and the colors were just eye-popping and rich. The jungle really reminded me a lot of Pandora from James Cameron's "Avatar" it was that good. Everything had so much beauty to it that I couldn't take my eyes off the screen. The characters are also a lot of fun. I think the chemistry between Guy and Eep was the strongest throughout the film as her curiosity matched with his clever personality match perfectly. I really liked how the animators at DreamWorks actually made the characters a little like the actors who were playing them. I found that Eep really did have a resemblance to Emma Stone which included her red hair and even Ugga looked an awful lot like Catherine Keener. It was kind of surprising how much the animators captured there looks in a way. As for the story, it's just okay. I feel that some of the scenes were more sequences of jokes sewn together rather than an actual movie at times, but as a whole, I think it's all right. With that said though, the movie does have some problems. For one, I don't think the movie is as emotional as it could have been. It has some slightly effective moments, but they don't make a huge impact like "Lilo and Stitch" and "How to Train Your Dragon". Also, I felt that the movie's ending, which I'm not going to spoil, was a little too long. I felt like it could have been cut down a lot in order to make it work, but it kinda went on and I just kept thinking to myself "How much longer is this?" which is typically not a good sign.
Though overall, I did like "The Croods". It definitely could have been a lot stronger than it was, but as a whole, this is a pretty fun flick. The animation is fantastic, the characters are a lot of fun, and its story is actually pretty okay for an animated movie. It's definitely not Chris Sanders' best work, but it's certainly not a bad film. I think it's a film you should check out eventually if you want to. Just don't expect anything too grand.