Last weekend I took my four year old son on a mommy/son date to see The Croods, the new Dreamworks animated film that opens in theaters today across the nation.
The Croods is a 3D comedy adventure that follows the world’s first modern family as they embark on a journey of a lifetime when the cave that has always been their home, is destroyed. Traveling across a spectacular landscape, the Croods are rocked by generational clashes and seismic shifts as they discover an incredible new world filled with fantastic creatures — and their outlook is changed forever.
It was a cute film. I’d been a little worried that it was going to have a lot of crude (no pun intended) humor, but I was pleasantly surprised. There wasn’t one instance where I cringed at any of the language. The film centers around a familial relationship and the all too familiar theme of parents squelching their children’s dreams of going out on their own. It provides a lot of food for thought and I would imagine that those of you with children in the six to ten range can have some really good discussions after the movie.
In The Croods, Grug (voiced by Nicholas Cage) is your typical caveman who vows to protect his family whatever the cost. The only reason they are still alive is because he pushes the concept of fear onto his family. Daughter Eep (voiced by the lovely Emma Stone) wants none of it. She wants to learn new things and explore the world around her. She quickly gets her wish as she stumbles upon a boy named Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds) who knows way more about what is happening in the world than Eep and her family.
The main reason that I think the movie is rated PG is because of the intense themes throughout the film. There is a lot of talk of death, doom and the end of the world – but all of that went right over my son’s head. Even the earthquakes didn’t seem to shake him, although the scenes could be scary to some children. Instead, he turned to me and wanted a quick science lesson on how and why earthquakes happen. Um, can we talk about this at home?
One thing to keep in mind (I’m talking to you parents!)…you might need tissues. I can’t believe it but I teared up a few times toward the end of the film. There are some very touching scenes between Eep and her father and I complety choked up. As much as I tried to deny it, the knot in my throat kept growing while father and daughter tried to navigate their emotions and unsaid words of love. Sniff.
My son loved it. His favorite character was Belt, the little creature who keeps Guy company and his pants from falling down. He giggled, he reached out to touch the screen and catch flowers, fire, and was smiling when we left the theater. He’ll be saying “Dun, dun, duuuuun!” for the next month.
If you’re looking for a family afternoon out, I say go see The Croods. You’ll laugh, you might cry and your kids will love it. I’m pretty sure we’ll be buying it when it comes out on Blu-Ray.
I was provided with two passes to see this movie. All opinions are my own.