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Movie review; The Croods

This animation movie, set in the primitive age, takes us back down the evolution ladder to the era of cavemen. The Croods, a family of six, are the only survivors of natures wrath, among their clan. Living under the pretext of “never not be afraid”, led by the patriarch Grug, the Croods never leave their cave except for the rare occasions where they hunt in a pack.

The Croods are so primitive that they don’t know about brains or concept of ideas. Now they encounter a more advanced being, Guy, they are taken on a whole new adventure of exploration, giving up much of their previous beliefs in order to survive through the destruction of their world.

An interesting parallel story is of their rebellious teenage daughter, Eep. Eep falls for Guy, their saviour and much against, her father’s will. The egocentric father is not impressed by Guy’s innovations, whereas the rest of the family seems to like the Guy.

And like all DreamWorks movies, this too has a happy ending. Grug realizing his strength is his (physical) strength and they need to stop living in fear and start living in the light.

A few highlights of the movie are the family’s hunting tradition. The family hunts in a pack, which has an uncanny resemblance to a ruby game gone awry. Sandy the hyper- active, ferocious baby, with the speed of a road runner and fangs meant for a kill, is the families hunting tool- “release the baby!” is a common call. Another recurrent occurrence is Grug’s stories, with the epitome of them being; anything new is bad, curiosity is bad, the light is bad. Break these rules and “Bamb!” a squash of the hand indicating you’re no more.

The skillful animation, lavished with a colourful, imaginative palette is sure to score points with the younger audience. The setting, a merge of the marine and terrestrial world blended with make believe characters, is subtly interwoven in the narrative. Other than that, The Croods is not one of the best works of DreamWorks. Having set the bar high with their previous productions, The Croods is more of a let down. Lacking in humour which is supposed to be the main essence of the movie, apart from a few feeble jokes, the movie is rather bland. For an animated movie with its audience being kids and teens this aspect fails to captivate the audience and absorb them in the story. Apart from Eep, Guy and Grug, the other characters in the movie lack a personality, restricting the audience to connect with either of them.

On the whole the story fails to make a lasting impression.
2 stars

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