“The Croods” is a great family romp about a great family romp.
Set at the dawn of man, the Croods are a happy Neanderthal family who spend most of their time hiding in a cave, coming out briefly to forage for food.
The father, Grug (voice of Nicolas Cage), keeps his family close by, using fear as motivation for everything.
Grug's wife, Ugga (voice of Catherine Keener), plays referee between her mate and her rambunctious children, teenager Eep (voice of Emma Stone), son Thunk (voice of Clark Duke) and baby Sandy (voice of Chris Sanders). Ugga's mother, Gran (voice of Cloris Leachman), lives with them.
Eep is starting to rebel against her father's rules and creeps out one night attracted by a strange light. She follows it and discovers a blazing torch.
One of many sweet scenes in this movie is Eep's discovery of fire, and the Cro-Magnon teenage boy who possesses it.
Guy (voice of Ryan Reynolds) is fascinated by this strange girl who is freakishly strong and intensely curious.
Guy warns Eep about the disasters on the way for her part of the world and invites her to come with him. She chooses to return to her family, armed with a shell she can blow to call Guy if she gets into trouble.
After an earthquake destroys their cave, they discover a world full of unfamiliar dangers and no caves. Eep contacts Guy and he explains to Grug what is coming and urges them to go with him.
“The Croods” is a visual delight. The animals look like creatures from a lost Dr. Seuss book.
Cage's Grug is every father faced with taking care of a family he loves in dire circumstances.
Stone, who also narrates this tale, is perfect as the young woman who finds the perfect young man, to her father's dismay.
Each family member is unique and funny in his or her own way. Also charming are the animals — from Guy's sloth called “Belt” to other critters who tag along.
The movie is full of surprises. Silly little birds that can eat an animal down to the bones in seconds, beautiful flowers that eat everything but flowers, flying turtles and a multicolored saber-toothed tiger all play big parts in this prehistoric story.
There are a few situations that may scare young children, but for most “The Croods” is a great way to enjoy family time or will make a fun date movie, one you may want to see more than once.
— Sandi Davis