Strong vocal performances anchor a silly but sentimental film
Chris Sanders seems to me to be one of the shining stars in the animation world right now, and while I don't think his new film 'The Croods' is as great as either "How To Train Your Dragon" or "Lilo & Stitch," it's still a solid execution of a fairly simple idea. There are some visually breathtaking moments, and the family material in the film is executed with real heart, directly and honestly. For families who have been waiting for a movie to see together for most of the spring, "The Croods" is going to be a welcome sight, indeed.
Eep (voiced by Emma Stone) is a typical teenage girl, bristling at the restrictive rules her parents live by, eager to see the wider world around her, and able to hunt and kill prey with her bare hands. She is, after all, a caveman. Or cavegirl. Or whatever you'd call her. She lives with her father Grug (Nicolas Cage), her mother Ugga (Catherine Keener), her brother Thunk (Clark Duke), her grandmother (Cloris Leachman), and her baby sister Sandy, and they spend most of their time blocked safely in their cave, afraid of the outside world. They venture out to eat, and that's about it. Grug believes the entire world is a threat, and there's value in fear. To his credit, pretty much everyone they've ever known has been eaten or stepped on or otherwise killed, and they are the last of their kind that they know of, so there's some justification for the way Grug feels.