The Croods Blu-ray Review: A Fun Family Film That Needed a Little More Originality

The story is about a family of cavemen. Over the years, they have seen their friends and neighbors killed off by illness, dinosaur attacks, and all kinds of unimaginable ways that people can die.

The only reason that the Croods have managed to survive so long is because of the Grug’s (Nicolas Cage) basic philosophy. Be afraid of everything and stay locked away in a cave as much as possible.

But that kind of life isn’t really living. It’s just surviving. And that life style isn’t something his daughter, Eep (Emma Stone), can stand any longer. Her father might be keeping them all safe but she needs more than just safety.

So one night while everyone is asleep she sneaks outside after having seen some strange flickering lights emanating from outside the cave. To her great surprise, she discovers Guy (Ryan Reynolds), who can create something she has never seen before: fire. Not only can he create this magical element, but he has a wandering nature that Eep finds to be a kindred spirit.

Grug is immediately distrustful of this newcomer, not only because anything new is bad but he is also encouraging his family to leave the safety of their cave. He tells them that the Earth is crumbling and destroying anyone or anything upon it. Their only hope of safety is to flee to a distant mountain. But Grug refuses to budge, that is until the cave is destroyed in an avalanche as the ground splits open and attempts to devour them all.

While fear has kept the Croods alive and hunkered down in a mountain cave for all of these years, it is now fear once again that motivates the family this time to follow Guy into the unknown.

The Blu-ray was presented in Widescreen 2.35:1 format with a DTS-HD Master Audio 7.1. The picture was bright and clear with lots of vibrant colors. It was very easy to see all of the little details that must have taken animators months to create just to give it a more realistic feel. The Combo Pack contained two discs with the Blu-ray version, a DVD version, and a downloadable Digital HD.

There were several different types of special features as well as deleted scenes. “Be an Artist” was nice for both kids and adults as artist Sean Sexton taught the viewer how to draw some of the characters of the film. “Belt’s Cave Journal” was also a fun little feature that told a story in cave painting form of how Guy and his animal sidekick Belt (Chris Sanders) helped to return a Jackobat to its family.

For all of the money spent on the animation and big-name stars, they could have spent more money on the writers. The film isn’t bad, but it feels very rehashed. The storyline of them fleeing a natural disaster is the same idea as Ice Age. And while it was funny the way the family reacted towards new things, it got old after a while just as did the constant mother-in-law jokes directed at Gran (Cloris Leachman)

Even so there are some hilarious moments and the film moves at a fairly quick pace. Children will like the action, vivid colors, and silly creatures but adults might want just a little more from a film, even an animated one.

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Todd Karella

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