Ok. I like horror, and blood, and boobs... for I am BOONSWEET! But dammit, really, at my warm squishy core; I like all kinds of stuff. And at that "I was a child once" part of my squishy parts (ya ok this squishy thing is going a lil longer than I thought) I love me some animation.
From classics like The Rescuers, Fern Gully, Emperor's New groove... To the modern Pixar exeprience, I still love me a good animated yarn. Lately, Dreamworks has really stepped up their We wanna beat Disney game. KUNG FU PANDA, and, HOW TO TRAIN YOUR DRAGON, are up there as some of my favs I've experienced as a mostly grown ass man.
So this brings us to this here review. The fact that I need to mix it up a bit, I mean I don't know how much violence I can pack in me brain before I start to lose my sweet lovable self... (And I'll just wait for the crowd to stop laughing at that one). So with that in mind, gunna get a few more other genres in the mix here, get back to Boonsweet & Bucklesworth's world travelled, genre blasting, film love... and hate.
Your plot. A family of cavemen, The croods (title drop), have lived their life in constant fear of impending death and doom. The eldest (Emma Stone) is at odds with the old, and funless, ways of her over protective Father (Nic "The ladies call him caveman" Cage). One night she follows a flickering light out from the cave. She finds a young man, Guy (Ryan Reynolds) who has invented fire. And is also aware the world is ending... and so her isolated, unevolved, and somewhat fearful, family must leave what they know... and discover... the world beyond there small cave...
Can we just take a minute and bask in that voice talent. Deep breath. Yay. It is legit, and it shows. Nic Cage as the Father is gold. And I cannot move on without a little love tossed towards Ryan Reynolds as Guy... very impressive.
|So she says "what're you slow?" And I say, no, baby, I'm Sloth.|
The other plot device that makes for a great time is how strong the Croods are. They are used to solving problems with fists, and rock throwing ... so learning to use their "Brain" (Guys word for where ideas come from, gosh what are the odds?) is a rewarding experience.
Ok so there are laughs, and a decent family message in here for the kiddies, and the kid in ... ALL of us (and the audience "Awwwwwwww"s) what about the animation? Well, dreamworks is no "Caveman" in the effects department. Ah, alright, that was a lil weak, but you get my point... it's pretty. They just go for crazy, and bright, and cool, and hey... I, Chuck B. Boonsweet, approve. They definitely borrowed from Avatar: The last airbender (the show not the movie people). All the animals are mixes of creatures... is that historically accurate? No. Who cares, elephant rats are the bestest.
|Ok everyone, say - Primordial Ooooooooze|
Lastly the direction is damn good. I have to give props where props are due. Chris Sanders (the man behind one of my all time favs - Lilo & Stitch) and Kirk De Micco (the man who helmed the indie animated flick - Space Chimps) do a great job cranking up the action, and basking in the 3rd dimension of awesome.
Is it up there with Pixar's best? Maybe not, but Dreamworks is really starting to find there place in the market. And if you look at their worldwide box office... well, maybe the divide is not so great. This is crowd pleasing, kids will be clapping, animated fun. No over thinking, no deep social message, just the heart in the right place (surprisingly so actually, the sly bastards got me a wee bit towards the end, I ain't gunna lie)... and things that make you smile.
You can ask questions like - Where did he get fire? How does he know stuff? Why are there Piranha birds? Sure... but where's the fun in that?
Movie scale 3 out 5 stars
Animated scale 3.5 out of 5 stars
By yaself... with kiddies (yours, not ones you borrowed)... with a cartoon loving better half... whatever the reason. I think there's enough here to warrant ya time, and your 3d specs, if you are lucky enough to have a super sweet digital set up... or a friend with one...
Ok, ok, last thought promise... shout out to the composer... I know these kids movies can be a little bit over-soundtracked sometimes. Or just filled with catchy pop crap. But this one... is actually kinda cool, and epicy at moments. Is epicy a word? No. Shame on you websters. So, good on you Alan Silvestri.
Charles "Ladies love the Caveman" Boonsweet saying "Grrrr, ooooo, ooot, hah, grrr"... caveman for "Till next Booniacs"