Grug, father of the caveman Croods, rarely lets his family leave the cave. It’s a dangerous world out there, full of creatures that either want to eat you or accidentally squish you.
But when a giant earthquake destroys their rock-solid home, the family has to make a choice: find a new cave, or journey into the unknown.
Eep, Grug’s teenage daughter, wants to explore. She recently met a guy, named Guy. He stands upright and carries the sun around with him—or at least, a miniature version he calls Fire. Guy has a plan for the future, but if the Croods want to join him, they’ll have to leave the (relative) safety of cave life behind.
The Croods are clearly modeled after theories about “primitive” man—they are not entirely human. Sometimes they even run on all fours. Guy, on the other hand, acts like a modern human. The filmmakers don’t seem to be aggressively pushing evolution here—they’re more interested in the idea of people from different worlds.
The characters dress in simple animal skins. Parents might think Eep’s outfit is too skimpy, and Guy spends the whole movie shirtless. Guy and Eep are attracted to each other. They hug and hold each other and briefly kiss.
Surprisingly, the Croods do not use crude words.
Like we said, it’s a dangerous world out there. The Croods brims with silly slapstick violence—family members wrestle and thwack each other with stones—along with actual peril. Characters are threatened by large animals (and even hungry plants). Tiny critters swarm like piranha and eat everything but the bones. We learn that Guy’s parents died in a tar pit.
Grug wants his family to be cautious. “Never not be afraid,” he warns. In a land where almost everything wants to eat you, that’s pretty good advice. But the world is constantly changing, and if you run away from everything that scares you, you’ll waste your whole life hiding. The Croods tells parents that they should teach children to never be afraid . . . which might be going too far the other direction, but that’s a different discussion.
The Croods, for all its slapstick violence, is a fun, mostly clean and likable movie—made for kids but with a message for parents.
Copyright © 2013 by Focus on the Family. Used by permission. Clubhousemagazine.com