Directors Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMico are no strangers to directing on animated films with Sanders’ coming off his last movie, the Oscar-nominated animated film “How to Train Your Dragon,” while DeMico’s previous directorial work was on “Space Chimps” featuring the voice former “Saturday Night Live” cast member Andy Samberg. Sanders and DeMico’s latest film, “The Croods,” is a prehistoric comedy adventure that follows a Neanderthal family as they embark on a road trip after the cave they were living is destroyed.
The Croods are the last family of cavemen and cavewomen after their neighbors were eaten or died of sickness. They always rely on their instinct and fear everything else thanks to their matriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage). Grug labels anything that is new dangerous. When his teenage daughter Eep (Emma Stone) sneaks out of cave without permission, she meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), an intelligent teenager who warns Eep of an impending earthquake. When his prediction comes true and the Croods’ cave is destroyed in the process, Guy leads the family as they trek through an unfamiliar fantastical world filled with colorful creatures.
“The Croods” is nothing spectacular story-wise as the plot is basically a hybrid of a dysfunctional family film cross with a road trip movie. However, there are some clever jokes that the movie offers that are on the same level of originality as the jokes from “The Flintstones.” As unoriginal as the story is, the voice cast and animation is terrific. Cage delivers one of the best performances of his career as a caveman who is a bit overprotected of his family as he shields them from new things in order to protect them. Stone and Reynolds are just as good as a teenager who yearns to break out from her family’s endless cycle of being afraid and an intelligent young man who has great ideas that he introduces to the Croods. There is a lot of eye candy thanks to the imaginative animated world of the Croods that wonderfully designed prehistoric animals and beautiful animated landscape.
Even though this movie is from 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation Studio, the animation is on par with some of best Pixar’s best looking films. This movie is just as amazing on Blu-ray as it was on the silver screen thanks to its excellent video presentation. The picture quality on this disc is so amazing that there are some shots in the movie that look photorealistic. Thanks to the video quality on this disc, even the littlest details like the clothes the cavemen are wearing and some of the characters’ facial hair pop-out in high definition. The color palette is dazzling and varied especially when it comes to the lush colors on the fur/feathers of the prehistoric animals.
The bonus materials for “The Croods” are quite disappointing because there is hardly an extra on this disc that discloses the process on making this film. There are some extras here that kids would like including a featurette that showcases the different animals in the movie and how to draw some of the characters from the movie with the help of Supervising Animator Sean Sexton. There are also some deleted scenes that features introductions from DeMico and Sanders as they explain why each scene from cut from the film.
“The Croods” is nothing more than a fun family movie that kids will enjoy and features fantastic animation. The disc features top-tier video quality that is great to watch on high definition television, but there is hardly any in-depth special features to show viewers how they made the movie.