Animated Feature Film - Chris Sanders, Krik DeMicco, and Kristine Belson
The Croods is an adorable film about family, risk, coming of age, and love all in one story.
Nicolas Cage voices the father who is desperately afraid of anything new - granted, the setting in which he lives is not one that rewards trying new things with a saber-toothed tiger around every corner. But Emma Stone plays his daughter at the start of her teenage years, and much like any other teenager, she wants desperately to go out and experience the world. She meets a handsome, young, evolved boy (and in this case, that isn't just psychologically, he doesn't have a supraorbital ridge like she and her family do), who is warning of the end of the world and is running to safety with his sassy monkey friend - of course, animated films always need a sassy monkey friend. (he is played by Ryan Reynolds, real life hottie in his own right) The family is threatened by molten lava destroying their cave, and they are forced into a world where everything is new, potentially dangerous, and absolutely gorgeous. Hijinks ensue, but we see that the love that the family has for one another is unstoppable (cue cheesy music).
The animation in the film is absolutely beautiful and even though the entire movie is in color, there is a Wizard of Oz feel as the new world is unveiled. The colors are rich and visually appealing, and the film takes advantage of the animated medium to juxtapose a life of boring safety versus a life of risky adventure.
Put simply, the movie is adorable; I watched it without my kids and still really enjoyed it. It's funny, it's endearing and even Nicolas Cage who sometimes plays flat when it's just his voice is, without irony, animated. In addition, the score is adorable, and though there are no nominations for music, I was quite captivated by it, so there's that special addition.
In general, I think The Croods is more of a kids' movie than a film for adults, and I would guess that I'm rare in my love for animated films that are intended for children. If you're without kids, I would say you're more likely to skip it or watch it on cable. But I think that if you do end up watching it, it's delightful enough that you will enjoy. If you're seeing only one animated film this year, this isn't the one to choose (spoiler alert - there is at least one nominee in this category that you should NOT miss, but I won't reveal it until I get to that review, so you just have to keep following the blog!).
Haven't seen The Croods?
Watch The Croods Movie Trailer