Niagara Gazette

Night & Day

March 26, 2013

CALLERI: 'The Croods' ambles along to a bright new world, Stone Age style

(Continued)

Niagara Gazette — Eep sees hope around the nearest rock outcropping and salvation just over the ridge. Refusing to stay in the cave at night, she’d rather sleep under the stars. Her daydreams are a world of magical possibilities. Her night dreams are filled with the promise of a better future.

Into Eep’s life arrives a guy named Guy. He’s voiced by Ryan Reynolds, who was People magazine’s “Sexiest Man Alive” in 2010. Its first Canadian, if that matters to you. Eep’s encounter with Guy takes the Crood family into new territory. It should be noted, that except for Granny, who’s a bit raggedy-looking, the Croods are the most attractive cave family you’ve ever seen. Eep is quite beautiful, and Guy has to be the hunkiest human on earth. But that’s not even his biggest selling point. Guy’s a grand thinker, a planner, and he carries around with him the ability to make fire. Brontosaurus burgers, anyone?

Eventually, if Grug can get used to the idea of the best-looking man on earth having the hots for his daughter, Guy is willing to show the Crood family amazing things that will utterly dazzle them. Compared to their dusty, barren, cave-scattered homestead, with its foul and angry beasts of prey, the colorful world of landscapes, waterfalls, and harmless animals the Croods will encounter is Paradise on earth.

It’s a given that DreamWorks was not going to make an animated feature and keep its main characters mired amidst murky landscapes and murkier water. The brave new world is a rainbow of eye-popping beauty. But do they belong in this world, which still has its own kind of ominous dangers?

Stereotypes about teenage crushes and mothers-in-law aside, “The Croods” is an affectionate look at the love to be found in the safety of family, even an extended one. After all, the Croods risk being picked off one-by-one by the nearest dinosaur. Grug learns that you have to be willing to take on fresh adventures.

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