Monday, 6 May 2013

The Croods (2013)

An 'Ice Age' rip off is what sprang to mind when seeing trailers for this, [i]Dreamworks[/i] trying to leech off another studios ace franchise. In all fairness I still do believe 'DW' has kinda pinched the idea to a degree, 'Ice Age' is a good animated franchise and shows the prehistoric era is popular, so why not make your own eh.

The plot runs along the same kind of lines as 'Ice Age 2' and 'Ice Age 3', mixed together. The Croods must leave their home and find pastures new because of impending earthquakes and land formation which is tearing the area they know as home apart. On their journey they discover new lands which are alien to them which kinda feels like a 'lost world' theme, which would be similar to 'Ice Age 3' and various other fantasy films.

To be honest at first I really didn't like what I was seeing. I didn't like the way everything was designed, any of the characters and I didn't like the animation. Plus the start is pretty slow really, nothing much of interest happens and you start to wonder if it will be set purely within rocky terrains and dark caves the whole time.

Its only when the family must uproot and move on that the film starts to look much much better, again...a little too much like 'Ice Age 3' but lets leave that alone. Once we start to see all the colourful weird and wonderful lands, creatures, flora and fauna, I found myself enjoying the adventure a lot more (sigh of relief too I might add). Odd choice to make all the animals fantastical over realistic, not sure about that, I think it would of worked better with real accurate animals, flora and fauna etc...It might as well of been set on a distant alien planet really, it bares no proper resemblance to the real prehistoric era.

I'm still unsure about the characters though, jury's still out on them. All together they kinda reminded me of 'The Addams Family' but set in the prehistoric era, I think you can see what I mean. 'Grug' the father was a fun character voiced well by Cage, which was a surprise, really couldn't see that working out when I heard of it. I reckon Patrick Warburton would of been a good match for this 'Stan Smith-esque' caveman, but Cage does a good job. The only other character I liked was 'Grug's' son 'Thunk' voiced by Clarke Duke. A typical dim witted character but he made me smile.

Its not overly hilarious but there were times where I smirked and grinned at the lunacy. The whole sequence where 'Grug' is trying to come up with ideas to challenge 'Guy' was nicely done, some good Wil E. Coyote moments in that montage. I also liked how 'Grug' was always hoping his mother-in-law would get killed or eaten, nice touch there for the adults.

Poor start, gets much better midway through and ends with a very predictable weepy happy ending like all animated films do. I liked it but there are so many things I would change about the film if it was my project, the whole concept is pretty unoriginal now anyway thanks to a certain other franchise. Some nice touches but they don't save the film completely for me.