The Croods (2013)
Dir: Kirk De Micco & Chris Sanders
Earlier in the 2013 eligibility year, there were so few animated films that showed much promise for the Oscars, and for the first time in a long time, Pixar wasn’t nominated, which has allowed for other usually-overlooked animations to break through, such as Despicable Me 2, and this!
The Croods, a prehistoric cave-dwelling family, are must to relocate and adapt as the Earth is changing drastically, putting them in perilous situations and resisting progress spurred on by love-interest and ‘modern man’ Guy!
There’s a well assembled voice cast here, with Emma Stone as the rebellious teenage daughter Eep, and Ryan Reynolds as her suitor Guy, as well as the wonderful Cloris Leachman as a tough grandmother. Nicolas Cage as the father Grug is actually pretty good as just a voice, he may have found a niche he should stay in!
Originally intended as a stop-motion project by Aardman, it was co-written by John Cleese with co-director Kirk DeMicco. The other director on the film, Chris Sanders has excellent experience in animation, most notably ‘Lilo & Stitch’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’.
The film really is nothing particularly amazing, but it is colorful and humorous, and made plenty at the box office so an inevitable sequel and also a TV show are now in the pipeline. It seems likely that Dreamworks may keep this going for a fair few films as they have with ‘Shrek’ and ‘Madagascar’ though I doubt this will have quite the same lasting appeal as those. Interestingly I would have been fascinated to see what the Aardman claymation version of this would’ve been like!