DreamWorks Animation is responsible for some excellent work, including Shrek and How To Train Your Dragon. The Croods may not be in that league but it offers the family a pleasant and generally intelligent outing.
There is some first rate voice work by Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Cloris Leachman, to name a view. There’s this prehistoric family, see, led by overprotective father Grug (Cage), who believes that ‘new things’ threaten the family’s survival. (The script is being tongue in cheek, but why do ‘cave people’ have monosyllabic names such as Grug, Eep and Thunk?) The daughter Eep runs into a clever boy, Guy, who has discovered fire (as you do) and the dad’s complacency has to change forever when the family cave is wrecked by an earthquake.
It’s about learning to adapt and evolve, a salutary lesson for modern humans with two syllables and hyphens in their names. Not everyone loves the film but it rates a reasonable 67 per cent on the Tomatometer (www.rottentomatoes.com), and Metacritic (www.metacritic.com) gives it a score of 56 based on 26 reviews. Margaret and David (www.abc.net.au/atthemovies) each gave it three stars.
John Campbell is on leave.