'The Croods' Become Less So with a Little Modern Help
March 25, 2013
'The Croods' Become Less So with a Little Modern Help

Julie Samrick
Kid Focused

The Croods are the Flintstones of our time, a modern stone-age family (and I foresee the family Halloween costume of 2013, just like the Incredibles were a few years back).  The father of the clan, Grug Crood (voiced by Nicolas Cage), has worked hard to keep his Neanderthal wife, children, and mother-in-law safe while just about everyone they know has perished during harsh prehistoric times.  The motto Grug has drilled into his family: Fear is what keeps us alive!  This all goes along well until his oldest child, daughter Eep (Emma Stone), starts to grow up and become curious about what's beyond their safe, dark cave. 

When Eep meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), he's more evolved than the Croods. So when Guy challenges the family to change their boorish behavior and become more civilized beings, it's a new way of living that disrupts everything the family has always found comfortable.

When the family sees fire or shoes for the first time, kids can see what life was like through the eyes of earlier people.  These parts were fun, and I wish there were more of them. The first half of the movie is the Croods acting like, well, cavemen, and it isn't until the second half when we see them make discoveries like these that there is actually a plot.  Needless to say, the second half of The Croods is much more interesting and fun than the first. 

Why the family shows such physical, Neanderthal behavior for the first half of The Croods won't be clear to young kids.  It just seems like a lot of punching, slapping, growling, and body slamming.  They most likely won't make the connection that this behavior is all because they're cavemen (and women).

The Croods is rated PG for several reasons. There is the physicality - punching, throwing, slamming, etc.  There is also an intense opening scene where the family hunts for their food and tries to beat out animals - it is fast-paced and loud.  There are also very scary predators throughout the movie that could be scary to children younger than 6.  They snarl, bare their teeth, lunge, hiss, etc.

Kid Focused themes that can be integrated into discussions or assignments centering on The Croods involve Invention, Sacrifice, Growing up, Envy, Leadership, and Fatherhood.

Kid Focused Grades for The Croods
Compelling story line - C+
Strong message - B
Leading character is a role model - A
Sexual content - A- (Eep and Guy hold hands, come close to kissing)
Violence - B - (Loud, fast-pace action, scary predators)
Suited for the whole family - B (not for children under 6)
Overall Grade: B
The Croods, Rated PG
Running Time: 1 hour 30 minutes

Julie Samrick is a stay-at-home mom of four young kids and the founder of Kid Focused, a site devoted to children and family issues.  Subscribe to the free Kid Focused newsletter delivered weekly to your inbox and connect with us on Facebook too.  Permission granted for use on DrLaura.com.

Posted by Staff at 9:27 AM