Theatrical release poster
|Directed by||Kirk DeMicco
|Produced by||Kristine Belson
|Screenplay by||Kirk DeMicco
|Story by||John Cleese
|Music by||Alan Silvestri|
|Cinematography||Yong Duk Jhun
Roger Deakins (Visual Consultant)
|Edited by||Eric Dapkewicz
Darren T. Holmes
|Distributed by||20th Century Fox|
|Box office||$587.2 million|
The Croods is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman. The film is set in a fictional prehistoric Pliocene era known as The Croodaceous (a prehistoric period which contains fictional prehistoric creatures) when a caveman's position as a "Leader of the Hunt" is threatened by the arrival of a prehistoric genius who comes up with revolutionary new inventions as they trek through a dangerous but exotic land in search of a new home.
The Croods was written and directed by Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders, and produced by Kristine Belson and Jane Hartwell. The film premiered at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival on February 15, 2013, and was released in the United States on March 22, 2013. As part of the distribution deal, this film is the first from DreamWorks Animation to be distributed by 20th Century Fox, since the end of their distribution deal with Paramount Pictures.
The Croods received generally positive reviews, and proved to be a box office success, earning more than $587 million on a budget of $135 million, and launching a new franchise, with a sequel set for December 22, 2017, and a TV series in development.
A cave family called the Croods survives due to the overprotective nature of their stubborn, stern patriarch, Grug. The only one who questions the family's sheltered life is his teenaged daughter Eep who frequently disobeys her father's orders out of curiosity, which he finds dangerous. After stealing an egg for their meal and running afoul with a carnivorous cat; Grug and Eep, along with her mother Ugga, her grandmother Gran, and her younger brother and sister Thunk and Sandy face time sheltered in their cave home.
Eep sneaks out when she sees what she discovers to be a torch of fire and she encounters an inventive homo sapiens boy named Guy and his sloth Belt. He warns her of an impending apocalypse and offers to take her with him, but concerned for her family, Eep stays, getting a shell horn from him to blow in case she needed his help. Reuniting with her frantic father, she tries to tell her family what Guy told her, but fearing things that are "different" and "new" they destroy her horn.
A massive earthquake then destroys their home, and to avoid the earlier carnivore, they descend down into a tropical forest that laid behind their cave all the time. Encountering a "Macawnivore" a brightly colored feline that Gran dubs "Chunky the Death Cat," the family flees him until he is deterred by swarms of piranhakeets that devoured a ground whale. Using another horn, Eep calls to Guy who rescues them from the birds with his fire. After a great deal of confusion regarding their first contact with fire, Grug imprisons Guy in a log until he can guide them somewhere safe.
Outrunning the destruction, Guy is trusted enough to be let out of the log and he gives the Croods rudimentary shoes to walk over the harsh landscape as he leads them to a mountain in which he says will be safe. Guy also tells them stories of "Tomorrow" a haven of safety where he is headed and where curiosity is not deadly as Grug had claimed. At his treetop home, Grug sees the impression Guy is leaving on his family and he becomes jealous. Attempting to invent things like Guy, Grug only further embarrasses himself and drives his family further away from him. After the family is split up in a labyrinth of tunnels, all but Grug manage to escape by coming up with ideas of overcoming obstacles in their paths.
Reaching the mountain, Grug tries to force his family to hide out in a cave, but they resist, telling him that they can't live in caves anymore, that they don't want to "survive" but to "live". This enrages Grug, who attacks Guy and the both of them end up in a tar flow where Grug learns that Guy's family had perished in one. Realizing that Guy's method of survival is better for his family, Grug works with him and they lure Chunky into a trap to free themselves. The family reunites, then flees a massive cataclysm as the land begins to violently rip apart.
The family is cut off from their destination by a continental split, but Grug, realizing the errors of his ways decides to throw his family to safety. He shares an invention he calls a "hug" with Eep, briefly before sending her across as well. Cut off from his family, Grug finds a cave for safety, where he encounters Chunky; who is truly a frightened and sweet feline, and he comes up with an idea to get across the chasm. Using a skeleton and the Piranhakeets to fashion a simple airship, Grug manages to send themselves; including several animals the family had encountered during their journey, across the chasm, reuniting with his family once again. He apologizes to them all, and promises to never be so overbearing again.
Later, the Croods now live on the land and have settled on a vast beach where every day they can follow the light to "Tomorrow."
- Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood, a caveman who is the well-meaning but overprotective and old-fashioned patriarch of the Croods family.
- Emma Stone as Eep Crood, a rebellious teenage cavegirl who is Grug and Ugga's eldest daughter and is filled with curiosity and a desire for exploring and wonder.
- Ryan Reynolds as Guy, a nomadic caveboy who is not as strong as the Croods, but prefers using his brain and comes up with various ideas and inventions. He is accompanied by a sloth named Belt.
- Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood, a cavewoman who is Grug's wife, the daughter of Gran, and the mother of Eep, Thunk, and Sandy. She is more open-minded than Grug, but also finds it difficult to keep her family safe.
- Clark Duke as Thunk Crood, a caveboy who is Grug and Ugga's son. Thunk is the 9-year-old middle child, who is not bright and has bad coordination but has a good heart. He gets a crocopup named Douglas for a pet.
- Cloris Leachman as Gran, an old and ferocious cavewoman who is the mother-in-law of Grug, the mother of Ugga, and the grandmother of Eep, Thunk, and Sandy.
- Chris Sanders as Belt, Guy's pet sloth.
- Randy Thom as Sandy Crood, Grug and Ugga's ferocious baby daughter who still bites and growls instead of speaking. Thom created her voice with creature noises.
The film was announced in 2005 under the working title Crood Awakening, originally a stop motion film being made by Aardman Animations as a part of a five-film deal with DreamWorks Animation. John Cleese and Kirk DeMicco had been working together on a feature based on Roald Dahl's story The Twits, a project that never went into production. DreamWorks got a copy of their script and liked it, and invited Cleese and DeMicco over to take a look at the company's ideas to see if they found something they would like to work with. They chose a basic story idea about two cavemen on the run, an inventor and a luddite, and wrote the first few drafts of the script. With the departure of Aardman in the beginning of 2007, the rights for the film reverted to DreamWorks.
In March 2007, Chris Sanders, the writer of Mulan and writer/director of Lilo & Stitch, joined DreamWorks to direct the film, with intentions to significantly rewrite the script. In September 2008, it was reported that Sanders took over How to Train Your Dragon putting The Croods on hold, and thus postponing its original schedule for a year to a then planned March 2012. The film's final title, The Croods, was revealed in May 2009, along with new co-director, Kirk DeMicco. In March 2011, the film got another delay, being pushed back a year to March 1, 2013, and finally settled at March 22.
The Croods had its world premiere in the out of competition section at the 63rd Berlin International Film Festival on February 15, 2013. It premiered in the United States on March 22, 2013. The film was the first feature film to be shown in the 4DX format, featuring strobe lights, tilting seats, blowing wind and fog and odor effects in Hungary, which is shown at the Cinema City theater in Budapest, Hungary. It was also the first film in China to be distributed by Oriental DreamWorks, a film production and distribution company founded in 2012 by DreamWorks Animation and Chinese investment companies.
The Croods has received mostly positive reviews from critics. Film review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes reports that 70% of critics gave the film a positive review based on 134 reviews, with an average score of 6.5/10. The site's critical consensus reads: "While it may not be as (ahem) evolved as the best modern animated fare, The Croods will prove solidly entertaining for families seeking a fast-paced, funny cartoon adventure." On Metacritic, which assigns a normalized rating out of 100 top reviews from mainstream critics, the film was given a score of 55 based on 30 reviews.
Claudia Puig of USA Today gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "A visually dazzling animated adventure with a well-chosen voice cast is hampered by lackluster humor and a meandering story." Tom Russo of The Boston Globe gave the film two and a half out of four, saying, "Had the movie figured out a way to stay the less-cliched course, it might have helped the DreamWorks oeuvre take steps toward Pixar's emotional resonance." Keith Staskiewicz of Entertainment Weekly gave the film a C+, and wrote in his review, "A handful of adrenalizing sequences of animated anarchy can't save this story from feeling overly primitive." David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter called the film, "Further back on the evolutionary chain than the Flintstones, and also lagging in the comedy stakes, this sweet Stone Age clan nonetheless will captivate the youngsters." Leslie Felperin of Variety found that, "The main problem with the film is that the script simply isn't very funny, and its various subplots never quite mesh satisfyingly together." Tirdad Derakhshani of The Philadelphia Inquirer gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "The movie is well-edited and lean, a fast-paced, action-filled bit of froth that manages to be diverting and surprisingly fun." Lisa Kennedy of The Denver Post gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying "It captures the wonder (and more gently, the anxiety) of discovery time and time again. And the filmmakers have a hoot playing with the Croods' encounters with, as well as their misunderstandings of, all things new." Laremy Legel of Film.com gave the film a B, saying "How to Train Your Dragon and Lilo & Stitch are completely indicative of the experience you'll have with The Croods, which is to say a supremely positive one."
Betsy Sharkey of the Los Angeles Times gave the film two and a half stars out of five, saying, "Too many of the "solutions" the guys concoct are so impossibly complex or just downright ridiculous — puppetry comes to mind — that like the continents, it's a little too easy to drift away." Christy Lemire of the Associated Press gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "The Croods" is both brisk and beautiful, and should be sufficiently entertaining for family audiences for whom few such options exist these days." Catherine Bray of Time Out gave the film three out of five stars, saying, "It's all entertaining enough, and will surely sell plenty of stuffed toys. But it winds up a fair few rungs below the likes of 'Brave' on the evolutionary ladder." Miriam Bale of the New York Daily News gave the film two and a half stars out of five, saying, "When it gets past the Stone Age humor, this weird film manages to find some gentle revelations." Peter Hartlaub of the San Francisco Chronicle gave the film three out of four stars, saying, "Considering the fact that a young girl is picking her nose on the movie poster, "The Croods" is surprisingly evolved." Bob Mondello of NPR gave the film a positive review, saying, "As family viewing, it's pleasant enough: primitive, yes, but in a digitally sophisticated way that's boisterous, funny and will no doubt sell a lot of toys." Jody Mitori of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch gave the film three out of four stars, saying "While their situation sounds dire, The Croods is not. The DreamWorks animated film has enough slapstick humor, furry sidekicks and zippy 3-D action sequences to keep the story light."
Nell Minow of the Chicago Sun-Times gave the film three stars, saying, "Despite a few too many mother-in-law jokes, The Croods nicely makes it clear that even before they had fire, families understood how important it was to cherish and protect each other." Tom Keogh of The Seattle Times gave the film three out of four stars, saying, "There isn’t much compelling sophistication to The Croods, not a lot to engage adults beyond a couple of Wile E. Coyote moments for hapless Grug." Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "The Croods is just good, goofy fun, for a generation too young to have met Bamm-Bamm. But for those of more precocious intellects, it offers a little something extra to chew on besides rock-smacking slapstick and a brontosaurus burger." Richard Corliss of Time said that, "The family-dramedy genre that the film inhabits demands a bit more narrative ingenuity than is on display." Neil Genzlinger of The New York Times gave the film three out of five stars, saying, "The movie is at its most interesting and amusing when riffing on how cavemen might have reacted to new experiences and ideas, like fire and shoes. Whether the kiddies will appreciate that is unclear, but they’ll certainly like the voice work done by Emma Stone as Eep." Liam Lacey of The Globe and Mail gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying "Even the lively visuals and unrelenting thrill-ride pace can't disguise rough-hewn storytelling, or the fact that the tale of a old-fashioned macho cave dad and his family seems a bit yabba-dabba done that already."
Peter Howell of the Toronto Star gave the film two stars out of four, saying, "The filmmakers may have misjudged their audience. They aim low enough so that tots won’t be terrified, but adults, teens and older children may well be bored by the blandness." Colin Covert of the Star Tribune gave the film three and a half stars out of four, saying, "It's the kind of rib-tickling, emotionally satisfying, universally appealing effort that gives computer animation a good name." Kyle Smith of the New York Post gave the film one out of four stars, saying, "I'd like to take back all those times I said Nicolas Cage was one of the most annoying actors on film. It turns out he's equally terrible when he's only on the soundtrack." Stephen Whitty of the Newark Star-Ledger gave the film two and a half stars out of four, saying, "A film which, if not truly sophisticated, isn't nearly as crude as advertised." Kate Erbland of MSN Movies gave the film three out of four stars, saying, "It may not be an instant animated classic, but it's a charmer that will leave the kids feeling warm and fuzzy." Christopher Orr of The Atlantic gave the film a positive review, saying, "The animation is first-rate, with moments of genuine visual imagination, and the story, while unremarkable, is entirely adequate." Alonso Duralde of The Wrap gave the film a positive review, saying "This material could have easily fallen into sitcom clichés with a heaping scoop of anachronism jokes on the side, but The Croods takes these characters and their situation seriously enough to make the story matter."
The Croods grossed $187,168,425 in North America, and $400,036,243 in other countries, for a worldwide total of $587,204,668. According to Deadline.com's estimation, the film made a profit of $106.5 million. It is the eleventh highest-grossing 2013 film, and the fourth highest-grossing 2013 animated film (behind Frozen, Despicable Me 2, and Monsters University). It became the second highest-grossing original DreamWorks Animation film, behind Kung Fu Panda. As of January 2014, it is the eighty-ninth highest-grossing film, and the twenty-first highest-grossing animated film.
In North America, the film earned $11.6 million on its opening day. On its opening weekend, the film topped the box office with $43.6 million from 4,046 locations, a vast improvement over the DreamWorks Animation's directly preceding release Rise of the Guardians, yet still below some of the studio's other original films, like Megamind and How to Train Your Dragon.
Outside North America, the film topped the box office during its first weekend with $62.4 million (including previews from the previous weekend). It opened at number one in 54 countries, with the biggest openings achieved in the UK, Ireland and Malta ($8.08 million), Russia and the CIS ($7.82 million), China ($6.34 million), and Mexico ($4.37 million). In total grosses, the film's biggest market was China with $63.3 million, becoming the highest-grossing original animated film, surpassing DreamWorks Animation's film Kung Fu Panda. In addition, the film earned $43.1 million in the UK, Ireland and Malta, $28.6 million in Russia and the CIS, $27.7 million in Mexico, and $23.8 million in Australia. Earning a total of $400 million, it is the highest-grossing 2013 film distributed by 20th Century Fox.
|Award||Date of ceremony||Category||Recipients and nominees||Result|
|Academy Awards||March 2, 2014||Best Animated Film||Chris Sanders, Kirk De Micco and Kristine Belson||Nominated|
|Alliance of Women Film Journalists||December 16, 2013||Best Animated Feature||Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders||Nominated|
|Best Animated Female||Eep (Emma Stone)||Nominated|
|Annie Awards||February 1, 2014||Best Animated Feature||Nominated|
|Animated Effects in an Animated Production||Jeff Budsberg, Andre Le Blanc, Louis Flores, and Jason Mayer||Won|
|Character Animation in an Animated Feature Production||Jakob Jensen||Won|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Carter Goodrich, Takao Noguchi, and Shane Prigmore||Won|
|Directing in an Animated Feature Production||Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders||Nominated|
|Music in an Animated Feature Production||Alan Silvestri||Nominated|
|Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Christophe Lautrette, Paul Duncan, and Dominique R. Louis||Nominated|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Steven MacLeod||Nominated|
|Editorial in an Animated Feature Production||Darren T. Holmes||Nominated|
|BMI Film & TV Music Awards||May 15, 2013||Film Music||Alan Silvestri||Won|
|Cinema Audio Society Awards||February 22, 2014||Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for Motion Pictures – Animated||Tighe Sheldon, Randy Thom, Gary A. Rizzo, Dennis Sands, Corey Tyler||Nominated|
|Critics' Choice Movie Award||January 16, 2014||Best Animated Feature||Nominated|
|Denver Film Critics Society||January 13, 2014||Best Animated Feature Film||Nominated|
|Golden Globe Award||January 12, 2014||Best Animated Feature Film||Chris Sanders
|International 3D Society's Creative Arts Awards||January 28, 2014||Outstanding Animated 3D Feature Film||Nominated|
|Made-in-Hollywood Awards||February 13, 2014||Shared with Frozen and Her||Won|
|Producers Guild of America Award||January 19, 2014||Outstanding Producer of Animated Theatrical Motion Picture||Kristine Belson, Jane Hartwell||Nominated|
|San Francisco Film Critics Circle||December 15, 2013||Best Animated Feature||Nominated|
|Satellite Awards||February 23, 2014||Best Motion Picture, Animated or Mixed Media||The Croods||Nominated|
|Best Visual Effects||Markus Manninen and Matt Baer||Nominated|
|Best Youth Blu-ray||The Croods Blu-ray/DVD combo pack||Nominated|
|Toronto Film Critics Association||December 17, 2013||Best Animated Feature||Runner-up|
|Visual Effects Society Awards||February 12, 2014||Outstanding Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture||Jane Hartwell, Chris Sanders, Kirk Demicco, Markus Manninen||Nominated|
|Outstanding Animated Character in an Animated Feature Motion Picture||Eep (Line Andersen, Won Young Byun, Koji Morihiro, Chris De St. Jeor)||Nominated|
|Outstanding Created Environment in an Animated Feature Motion Picture||The Maze (Jonathan Harman, Violette Sacre-Shaik, Benjamin Venancie, Philippe Brochu)||Nominated|
|Outstanding FX and Simulation Animation in an Animated Feature Motion Picture||Jeff Budsberg, Andre Le Blanc, Jason Mayer, Michael Losure||Nominated|
|Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association||December 9, 2013||Best Animated Feature||Nominated|
|Women Film Critics Circle||December 16, 2013||Best Animated Females||Runner-up|
Alan Silvestri composed the original music for the film, which was released digitally on March 15, 2013, by Relativity Music Group, and on CD on March 26, 2013, by Sony Classical. Silvestri had previously worked with Chris Sanders on Lilo & Stitch. The soundtrack also includes "Shine Your Way", an original song performed by Owl City & Yuna.
A video game based on the film, titled The Croods: Prehistoric Party!, was released on March 19, 2013. Developed by Torus Games, and published by D3 Publisher, it was adapted for Wii U, Wii, Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo DS. The game enables players to take the members of the Croods family on an adventure through 30 party-style mini-games. It received mainly negative reviews.
A mobile game, titled The Croods, which is a village building game, was developed and published by Rovio, the creator of Angry Birds. It was released on March 14, 2013 to the iOS and Android platforms. It received negative reviews from critics with Metacritic giving it a 40 out of 100.
On April 17, 2013, it was announced that DreamWorks Animation has started developing a sequel to the film, with Sanders and DeMicco returning to direct it. According to DeMicco, the sequel will focus more on Ugga and motherhood, while it will be "the first chapter of society," expanding on the first film, which is about "the last chapter of the caveman."
On September 9, 2013, it was announced that Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds will reprise their roles in the sequel. On June 12, 2014, the sequel was scheduled to be released on November 3, 2017. Two months later, it was moved back to December 22, 2017. In May 2015, Leslie Mann and Kat Dennings joined the voice cast. Mann will lend her voice to an upscale mother of a rival family, while Dennings will voice her daughter. Catherine Keener and Clark Duke will also reprise their roles.
On February 13, 2013, DreamWorks Animation filed a trademark for The Croods for "entertainment services in the nature of an animated television series," hinting that DreamWorks is developing an animated TV series spin-off of The Croods, in the same vein as other DreamWorks TV series spun off from popular films. In April 2013, Jeffrey Katzenberg, CEO of DreamWorks Animation, declared The Croods as their sixth franchise, saying that a TV series is expected, along with other "location-based entertainment." According to The Animation Guild, I.A.T.S.E. Local 839, the series will be released on Netflix.
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So I think you can anticipate there'll be a TV show, there will be ways that we will be able to integrate that into our location-based entertainment.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to The Croods.|
- Official website
- The Croods at the Internet Movie Database
- The Croods at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- The Croods at Box Office Mojo
- The Croods at Rotten Tomatoes
- The Croods at Metacritic