Set in the prehistoric era, The Croods is a CG animated family film from DreamWorks Animation, about an overprotective caveman father named Grug whose one rule among his family is to never leave their cave. When his daughter Eep grows into a curious teenager, she wanders outside. Encroaching earthquakes destroy their home while the family is outside, forcing them to seek shelter elsewhere. Grug's philosophy is threatened when they must venture out into the world to find another home and brave dangerous creatures. They encounter a more evolved and intelligent male teenage caveman named Guy, who creates several useful inventions, and warns that the world is ending.The Croods is written and directed by Chris Sanders, the director of Lilo & Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon, and Kirk DeMicco. It was released on March 22nd, 2013. It is the first DreamWorks Animation film to be distributed under 20th Century Fox due to their departure from Paramount. The first trailer can be viewed here, and the second trailer here.A sequel is in the works, as well as a TV series.
This movie provides examples of:
Accidental Kiss: Eep and Guy have a mouth-to-mouth collision when they're trying to distract the predatory turkey beast.
They also have an Almost Kiss in the cave, which is interrupted by Douglas.
Aerith and Bob: It's kinda amusing when Sandy, the most feral of the cast, has the most normal name. Second most normal is Douglas, a pet dog-like thing.
Always Someone Better: Before Guy shows up, Grug is the best at keeping the family alive. Until they reach the mountain peak, and need Grug's strength to hurl them over the chasm to safety. He later comes up with his own idea to get himself across, without Guy's help.
Ambiguously Brown: While all the voice actors are Caucasian, the character design of all the characters is racially vague enough so that they literally could be viewed as the ancestors of pretty much everyone.
Arc Words: Grugg's responses to "We should go there!"
Also, "1, 2, 3, 4, 5.... 6."
Another one, "And they died!!"
There's also "Never not be afraid!" Then in the end he changes his saying to "Never be afraid."
Badass Normal: Each of the Croods, from Grug down to Sandy, can hold their own physically with most animals and are much stronger than they look, mostly due to having to literally fight other creatures for food each day. Goes hand in hand with:
Guy even tells Eep that she really weighs a lot. Her response: "Really?! Thank you!"
Done for laughs when they roast a giant turkey-saur for dinner; Eep grabs a leg that's the size of her body and horks down the meat in under a second. We don't see it, but we see Guy seeing it, who is absolutely horrified at how she did it. They also have no concept of "Leftovers", because they're used to having so little food that they eat all they can when they can.
Brainy Brunette: Guy, in comparison to the Croods (some of whom are also brunette).
Bratty Teenage Daughter: Eep, who thinks her family are a pain to be around, strains against her father's rules and sleeps alone while the others gather in a bundle.
Buffy Speak: At one point, Guy takes Eep out hunting and they try to catch an enormous ostrich-like bird by propping up a fake female one while they hide beneath it behind a rock as a distraction so that it steps in the circle of rope on the ground that he's set. The creature doesn't step in the spot and Eep responds "Uh, it didn't step in your trappy thing."
Butt Monkey: Guy has this role at the beginning, then Grug takes his place for a good chunk of the film.
Cats Are Mean: Played straight with Chunky until the end of the film where he becomes Grug's pet.
Earn Your Happy Ending: The Croods must face their worst fears in an incredible dangerous land, change their entire philosophy of their lives, face the probable loss of Grug in a moment of crisis to become joyfully adventurous explorers of their world.
Expository Hairstyle Change: Team Mom Ugga wears her hair tightly up at the start of the film, symbolizing the family's adherence to Grug's strict rules. After using Guy's method of using her brain to avoid danger, she wears her hair loose, symbolizing the family letting go of their old fears and rules.
Expy: Thunk is a lot like Fishlegs, a fat, awkward and annoyingly cowardly kid.
Face Your Fears: A central theme of the film where a cave family must brave the outside world and its dangers.
Large Ham: Nicholas Cage plays a caveman. What did you expect?
Le Parkour: The whole family is skilled at it, particularly Eep.
Letting Her Hair Down: While not strict or uptight herself, Team Mom Ugga wearing her hair up in a tight weave symbolizes the family's adherence to Grug's strict rules. When the family embraces Guy's more casual, creative approach to solving problems, she lets her hair loose accordingly.
Light is Good: A major symbol of the movie is the sun (fire is commonly referred to as little suns, and starlight is also compared to the sun), which to the Croods and Guy especially is their greatest symbol of hope.
Lightning Bruiser: The entire Crood family. From Grug down to Sandy, they are all as amazingly fast and agile as they are freakishly strong.
What makes it a battle for them to survive is that all of the fantastical creatures they come across, are fast. Even bulky Ground Whales are agile runners.
MacGyvering: Basically is what Guy teaches the others about inventions and everyone proves to have a knack for it, even Grug.
Made of Iron: Everyone, even the feeble old granny and the toddler!
Masculine Girl, Feminine Boy: Eep is a strong and aggressive girl while Guy is a humble boy who is fairly skinny and prefers to use brains over brawn.
Matchlight Danger Revelation: While trapped inside a cave, Grug manages to light a fire, revealing Chunky right behind him. Chunky blows out the fire...then lights it up again because he's just as scared of the dark as Grug.
The multicolored monkeys and Sandy's plaything "crispy bear" are also normal animals.
In addition, there's a gigantic elephant with a giraffe's color pattern, land-dwelling whale-like creatures that disguise themselves as rocks and a mouse-like species that is born in pairs, conjoined by a striped tail.
Mr. Fanservice: Guy, the only male with an "modern human" body design.
Mundane Object Amazement: The Croods' reaction to "meeting" fire. Eep's initial fascination with glowing cinders blown from Guy's torch is played for Heartwarming rather than laughs, and sells it well.
Never Say "Die": Averted frequently. All of Grug's cautionary tales end in some variation of "and then he DIED!"
Never Trust a Trailer: The trailer portrays Eep as The Ditz. She's not, she's actually rather intelligent and the first to want progress instead of keeping things as they were.
No Antagonist: Really, the only danger in the movie is something Guy likes to call "the end of the world" (which the intro heavily implies to actually be the beginning stages of post-Pangaea continental drift).
Also, most everything trying to kill and/or eat them.
No One Gets Left Behind: When Grug and Chunky enact their desperate plan to escape the apocalypse, Grug sees various forlorn creatures facing certain doom and risks everything to save them too.
Non-Malicious Monsters: Nearly all of the wildlife. Even the big ones, despite their outward ferocity, are all fairly intelligent, and just like the Croods, are trying to survive. When they attempt to learn and understand these exotic animals, they find most of them are docile and/or tamable.
Grug thinks Guy's destination is too far away and dangerous and does not want to risk the journey — and then his mother-in-law says she probably won't survive and Grug becomes Guy's number one supporter.
There's a scene where they can't find Gran and Grug starts showing a completely elated expression. Cue Grug's mother-in-law popping out saying "I'm still alive~!" Grug immediately becomes extremely disappointed and mutters to himself, "It's still early."
Later, Grug is upset over his family finding Guy's ideas amazing, as his philosophy has always been to distrust new things. Then Gran tells his wife that if Grug ever has an idea, she'll probably have a heart attack and die. Cue Grug trying to come up with new things.
Odd Name Out: Compare Grug, Ugga, Eep, Thunk, Guy, Belt, Chunky, etc. to... Douglass.
Only Sane Man: Due to being slightly more advanced mentally than the Crood family themselves, Guy comes off like this.
Orphaned Punchline: Seen a few times, as Guy introduces the Croods to the concept of "jokes".
The Outside World: Eep hates being confined to the cave. Exploring and navigating the Outside is what she wants most, and a disaster forces the family to venture out into it. It turns out to be the right choice.
Papa Wolf: Grug outright states that it's his job to protect the family and keep them safe from danger. This comes to a head when he throws them all (including Guy) across the cliff to safety.
Shortly after, we can see that he's resigned himself to his fate, because as long as his family is safe, he's okay with dying. But the instant he thinks someone's in danger, he immediately comes up with a way to get back to them, because imminent death is no excuse for this man.
Ridiculously Cute Critter: Many of the wildlife count, special mention to the conjoined-tail mice and the miniature elephants.
Standouts include Belt, and arguably, Sandy.
Riding into the Sunset: The Croods, once fearfully hiding in a cave all the time, now are the world's first family of explorers as they ride full tilt into the sunset at the end.
Right for the Wrong Reasons: When Guy shows the family the night sky, they marvel at at it being filled with "more suns in the sky than you can count." Technically correct in that stars are similar to our sun, but seem smaller because they're farther away. However, since they're cavemen that haven't learned to make fire or stayed out after sunset, they call every glowing thing they see (such as Guy's fire) a "sun."
Scenery Gorn: The further the Croods progress, the more destruction "the End" rains down on them.
Scenery Porn: The landscapes and overall animation in this movie are gorgeous!
Shipper on Deck: Belt ships Guy and Eep and tries his best to bring them together. He starts off small by pulling the two closer together when they're near each other to eventually throwing flowers around trying to get the two together.
Show, Don't Tell: Strikingly used in scenes like Eep and Guy's first meeting and when Grug is painting his family on a cave wall alone. Averted in Eep's opening narration which can border close to being anvilicious.
Significant Green-Eyed Redhead: Eep, who appears to have been designed to represent a Neanderthal incarnation of her similarly auburn-haired, emerald-eyed and freckle-faced voice actress, Emma Stone.
Team Pet: A lot of team pets actually, as the Croods discover that many animals are quite tamable and manageable. Grug gets a Macawnivore called "Chunky", Guy, his "pet" sloth Belt, they all get another trusty steed in the form of a Bear Owl. Thunk manages a Crocopup called "Douglas" and even a young Ground Whale to ride.
What Measure Is a Non-Cute?: The Croods are chased by two separate large catlike predators, but the second and cuter-looking sabertooth tiger eventually turns out to be friendly and helpful to Grug when they need each other to escape certain death.