What can your family learn from The Croods?
By S. Jhoanna Robledo, Common Sense Media reviewer
The Croods is in theaters all across America (check out our review!). What kind of takeaways can you expect from this visually dazzling new adventure?
Not all cartoon cavemen are like Fred and Barney. Unlike another Stone Age family (the yabba-dabba-doo-ing, socializing-with-the-neighbors, and rock-quarry-working Flintstones), the Croods don't get out much, at least at first. Grug, the caveman clan's patriarch (voiced by Nicolas Cage), thinks there's no reason to leave the safe confines of their cave -- except for some serious food-hunting, that is. But he soon learns that life is that much more fun, even if it's a little (OK, a lot) unpredictable, when you step outside your comfort zone.
Anything boys can do, girls can do, too -- sometimes better! Adventurous heroine Eep (Emma Stone) jumps, runs, scales mountains, and more just as enthusiastically as her dad and Guy (Ryan Reynolds) -- and, in the case of her brother, Thunk, even more so. She's athletic and daring and interested in the bigger world, and that's all sorts of good. And Eep's little sister, Sandy, is so fierce that she's sometimes the first one in the family who can catch a meal. Not bad for a baby.
Fear can be a good thing. A healthy helping of it, anyway. Grug's constant warning to his family -- "Never not be afraid" -- is right in many ways; all sorts of creatures come out at night, and since visibility is poor, it's probably a good thing to stay indoors, tucked in a hole in a mountain, behind a giant boulder. It makes sense. But...
You can't let fear control you, either. It's when fear dictates most, if not all, of your decisions that it can work against you. Fear of everything can paralyze your thinking and actions. And when the world's literally being re-sculpted under your feet, with the ground shaking and sinking and hills and valleys crumbling, it's best to leave your old thinking behind and try out some new ideas.
- And, of course, belts can do more than hold up pants. In The Croods, Belt -- a sloth who functions as a pants-tightener -- is also the adorable buddy of Guy, the young explorer who befriends Eep and the rest of her prehistoric family.
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