The Croods truly is one of the most beautiful animated movies I've ever seen.
Every landscape is almost a character unto itself... from the initial barren, rocky wasteland, through to the most exotic, colourful and strange settings full of wonderfully strange creatures like landwhales, elephantmice, piranhabirds and giraffemammoths, to name but a few.
This is definitely not Earth as it was during the time of the caveman... this is a hyper-real, stylised, wonderfully imagined version of our world.
The textures of hair, fur, grass and fire are beautifully rendered, and given that we saw the 3D version, there are some great moments of dust and embers that appeared to be close enough to touch and brilliant depth to all the landscapes.
And set against this visual spectacle, is a simple story of overcoming fear by one of my favourite animation writer/directors Chris Sanders. Although this time he's not partnered with his How To Train Your Dragon and Lilo and Stitch collaborator, Dean DeBlois, but instead he teamed up with Kirk De Micco and John Cleese (yes, that John Cleese).
Like HTTYD, The Croods features a main character who doesn't fit within the strict confines of their world, in this case, Eep (voiced beautifully by the wonderful Emma Stone) who craves the freedom to explore.
Equally good is Nicolas Cage as the voice of her overprotective father, Grug. I'm generally not a Cage fan, but there was something perfect about him as both the gruff side of Grug, but also the father who just wants to keep his family safe.
And Ryan Reynolds makes for a very appealing Guy, a new kind of man in this caveman world.
As with Sander's previous work, the simple story is told with beautiful emotion that got both Ma and I a little choked up towards the end. There's also some wonderfully humorous moments (I'm guessing a number of those may be the work of Cleese).
yani's rating: 4 sloth belts out of 5