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The Croods (2013) - Movie Review for Parents

About.com Rating 4 Star Rating

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The Croods
Photo © DreamWorks Animation

Bottom line: The Croods takes you back in time with a colorful, action-filled animated adventure that is fun for the whole family. Some scenes could be scary for very young children.

MPAA Rating: PG, for some scary action
Guide age recommendation: 5+
Genre: Animated/Adventure/Comedy/Family
Runtime: 91 minutes
Release Date: March 22, 2013 (3D/2D/IMAX 3D)

The Croods - Overview

Living in prehistoric times, the Croods family struggles daily just to survive. To keep his family safe, Grug insists they all stay in the cave unless it's absolutely necessary to leave. He lives by the motto "Never not be afraid!" His wife Ugga supports him and makes sure to keep their toddler Sandy out of harm's way. Well, except when they have to sick her on unsuspecting wild animals. She can be quite terrorizing if the need arises.

Nine-year-old Thunk looks up to his father and obeys the rules as meticulously as his intelligence level allows. Gran is out to get Grug at every turn, however, and teenage daughter Eep is in a bit of a rebellious phase. Tired of being stuck in the cave all the time with her family, Eep ventures out without permission. She meets a boy, of course, and this boy named Guy tells her a story of impending doom.

As their world starts to crumble around them, the Croods are forced out from behind their cave walls and into a fantastical and perilous jungle. Falling back on what he knows, Grug determines to lead his family to a new cave. But Guy introduces the family to a new way of thinking, and fear isn't part of it. New experiences open the family's eyes to the wonder life offers, but the Croods must stick together to survive in a dangerous world where everything seems to be falling apart.

Guy, Eep and BeltPhoto © DreamWorks Animation

The Croods - Guide Review for Parents

Fun, imaginative and beautiful to watch, The Croods delivers an uplifting adventure packed with action and loaded with comedy. Kids will enjoy this thrilling ride through prehistoric times -- specifically, the whimsical version of prehistoric times called the Croodaceous Period. I enjoyed hearing my kids giggle out loud several times during the movie. To me, that observation speaks volumes. And, the movie contains a meaty enough storyline (for an animated movie) and plenty of comedy for adults as well.

The Croods, as you might expect, is heavy on cartoon-style violence à la Road Runner and Wile E. Coyote. Characters get slammed with boulders (multiple times), fall from great heights, and are chased by various creatures resulting in all kinds of bumps and thumps that would kill the average person. But these are not average people, after all, they're cave people. So, they can take it.

Some young children could be scared by the many perilous scenes and a few ferocious predators. However, it's important to note that the movie is injected with plenty of comedy to offset the danger, and the actual peril is mild and less intense than the average animated movie. Also, even the most ferocious of Croodaceous creatures have a sort of friendly-looking demeanor that makes them pretty kid friendly. The imminent "end of the world" may be unsettling to some young kids, however. The characters are genuinely fearful as the earth rends apart in some scenes and catastrophic changes to the land occur. Also, the fact that one character's family did perish (we learn this when the character tells about it) make the stakes seem more real.

The movie contains a few rude jokes, like the fact that Grug is always hoping Gran will finally keel over. And, the growing infatuation between Eep and Guy results in a few scenes with very mild innuendo. For example, in one scene their faces light up at the thought that they might get to sleep next to each other on the ground. But, they're disappointed when Grug makes sure that won't be the case. If you are still concerned about whether or not this film will be appropriate for your child, you can find more content descriptions in the overview below.

The Croods - Content Overview

*May contain spoilers.

  • Violence (High): The movie contains mild peril throughout. Characters are in danger due to the hostile environment, the fact that the world is "ending" (moments of destruction are shown including earth quakes and the appearance that the land is splitting apart), and a few ferocious animals.
  • Scary Scenes (High): Scenes listed under "violence" may be scary to young kids. The idea that the family is trying to escape the destruction of the world, and that their home was already destroyed, may be suspenseful or disturbing to some young children. Scenes in which characters are briefly trapped or cornered by animals, or by things in the environment like a rock maze, may also be scary for young children.
  • Sex/Nudity (Low): Eep and Guy make googly eyes at each other, stand close together and other things like that. They are two teens in love. They seem happy at the prospect of sleeping next to each other, but it doesn't happen. Being cavemen, the Croods outfits are a little revealing, and Guy doesn't wear a shirt.
  • Drugs and Alcohol (None)
  • Profanity (None)
  • Disrespectful/Imitative Behavior (High): Eep is constantly letting out giant groans of exasperation at her parents. She sneaks out without permission, and she values the advice of the boy she likes over her father's. Grug has some jealous feelings and he separates himself from the rest of the family. Fire is a big deal in the movie, and some kids may want to attempt to start a fire using the spark method like Guy does. Eep and her family drag Guy around and treat him roughly at times.
The Croods' GoodbyePhoto © DreamWorks Animation

  • Sad/Unsettling Scenes (Medium): The Croods lose their home and are forced to trek through a dangerous jungle to find a new one. Guy is all alone, and we learn that tragedy struck and the rest of his family didn't make it. In one scene, it appears the family might be separated foever.
  • Movie Topics Kids Might Have Questions About: prehistoric times, cave people, family, rebelliousness, innovation, survival, fire, death, boy-girl relationships
Disclosure: The studio provided a free screening of this movie for review purposes. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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