Story

The Croods is an animated adventure comedy set in the prehistoric era. It’s about a family of cave people thrown unexpectedly into an entirely new world. Grug (voice of Nicholas Cage) is the leader of the pack, and he has gone to extreme lengths to ensure his family’s safety. He teaches them to be afraid of anything new, never to stray from the family or go out at night, and to retreat to the cave after every hunt. But his daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is very curious and wants to explore the world.

When secretly venturing out of the cave one day, Eep meets another human, who is called Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Eep wants to learn from this knowledgeable and wise young man. Although the Croods, and Grug in particular, don’t trust Guy at first, they eventually follow him in search of the better land of ‘tomorrow’. On the journey, the Croods face many obstacles and go through various dangers. But their biggest challenge is changing the way they view the world and their place in it. After each member of the family begins to live without fear, they discover the peace and happiness they’ve wanted all along.

Themes

Prehistoric times; fear versus bravery; personal growth and change

Violence

This movie has limited violence. For example:

  • As they hunt for breakfast, the Croods get into a physical fight with some dangerous animals. They have to outsmart and outrun the animals. They get onto an elephant while the animals chase them. They’re thrown around on the elephant’s back while defending themselves from the animals that are still trying to attack them.
  • When Eep first meets Guy, she kicks him, hits him and physically hurts him. But she doesn’t do this in a nasty way. She’s just afraid and isn’t used to seeing other humans.
  • Eep gets angry and frustrated at various points and throws things like rocks and sticks at her brother, Thunk. He is usually unhurt afterwards.
  • Grug tries to scare a monkey that he and the family pass in their travels, because he doesn’t know how to react to anything new. The monkey punches Grug in the face and keeps hurting him for several moments.
  • The family comes across some seemingly peaceful small birds that form a beautiful flock in the sky. But then the birds swoop down on a large animal, spin around it rapidly and leave only its carcass behind after eating it. The family is terrified.
  • The grandmother tries to eat Thunk out of hunger, biting into his foot viciously.

Content that may disturb children

Under 5

In addition to the violent scenes mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children under five years. For example:

  • The Croods compete with many dangerous animals for food. Often the animals chase the Croods and try to attack them, which could be scary for young children. But as the Croods adapt to their new environment and become less fearful of new things, they take on many of the previously ‘dangerous’ animals as friends and pets.
  • There are scary scenes of volcanoes and earthquakes, with rocks falling and the ground splitting open. 

From 5-8

In addition to the violent scenes and scary visual images mentioned above, this movie has some scenes that could scare or disturb children in this age group.

For example, Eep gets separated from her father. This is after Grug sacrifices himself by throwing each of the other family members over a gap towards safety, while remaining behind himself. Eep is very upset because she doesn’t get the chance to tell him she loves him before he throws her. She thinks she has lost him forever. 

From 8-13

Nothing of concern 

Over 13

Nothing of concern 

Sexual references

This movie has only a few sexual references. For example, Grug keeps trying to pull Guy and Eep apart whenever they’re touching or standing near each other. He gets very protective when Eep starts to develop feelings for Guy and flirts with him. 

Alcohol, drugs and other substances

None of concern 

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern 

Product placement

None of concern 

Coarse language

None of concern 

Ideas to discuss with your children

The Croods is a heart-warming tale of adventure and discovery about a family that dramatically changes its thinking, and as a result, the lives of its members.

The movie shows how a well-meaning parent who wants to protect his family also unintentionally limits the family’s freedom and stifles its curiosity. The movie emphasises the importance of adapting to a changing environment, being open to new experiences and not allowing fear to spoil life.

Nevertheless, the prehistoric world in which the Croods live is a dangerous place where the threat of death and the end of the world is always present. There are scary creatures, fire, earthquakes and rockfalls, people in danger and violence between people. Therefore the movie isn’t recommended for children under eight years. Also, many of the scary scenes are more intense in the 3D version.

If you have older children, you could talk with them about the times when genuine safety concerns might make it difficult for parents to give their children more independence as they get older. The movie suggests there are times when children should listen to their parents and times when parents should allow children to make their own choices and take risks.