The Croods, formerly known as Crood Awakening is a 2013 American 3D computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. It features the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman. The film is set in a fictional prehistoric Pliocene era known as The Croodaceous, a period which contains fantastical creatures, when a man's position as a "Leader of the Hunt" is threatened by the arrival of a prehistoric genius who comes up with revolutionary new inventions, like fire, as they trek through a dangerous ,but exotic land, in search of a new home.
The Croods received generally positive reviews, and proved to be a box office success, earning more than $550 million on a budget of $135 million, and launching a new franchise, with a sequel and TV series already put in development.
The Croods (then known as Crood Awakening) was supposed be a a DreamWorks-Aardman collaborations and a stop-motion movie, but both studios went separate ways after the release of Flushed Away.
The films begins with a cavegirl called Eep (Emma Stone) talking about how her family is one of the few to survive nearby, mainly due to the strict rules of her overprotective father (Nicholas Cage), his daughter Sandy (no voice), his son, Thunk (Cam Duke), his wife, Ugga (Catherine Keener), and his mother-in-law, Gran (Cloris Leachman) with a character that mirrors Eep's curious nature. He uses this story to warn the family that exploration and 'new things' pose a threat to their survival. This irritates the bored and adventurous Eep, and when the family falls asleep after dark, she ignores her father's advice, and leaves the cave.
While venturing off, she meets Guy (Ryan Reynolds), an intelligent human (Homo sapiens) caveboy. She becomes fascinated with the fire he manages to create and is eager to learn more. He tells her about his theory that the world is reaching its 'end,' before giving her a noise-making horn to call him if she feels the need for help. He then abandons Eep, who is then caught by Grug (who had been frantically searching for her). Much later, he brings her back home, only to find that their cave home has collapsed from an earthquake. All the family then climb over the wreckage to discover an other-worldly land, much different from their usual surroundings of rocky terrain.
While becoming aware of their new surroundings, the family are attacked by some deadly red-feathered birds. After an unsuccessful attempt at hunting, Guy, with his 'pet' sloth, Belt (Chris Sanders), and Eep, build a puppet to lure nearby animals. Afterwards, the family greedily devours everything they caught. Guy and Eep, however, are more sparing. The others realize their greediness and stop eating. Grug then tells another of his morale-lowering tales, this time mirroring the events of their day, mentioning a girl Grug and Ugga had before Eep was born who did venture away from her cave and died. Guy then tells a story of his own, about a paradise he nicknames "Tomorrow."
In the morning, the family reaches a path coated in spiked rocks. They reach the land of "Tomorrow" just in time. Grug throws them over the pit so they can cross. Then he uses a decaying skeleton carried by birds, to transport himself there barely escaping the oncoming destruction. He and the whole Crood family settle down as Grug becomes less protective, letting the family be more adventurous and risk-taking, thus bringing happiness to them all.
- Nicolas Cage as Grug Crood. He is the well-meaning, overprotective, but outdated, patriarch of the Croods family.
- Ryan Reynolds as Guy. He is a boy who is not as strong as the Croods, but prefers using his brain and comes up with various ideas, like fire or shoes. He is accompanied with a sloth-like pet.
- Emma Stone as Eep Crood. She is Grug and Ugga's daughter who likes to experience new things.
- Catherine Keener as Ugga Crood. She is Grug's wife and is more open-minded than Grug, but also works hard to keep her family safe.
- Clark Duke as Thunk Crood, Grug and Ugga's son, their 9 year old middle child. He is not smart and has bad coordination, but has a good heart.
- Cloris Leachman as Gran, a ferocious, very old (45 years) mother-in-law.
Characters with no voice:
- Sandy Crood, Grug and Ugga's ferocious baby child who still bites and only growls.
- Belt, a sloth-like pet that, among other things, helps keep Guy's pants up.
- Chunky, the Macawnivore
- Douglas the Crocopup
- Brabby & Nabby
- Nippers the Lyote
- Turkey Fish
- Punch Monkey
The film was announced in 2005 under the working title Crood Awakening, originally a stop motion film being made by Aardman Animations as a part of a five-film deal with DreamWorks Animation. John Cleese and Kirk DeMicco had been working together on a feature based on Roald Dahl's story The Twits, a project that never went into production. DreamWorks got a copy of their script and liked it, and invited Cleese and DeMicco over to take a look at the company's ideas to see if they found something they would like to work with. They chose a basic story idea about two cavemen on the run, an inventor and a luddite, and wrote the first few drafts of the script. With the departure of Aardman in beginning of 2007, the rights for the film reverted to DreamWorks.
Chris Sanders, who'd directed Disney films Mulan and Lilo & Stitch, joined DreamWorks to direct the project, and proceeded to re-write the script. Sanders took over How To Train Your Dragon, putting The Croods on hold to March 2012. In March 2011, The Croods was pushed back to March 1, 2013, eventually being released on March 22, 2013.
The first full-length trailer debuted on October 3, 2012.
The second trailer premiered around December 2012.
Official site: TheCroodsMovie.com