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The Croods

The Croods is a 2013 American computer-animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by 20th Century Fox. The film was written and directed by Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders, and stars 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 prehistoric period which contains fictional creatures) when a prehistoric caveman's position as a "Leader of the Hunt" is threatened by the arrival of a genius who comes up with revolutionary new inventions as they trek through a dangerous but exotic land in search of a new home.

Plot[]

An eccentric cave family called the Croods, consisting of Grug, Ugga, Eep, Thunk, Sandy, and Gran survive several natural disasters by sheltering inside a cave for days and nights. After watching several of their neighbors die to natural selection and fearing for his family's lives, the harsh circumstances influenced Grug's stubbornness, overprotectiveness, and refusal to let anyone leave the cave except for short periods to gather food, resources, and supplies. Eep loves her family but frequently rebels against these strictures, seeking something "new", a concept her family fears. One night, Eep sneaks out when she sees a light, and encounters an inventive modern human boy named Guy and his pet sloth Belt, who have made a torch. He warns her of an impending and inevitable apocalypse and offers to help her escape, but Eep elects to stay with the family. Guy leaves her a shell horn to blow if she needs help, but when Eep returns to her frantic family, they destroy the horn out of fear of anything that is "new".

A massive earthquake then occurs and destroys the cave and the surrounding lands, and the Croods flee into a jungle they discover below their home mountains. Encountering a "Macawnivore", a brightly colored feline whom Gran dubs "Chunky", the family flees him, until he is scared off by swarms of "piranhakeets" that devour a ground whale. Making another horn, Eep calls to Guy, who rescues them with his fire. After a great deal of confusion regarding the Croods' first contact with fire, Grug imprisons Guy in a log so he can guide them somewhere safe. To appease Grug, Guy suggests the Croods go to a mountain where there are caves, though in reality he and the other Croods doubt the wisdom of this.

During the journey, Guy attempts to escape multiple times, but fails due to the Croods constant arguing and behavior. Grug attempts to steal a bird's egg for dinner, but catches a scorpion instead, while Eep eventually helps Guy to escape the log, where he teaches Eep how to lay a trap for the bird itself. Guy endears himself to most of the Croods by inventing rudimentary shoes for them, and other "ideas" which help them along the way. He also tells a story of "Tomorrow", a land of light where curiosity is not to be feared. While the Croods start accepting Guy, Grug becomes jealous of him, especially when he notices he and Eep are falling in love. His disastrous attempts to fight against change, and to come up with inventions and ideas of his own, only further embarrassed himself, distanced him from his family and cause Ugga to have a serious discussion with him.

The family finds a cave, but only Grug wants to go in, the rest of the family having learned to survive and enjoy living outside. Angered, Grug attacks Guy, but the two fall over a cliff into a tar flow. Guy reveals that he lost his own family to a tar flow, and believes they are doomed. Grug, softened by the story, decides that he and Guy will have to work together to escape. They make a dummy to attract Chunky, who mistakes them for a female cat and pulls them free.

A volcanic cataclysm begins, and Guy and the Croods flee until they are halted at the edge of a chasm where the continents are drifting apart. Grug feels the sun's warmth through the smoke, and realizes that there may be good land on the other side. Grug tosses the others over the chasm one by one, knowing he will be left behind. He shares his latest invention, a "hug", with Eep before throwing her over with the rest of the family. They land, unharmed, on fertile land on the opposite cliff, while Grug shelters alone in a cave.

Grug encounters Chunky, who reveals he is scared of the dark, and seeks comfort with Grug instead of attacking him. Hearing Eep blowing her horn to mourn him, Grug assumes they are calling for his help and comes up with his biggest new idea. He uses tar, fire, a whale ribcage and the pirhanakeets to create a makeshift airship, in which he, Chunky, and several other animals the Croods encountered on their journey escape the final eruption and fly over the chasm to join the others.

Grug is welcomed lovingly back as the leader of the family, and Eep returns his hug with Grug finally accepts Guy in his family. Together with Guy and their new pets, the Croods begin a new life in a tropical mountainside that leads down to the seashore, where they can follow the sun every day and enjoy inventions both Guy and Grug come up with.

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Related works[]

The film launched a new franchise, with a television series, Dawn of the Croods, which debuted on December 24, 2015 on Netflix. A sequel directed by Joel Crawford, titled The Croods: A New Age, was released on November 25, 2020.

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