Dreamworks’ latest animated family adventure “The Croods,” (3D) takes us along on their journey where the trek opens up to a lot of discovery. The Croods headed by their patriarch Grug (Nicolas Cage) along with his wife Ugga (Catherine Keener) and kids Eep (Emma Stone) and Thunk (Clark Duke) and baby Sandy plus a feisty Gran (Cloris Leachman) have always been under the shelter of dark caves, always rushing inside when the sun starts to set.
With any journey comes discovery – and “The Croods’” trek provides many “firsts,” including: the first family road trip, fire and shoes, as well as the first pet, the first cell phone …plus: the first joke, the first pair of sunglasses, and even the first mid-life crisis.
A very important milestone of their firsts include their first encounter with Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), a guy whose ideas encourage the Croods to discover and invent new things on their own. Guy’s inventive ideas ultimately expose all of the Croods to new possibilities and to a new world – a place, he says, that “has more suns in the sky than you can count, and where things are better.”
But even with his superior know-how, Guy is not without his own challenges. “He’s been living on his own for a long time,” says Ryan Reynolds of his character, who makes his animated feature film debut with “The Croods.” “Unlike the Croods, he doesn’t have a family, so Guy’s life is full of variables, whereas their lives have been pretty static. And Guy has been exposed to new things every day because he’s constantly on the move. He’s been forced to evolve.”
“Guy is also forced to rely on his imagination, so he lives inside his head a lot,” Reynolds continues. “And that’s a great thing to play because he can be as over the top as you want him to be. Guy has no limits because he’s constantly thinking.” Even with his superior mind, Guy needs the Croods’ companionship, and to feel like he’s part of a family. I would describe Guy as a pretty lonely guy. He’s a character that’s been on his own for so long that a lot of his social skills have atrophied to some degree. He needs the Croods in much the same way as the Croods need him – they each have something that they’re desperately missing in their life and they need some kind of catalyst to move them forward. They create the family that Guy yearns for and he has a sense of belonging with them that he didn’t have before. For them Guy is a key evolutionary step – they need to move forward or die, and he’s the man that can help them do that,” Ryan enthuses.
Asked what is the central message of “The Croods,” “I think there are a number of central messages: I think it’s about leaving our safety nets behind. Every time I’ve ever done that in my life it’s been incredibly rewarding, even if it didn’t seem so at first. Every risk I’ve ever taken, every failure I’ve ever experienced has been something that pushed me forward as a human being and made me stronger, better and wiser. I think we have this habit in the world we live in of seeking comfort all the time, never ever wanting to be uncomfortable for a moment, and I think we atrophy in a lot of ways. I think the central message really is about stepping out of that shell and allowing that vulnerability in and growing.”
“The Croods” (in 3D and 2D) opens March 22 in theaters nationwide from DreamWorks and 20th Century Fox to be distributed by Warner Bros.