Movie review: Stone-age storytelling in animated ‘The Croods’
Published: March 23, 2013 03:13PM
Updated: March 22, 2013 01:46PM
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This film publicity image released by DreamWorks Animation shows, from left, Thunk, voiced by Clark Duke, Gran, voiced by Cloris Leachman, Ugga, voiced by Catherine Keener, who is holding Sandy, voiced by Randy Thom, Eep, voiced by Emma Stone and Grug, voiced by Nicolas Cage, in a scene from "The Croods." (AP Photo/DreamWorks Animation)

The best thing to say about “The Croods,” a by-the-numbers computer-animated caveman adventure, is that it keeps its “Flintstones” comparisons at bay until the final five minutes.

When a caveman family must leave the safety of the cave and walk toward a new land as the continents are breaking apart, the patriarch, Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage), worries that his teen daughter, Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), is growing up too fast and falling for a slightly more evolved human, Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds).

Directors/writers Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco show a sure command of the technology, with lush jungle scenes bursting with color, and computer “lighting” that looks as real as a nature documentary.

Alas, the screenwriting isn’t so evolved. The simplistic plot (the migration and father-daughter plotlines are identical to “Ice Age: Continental Drift’) is so obviously structured that even a Neanderthal can see it coming.

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‘The Croods’

Opens today at theaters everywhere; rated PG for some scary action; 98 minutes.