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Movie review: Stone-age storytelling in animated ‘The Croods’

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This film publicity image released by DreamWorks Animation shows, from left, Belt the sloth, voiced by Chris Sanders, Guy, voiced by Ryan Reynolds, and Eep, voiced by Emma Stone, in a scene from "The Croods." (AP Photo/DreamWorks Animation)

By Sean P. Means

The Salt Lake Tribune

First published Mar 21 2013 02:48PM
Updated Mar 22, 2013 01:46PM

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.

movies@sltrib.com; www.sltrib.com/entertainment

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