Reflections That Arise From Near Constant Viewings of The Croods


Any parent of a toddler will tell you that kids will get fixated on one movie and watch it until the laser has burned right through the DVD. Our daughter, Alice Wren, is going through an intense love affair with “The Croods.” It’s her first and last request of the day: Can I watch The Croods? Of course we say yes and reach for all of the remotes – we wouldn’t dream of squashing her young love affair.

But due to the unfortunate open concept design of our home, we are also forced to watch it, unless we spent the waking hours in the garage with the door closed, and what kind of family time is that? The more you watch a movie, the more you start to make connections and decode puzzles the filmmakers planted just for you and the countless other willing and unwilling habitual viewers.

  1. Certain scenes were written to riff on the probably universal sentiment that Nicolas Cage is a shameless overactor. (a.) When the dad character emerges from the cave and reluctantly signals to his family that it’s all clear. The dad is embarrassed to do the weird bird sound – “aaah-oooh, aaah-ooooh” – and you can feel Cage filling the recording studio with his patented brand of cheesy uber-emoting. (b.) When he and Guy are trying to get the large colorful cat to yank them from the tar and he performs with the “acting sticks.” Cage seizes the scene like the character seizes the sticks and the over the top performance, in this one scene in this one movie, is appropriate.
  2. The opening sequence – the epic chase for the egg, which is underscored by a marching band like a halftime show or an NFL highlight film – is one of the better action sequences you will find in any movie. There’s humor, greatThe-Croods-egg-in-beak-scene directing, tension, release, and suspense. Repeated viewings only intensify the fun–I can see this rewiring my daughter’s synapses as she studies the screen every time, hopefully it’s improving the original network. 
  3. This movie surely overplays the running joke “I wish death upon my mother-in-law”–it’s probably used at least six times where the dad is doing a headcount and he’s repeatedly disappointed when he finds that the mother-in-law has survived the latest misadventure. Simply, he wishes she was dead dead dead and that’s a weird point to make over and over again.
  4. If you really think about it, modern man still lives in caves and we only venture out for the necessities–we are plagued by trepidation since danger and horror await us each time we roll away the rock and emerge from our holes and squint into the oblivion of each new day.
  5. Despite his skills on the vibes, Belt should’ve been hurled off a cliff the second time he did the ominous da-da-beltdaaaa thing. And he carries a knife – he’s dangerous and not to be trusted. 
  6. I think the the cave-Emma Stone and the cave-Catherine Keener are just as enticing as their real selves and I think most females would think the same thing about the cave-Ryan Reynolds. And then I think I should get out more.
  7. It’s doubtful that an elephant-sized feline exists in the fossil record. But wouldn’t that be fun? This movie makes you cherish your pets and, if there was more time and an editing suite in this garage, could be trimmed down into a commercial for fostering unwanted animals.
  8. The ancient artists behind the Lascaux cave paintings were probably hilarious and ironic and invented their era’s versions of modern conveniences like umbrellas and instant cameras. In this painting, you can see that early man used rubber duck canes, which can now be found in Disney Stores all around the country.Field Museum 6

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