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Category:    Home > Reviews > Comedy > Computer Animation > Satire > Art > Book > The Croods (2013/Dreamworks Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)/Art Of The Croods (Titan Books)

The Croods (2013/Dreamworks Blu-ray w/DVD + Digital Copy)/Art Of The Croods (Titan Books)

Picture: A-/B Sound: A-/B Extras: C+ Film: B Book: B-

Whereas many CGI animated features today are very hit or miss; Dreamworks and Disney/Pixar are seemingly consistent with delivering top notch films.

Now on Blu-ray is Dreamworks The Croods. The film follows a family of cavemen (and women) as they make their way through Prehistoric life. As any 'smart' Neanderthal knows the world is a scary, dangerous place; so best to keep your head down and stay in the cave. As papa Crood Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage) says 'never NOT be afraid.' But of course no good movie is without its controversy, so in comes daughter Crood; the dangerously curious Eep (voiced by Emma Stone). From here we are taken on a journey of misadventures and strained family relationships as the Croods venture out into the unknown world.

We are treated to a cast of somewhat predictable, but entertaining characters. With the likes of Grandma Crood (the classic Cloris Leachman), new boy on the block Guy (Ryan Reynolds), mother Crood Ugga (Catherine Keener), and Thunk Crood (Clark Duke) popping in and out to entertain. Based on the fact that the host of dangerous and not so dangerous creatures of the film appears completely fabricated, it is questionable if the film even takes place on earth. If these were cave people on another planet/dimension, bravo to the creators; but since this is a children's film, I think they were just having fun. Between land whales and giant flying turtles the entire thing was a bit trippy; though full out fun.

This is not the best Dreamworks film, but far from forgettable. It will entertain the kids and certainly keep adults interest for at least one showing. If nothing else the visuals are stunning and exemplify how far CGI animation has come.

The technical features on this Blu-ray are OUTSTANDING! Definitely of demo quality; only being a hair off from perfect. The picture is presented in a 1080, MPEG-4, AVC Encoded 2.35 X 1 Widescreen that boasts of a crystal clear image, solid black levels, and vibrant colors throughout. If the crisp, colorful presentation weren't enough the stunning textures and level of detail is out of this world. The sound is a 7.1 DTS-HD Master Audio lossless presentation that is lively and well balanced. The entire soundstage is filled throughout the film with all speakers being utilized. As the film has many adventurous moments and chase sequences, the rear speakers kick in and panning effects are spot on. The 'boom' and 'rumble' of the bass track also takes this presentation to the next level as viewers will feel like they are in the heat of the moment right alongside the characters.

The DVD is merely a downgraded presentation of the stunningly well done Blu-ray.

Extras on this release are slim and include the following:

  • Trailer

  • Croodaceous Creatures of Croods

    • Short segment discusses some of the wacky creatures from the film

  • Belt's Cave Journal

    • Short segment that discusses Guy's (animal) friend Belt

  • Be an Artist

    • A 'how to draw' segment

  • Croods Cuts (Deleted Scenes)

    • Directors DeMicco and Sanders introduce the few scenes that didn't make the film

Fortunately, we also have a terrific companion (sold separately) to its release in the new big hardcover Titan Books release The Art Of The Croods, with an intro by Nicolas Cage, text by Noela Hueso and 178 high quality pages of sketches, character development and more about the immense amount of hard work it took to make this CGI feature possible. There is little overlap with the extras on the Blu-ray/DVD set and color reproduction is very accurate throughout. This is a great book of art for fans, for fun, for art lovers and would make a great holiday gift in addition to the Blu-ray/DVD set.

Since we covered these releases, a 2020 sequel was released and you can read more about it in its 4K release elsewhere on this site.

- Michael P. Dougherty II and Nicholas Sheffo


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