The plot is simple enough and true to typical DreamWorks fare - a family embarks on an adventure to find greener pastures after their home has been destroyed, and thus begins the journey of self-discovery and overcoming obstacles.
At this point, this review is as good as finished.
There are, however, certain aspects that make the film incredibly engaging.
There's action. Lots of it. In fact, the film is determined on throwing the audience right smack in the loudness and vibrancy and general chaos of prehistoric times.
This works out quite well, because it gives you no time to linger on the absurdity of it all as you follow the incredibly physical shenanigans that the Crood family get themselves into.
Character-wise, Eep is similar to many other main characters in coming-of-age narratives, in that she wishes to break free of her chains and find her true self. She does, however, exudes an edge to her persona that mirrors the teenage girls of more modern times, a feat much credited to Emma Stone's voice acting.
The other members of the family are left less developed, except Eep's father, Grug. His struggle to come in terms with change and his relationship with Eep is one of the main themes of the movie.
Ultimately, the film's strongest point is in its visuals. It successfully creates a prehistoric world that is covered with a multitude of colours and creatures that threatens to attract most, if not all, of the viewers' attention. I doubt anyone can ignore the charms of a crimson sea of human-eating birds, or a horny tiger-like beast who looks as if it came out on the wrong side of a colour printer.
From a personal perspective, I was pleasantly surprised by The Croods. I entered the theater expecting some generic animation, but what I got was so much more than that.
That said, once all the pieces come into place, The Croods is an enjoyable film that manages to absorb viewers with stunning visuals and humorous characters that the kids will love.