Cage channels caveman in animated film 'The Croods'

Fri Feb 15, 2013 2:20pm EST
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By Mike Collett-White

BERLIN (Reuters) - DreamWorks Animation's new 3D adventure "The Croods" brings the prehistoric age to the 21st century in the form of a dysfunctional family of cave dwellers forced to flee the comforts of home and search out a new life in the unknown.

"Never not be afraid" and "Fear keeps us alive" are the mantras for Grug, the ape-like father voiced by Nicolas Cage and whose first instinct is always to find a cave, block up the entrance and stay there as long as possible.

But while he seeks to protect his brood from giant, hyena-like predators lurking in the shadows, his teenaged daughter Eep (Emma Stone) is desperate to spread her wings, and it is her curiosity that leads the Croods to the other main character Guy.

Guy introduces the Croods to fire and to a new way of thinking, and when the world literally falls apart around them they flee the collapsing deserts and canyons to find a lush, tropical world full of exotic yet dangerous creatures.

Flying pink piranha birds devour walking whales in seconds, while tiny monkeys with giant fists use Grug as a punch bag.

Much play is made of the first modern family coming up with the first pair of sunglasses (out of stone), the first pet, and the first photograph - made by smashing a flat rock against the Croods' faces and leaving indentation marks.

For Cage, the appeal of "The Croods", which hits theatres in March and has its premiere at the Berlin film festival on Friday, was that the themes were recognizable today.

"The first thing I thought was 'Gee, I really hope I don't look like that'," he told reporters, referring to Grug's less-than-flattering features.   Continued...

Actors Nicolas Cage and Emma Stone arrive on the red carpet for the screening of the movie "The Croods" at the 63rd Berlinale International Film Festival in Berlin February 15, 2013. REUTERS/Tobias Schwarz