Perry’s Previews Movie Review – The Croods

 Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Perry Chen | 4 Starfish(4 out of 5 Starfish)

In the DreamWorks new animation “The Croods” co-written and co-directed by Chris Sanders and Kirk De Micco, Eep, a teenage cave-woman, has been told all her life to always be afraid, and that curiosity can be dangerous.  Her father, Grug, is overprotective and stubborn, always putting safety first.  Along with her mother, grandmother, baby sister, and younger brother, they make up a family called “the Croods.”  One day, Eep leaves the safety of her cave and meets a young man named Guy, who informs her that the world is ending.  As mountains split and lava emerges on the surface, the cave that the Croods had been living in crumbles to reveal a passageway to a mysterious and lush landscape of new things.  Together with Guy, the Croods embark on a life changing-adventure to escape the apocalypse of the pre-historic world.

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Perry Chen | At the Croods Press Screening“The Croods” is a film about creativity, and discovering curiosity.  I enjoyed the opening sequence, where the entire family works together to get a hard-earned meal.  It was interesting how they all cooperated to obtain an egg for their breakfast, and how little food they had at the time.  The film is a great movie for kids, with a lot of wit and imagination.  The movie is very humorous, especially in physical humor; such as when one of the Croods catches on fire and fights through dry grass.  Another thing that was funny was that Grug was always hoping that his mother-in-law would die, probably because she was burdening the group.  The visuals are stunning, such as the endless shades of green in the rainforest, and the color of the various creatures of the Crood’s universe.

“The Croods” does have flaws, however.  First of all, Belt, Guy’s pet sloth, really overused the phrase “dun dun dun”, describing the apocalypse.  The first time it was funny, but it gets old after a while.  Also, the family was trying to get past a mountain to escape the end of the world, but wouldn’t the natural disasters and the world ending be the same throughout the earth?  Another flaw was when the family was walking through a huge maze, they all miraculously ended up in the same place.

I noticed many similarities between Guy and Hiccup from “How to Train Your Dragon,” one of my favorite films, co-directed by Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois. Guy and Hiccup are skinny and brainy, about the same age, and both know much more than everybody else around them.  Guy discovered how to make fire and could find ways around obstacles that the cavemen couldn’t.

Overall, the Croods is an exciting film, with a lot of humor and heart.  I give it 4 starfish!  It has amazing visuals and a compelling story.  Its moral: Embrace change and never be afraid.


Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Perry Chen | Entertainment Critic

Perry Chen is the youngest award-winning film/ entertainment critic & animator, artist, speaker, and entertainment personality. He started writing movie reviews at 8 using a kid-friendly starfish rating system, under the guidance of his mom Dr. Zhu Shen and his 3rd grade teacher Ms. Harris. Perry’s debut on the CBS Evening News in 2009 made him a national sensation. He has been featured extensively on local, national, and international media, including NPR, Fox, CNN, NBC, The Guardian, The China Press, and many more. He has interviewed prominent filmmakers at film festivals, red carpet premieres, and press junkets. He won a prestigious “Excellence in Journalism Award” at the San Diego Press Club in 2010 as its youngest member. Perry currently writes movie reviews for the Animation World Network, San Diego Union Tribune, Amazing Kids! Magazine, and his own Perry’s Previews website with a combined readership of over 2 million worldwide.  Perry and his family live in the community of Carmel Valley San Diego.

Carmel Valley San Diego Community | Zhu Shen | Community Contributor

Dr. Zhu Shen’s love for the movies started when she was a young girl, growing up in China during the Cultural Revolution where watching movies was the only entertainment available to the masses. Her journey to become a filmmaker took a convoluted path. She studied medicine at Peking Union Medical College before coming to the US and earning a Ph.D. in biochemistry from University of Colorado, and then an MBA from Cornell University’s Johnson School. She is a producer of the upcoming documentary feature “Average Joe on the Raw,” about journey into raw food and health. Dr. Shen is also an award-winning biotech executive, author, speaker, China business expert featured on national and trade media including CBS, Fox, Business Week, Pharmaceutical Executive, and more. She has worked at IBM, Bayer, Chiron, Immusol, and is the CEO of BioForesight, consulting on cross-Pacific life science business. *Photos of Perry Chen and Zhu Shen by Brian Bostrom.


Carmel Valley San Diego Community | RIDE Cyclery Encinitas

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