Nicolas Cage’s voice does sound rather odd coming out of the mouth of a Cave-family patriarch in the new trailer for DreamWorks’ The Croods. The same goes for Emma Stone voicing animated Caveman Cage’s adventurous daughter, who is physically modeled after the Easy A and Amazing Spider-Man star.
Then again, ‘unusual’ is to be expected from a film co-written and directed by Chris Sanders (co-writer/director of Lilo & Stitch and How to Train Your Dragon) and Kirk De Micco (writer/director of Space Chimps). This is also the first feature Sanders has not collaborated on with Dean DeBlois, who is currently putting together How to Train Your Dragon 2 (and thus, could not be involved with Croods).
The Croods also features the vocal talents of Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Cloris Leachman, and Clark Duke (Kick-Ass), but only Cage, Stone, and Leachman get to speak in the trailer (the latter, for only 1-2 lines). However, given the talent involved behind the scenes, it’s not surprising to learn that this flick appears to be more than a star-studded prehistoric cartoon with little inventiveness or creativity (Ice Age sequels, looking at you).
Here is an official synopsis for The Croods (note: Reynolds is voicing ‘Guy’):
When their cave is destroyed, the Crood family is forced to embark on an epic adventure into a pre-historic world in search of a new home. With the help of a brash, know-it-all nomad named Guy, the Croods learn to conquer their fears and discover what it takes to survive – each other.
One thing that Croods has going for it is there’s more to the plot than the father-daughter conflict shown in the trailer. That’s not to say these stories are no longer worthwhile; however, over the past decade, Pixar films like Finding Nemo and Brave has brought an emotional complexity to these parent-child stories, raising the bar for other animated movies (the currently-playing Hotel Transylvania has been criticized for failing to meet that challenge).
It appears The Croods focuses more on the whole family dynamic, with characters fitting certain archetypes (conservative father, rebellious daughter, etc.), but with a Cave-people mentality played for satirical laughs. Sanders and Micco are toying with those tropes in a manner similar to how Brad Bird mixed superheroes with family issue in The Incredibles; whether Croods will be as successful in that regard as Incredibles, of course, is another matter.
Look for The Croods to open in theaters around the U.S. on March 22nd, 2013.
Source: iTunes Movie Trailers