Today I saw The Croods, starring the voices of Emma Stone and Nicholas Cage.
Grug (Cage) Crood is just like any other father—he loves his family, acts as the breadwinner and is fiercely protective of his children.
Eep (Stone) Crood is just like any other teenage daughter—she hates being cooped up, is curious about the unknown and enjoys the company of cute guys.
The unique thing about this bunch is that they're prehistoric. They're cave-people who don't know how to advance past their hunter-gatherer stages because they refuse to explore the unknown.
There's an old saying that goes "if it ain't broke, don't fix it," and the same could be said for Daddy Crood's philosophy. He means well, but doesn't let his family outside the cave once the sun goes down because "new is bad."
Eep challenges that rule by sneaking out as often as she can, and one night encounters Guy (Ryan Reynolds), a boy her age with a pet Sloth named Belt (who functions as one too). Because of her rebellious actions, her family must follow her, and the places they go are frightening and wonderful all the same.
Basically, the feature is a parable about the importance of keeping an open mind and taking risks (just in case they're worth it). The story—like the main family—is simple, but that's okay because of the audience it's targeting.
I had the pleasure of seeing the film with a 6 year-old boy and a 3 year-old girl. Both were absolutely silent and engrossed as the action played out.
If they weren't bored, I can't imagine many of the adults were either (I know I wasn't), and at the end of the day, the storyline preaching was minimal. This is a character-driven jaunt, starring fun, familiar voices, set in a time our evolution often causes us to forget.
It will remind you not to be afraid of the new—and not to forget how far you've come, either.