Australian Council on Children and the Media

Croods, The

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Not recommended under 8, PG to 10 due to scary scenes and themes

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This topic contains:

  • overall comments and recommendations
  • details of classification and consumer advice lines for Croods, The
  • a review of Croods, The completed by the Australian Council on Children and the Media (ACCM) on 26 March 2013.

Overall comments and recommendations

Children under 8 Not recommended due to scary scenes and themes
Children 8-10 Parental guidance recommended due to scary scenes and themes
Children 10 and over OK for this age group

About the movie

This section contains details about the movie, including its classification by the Australian Government Classification Board and the associated consumer advice lines.

Name of movie: Croods, The
Classification: PG
Consumer advice lines: Mild themes
Length 98 minutes

ACCM review

This review of the movie contains the following information:

A synopsis of the story

The Croods, an animated adventure comedy set in the prehistoric era, centres on a family of cave people who are thrown unpreparedly into an entirely new world. Grug (voice of Nicholas Cage) is the quintessential leader of the pack, who has gone to extreme lengths to ensure his family’s safety. He teaches them to be afraid of anything new, to never stray from the family or go out at night, and to retreat to the cave after every hunt. His daughter Eep (Emma Stone), however, has unfortunately been blessed with an unquenchable curiosity and desire to explore.

When secretly venturing out of the cave one day, she meets another human named Guy (Ryan Reynolds), and becomes eager to learn from the knowledgeable and wise young man. After significant distrust from the other members of the family, Grug in particular, the Croods begin following Guy’s lead in search of the better land of ‘tomorrow’. On their journey, the group faces continual obstacles and encounter various dangers. However, the biggest obstacle they face is changing the way they view the world and their place in it. After each member of the family begins to live without fear, they discover the peace and happiness they craved all along.

Themesinfo

Children and adolescents may react adversely at different ages to themes of crime, suicide, drug and alcohol dependence, death, serious illness, family breakdown, death or separation from a parent, animal distress or cruelty to animals, children as victims, natural disasters and racism. Occasionally reviews may also signal themes that some parents may simply wish to know about.

Prehistoric times; fear versus bravery; personal growth and change

Use of violenceinfo

Research shows that children are at risk of learning that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution when violence is glamourised, performed by an attractive hero, successful, has few real life consequences, is set in a comic context and / or is mostly perpetrated by male characters with female victims, or by one race against another.

Repeated exposure to violent content can reinforce the message that violence is an acceptable means of conflict resolution. Repeated exposure also increases the risks that children will become desensitised to the use of violence in real life or develop an exaggerated view about the prevalence and likelihood of violence in their own world.

There is limited violence in this movie, including:

  • In trying to hunt for breakfast, the family ends up in a physical fight with a multitude of other creatures, trying to outsmart them and physically outmanoeuvre them. They mount an elephant while being chased by other dangerous creatures, getting thrown around on its back as they try to defend themselves from the animals that are still trying to attack them.
  • When Eep first meets Guy, she kicks him, hits him, and physically hurts him. However, she doesn’t do this in a malicious way; she is merely afraid and unaccustomed to seeing another human.
  • Eep gets annoyed at random points throughout the film and throws things (e.g. rocks and sticks) at her brother, Thunk, out of anger and frustration. He is usually seen uninjured afterwards.
  • Grug tries to scare a monkey that he and the family pass in their travels, as he doesn’t know how to react to anything “new”. The monkey then proceeds to punch Grug in the face, and continues to physically hurt him for several moments.
  • The family come across a flock of seemingly peaceful small birds that form a beautiful flock in the sky. They then swoop down upon a large animal, spin around it rapidly, and leave only it’s carcass behind after eating it. The family are terrified at the sight.
  • The grandmother tries to eat Thunk out of hunger, biting into his foot viciously.

Material that may scare or disturb children

Under fiveinfo

Children under five are most likely to be frightened by scary visual images, such as monsters, physical transformations.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children under the age of five, including the following:

  • Within the world in which the Crood family lives, there are many dangerous animals with whom they compete with for food. Many times, the creatures initially chase and attempt to attack the family, which could be scary for young children. However, as the Croods adapt to their new environment and become less fearful of new things, they adopt many of the previously ‘dangerous’ animals as friends and pets.
  • Scary scenes of volcanoes and earthquakes with rocks falling and the ground splitting open

Aged five to eightinfo

Children aged five to eight will also be frightened by scary visual images and will also be disturbed by depictions of the death of a parent, a child abandoned or separated from parents, children or animals being hurt or threatened and / or natural disasters.

In addition to the above-mentioned violent scenes and scary visual images, there are some scenes in this movie that could scare or disturb children aged five to eight, including the following:

  • Eep is temporarily separated from her father, after Grug sacrifices himself by throwing each of the other family members over a gap towards safety, while remaining behind himself. Eep is visibly distressed at not getting a chance to say “I love you” back to him before he threw her to safety.  She believes that she has lost him forever.

Aged eight to thirteeninfo

Children aged eight to thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic threats and dangers, violence or threat of violence and / or stories in which children are hurt or threatened.

Nothing of concern

Over thirteeninfo

Children over the age of thirteen are most likely to be frightened by realistic physical harm or threats, molestation or sexual assault and / or threats from aliens or the occult.

Nothing of concern

Product placement

Nothing of concern, although associated merchandise is likely to be marketed to children

Sexual references

There were few sexual references in this movie, including:

  • Grug repeatedly tries to pull Guy and Eep apart anytime they’re touching or standing near each other. He acts like a protective father when Eep begins to develop feelings for Guy and starts flirting with him.

Nudity and sexual activity

None of concern

Use of substances

None of concern

Coarse language

None of concern

In a nutshell

The Croods is a heart-warming animated tale of adventure and discovery which follows a family that dramatically changes their thinking, and as a result, their lives. The film demonstrates the struggle of a well-intentioned parent who wants desperately to protect his family, yet manages to curb their freedom and stifle their curiosity at the same time. It stresses the importance of being adaptive to the changing demands of your environment, but most importantly, being psychologically open to enjoying new experiences and not allowing fear to spoil your enjoyment of life.

Nevertheless, the prehistoric world in which the Croods live is a dangerous place where the threat of death and the end of the world is always present.  There are scary creatures, scenes of fire, earthquakes and rockfalls, people in danger and violence between people that are likely to disturb under 8s, for whom the film is not recommended. Many of the scary scenes are more intense in the 3D version.

Parents of older children may wish to discuss what the film shows about times when children should listen to their parents and those when parents should allow their children to make their own choices and take risks. There are times when genuine concerns about safety may make it difficult for parents to give their children more independence as they get older.

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