Thread: The Croods
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Old April 29 2013, 03:14 PM   #2
Robert Maxwell
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Re: The Croods

Saw it with my girlfriend and kids yesterday. Liked the moral message, seriously disliked the gender messaging.

Read no further if, for some reason, you don't want spoilers for a kids' movie.

Eep, the ostensible main character and daughter of uber-caveman Grug, meets a boy named Guy, who forewarns her that the world is about to suffer a massive upheaval. This information allows her to save her family, after which they catch up with Guy. From that point onward, every major dilemma is resolved either through Guy's ingenuity or Grug's brawn. On the one hand, I can praise that a major male role's sense of worth is derived from his intelligence rather than his physical prowess--Grug's pound-things-first-and-ask-questions-later approach is denigrated more than once by both Guy and the film's narrative. On the other hand, it really sucks that Eep, her mother, her grandmother, and her baby sister wind up being so passive for so much of the film. When they do "think for themselves," they are really just emulating Guy. So, they go from respecting, trusting, and emulating one man in their lives (Grug) to doing the very same thing with Guy. Eep is the only one to ever show any initiative, and she stops doing that pretty much the moment Guy becomes their de facto leader.

Every woman in this movie needs a man to save her. Even Grug is redeemed by the end, once he realizes that his fists are not actually the solution to every problem. Eep's only character growth consists of realizing that her father actually loves her, and so her rebellion against his authority was childish and wrongheaded. Great.

Personally, I think Wreck-It Ralph approached this sort of thing much better. In that movie, yes, a male mentor is key to the female heroine's success, but it's much more of a mutual partnership, rather than awestruck admiration and emulation.
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