I am a Crood

grugLast Friday was “Boy’s Day Off.”  For those not familiar with that term (meaning those not living my house) “Boy’s Day Off” is when my day off becomes a day of bonding with my boys, Gideon and Josiah.  Typically that means going to our nearest town of size, Salina.  And sometimes it means doing something special like seeing a movie.  Last Friday was one of those days.  So what would we see?  Well, of course the latest animation flick called “The Croods.”

I sort of figured they would be all sorts of “millions of years ago” talk and other evolutionary nods in a movie about “cavemen.”  And we were treated to some of that, including a grandma with a evolutionary leftover, a tail.  But truthfully, it was not these details that bothered me.

What bothered me was the clear message of the movie itself.  You see the main characters in the film, the cavemen, are called the Croods.  We find out they live in a cave most of the time for safety.  Then we are introduced to the neanderthal  father Grug who loves rules, tells stories about how curiosity over new ideas leads to death, and speaks of fear as the key to survival.

The rest of the movie shows us the error of his ways as the hero “Guy” explains to the family that only new ideas can make them survive and encourages them to ride the sun to tomorrow.  (The sun worship in the movie is quite creepy, but that is for another post I likely will never write.)

So let me decode the movie for you.  The Croods are certainly meant to caricature people like myself who find safety in a cave (Church), follow rules and rituals (things like the Ten Commandments and the liturgy), and fear everything (things like homosexuality).  Supposedly our motto is “Never not be afraid! Fear keeps us alive!” 

Guy is meant to be the antithesis of all of that.  He is the model progressive modern man with new ideas that will set people free from the bonds of traditional thoughts and rules.

So what is the point of this movie?  Ultimately that children must leave behind the rules of their oppressive knuckle-dragging parents and find those who will introduce them to new ideas that will lead them to the happy forever of tomorrow.  The way of life shown to them by their parents is after all not really living but is dying.  Therefore, they are to never be afraid of any new idea.

My kids would not have been able to tell you that this was the main point of the movie walking out of the theatre.  Judging from other reviews made by Christian people on the internet, most adults didn’t discern this point either.  But I have seem this theme told in kids movies over and over again lately.  The filmmakers are shaping our children’s worldview one movie at a time.  And they are doing so intentionally.  Whether kids or parents discern it, it is happening.

lightchurchIt is to the point where I just don’t think I am going to be taking my kids to any more movies without seeing them first.  I don’t need this junk in their head.  I do not need my children being taught by these fools.

I suppose the screenwriter of the movie reading that last line might just say, “See there it is.  Never not be afraid.  Fear even kids’ movies.  He is a Crood.”

Well yes, I guess I am.  But here is the truth.  The cave is not dark.  It is where true light dwells.  The rules do not take life away.  They lead us to the abundant life.  And as for fear, some fear is proper.  “Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom, and to turn away from evil is understanding.”

I am a Crood.  Thanks be to God.  Amen.

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This entry was posted on Monday, April 22nd, 2013 at 2:01 pm and is filed under Movie Reviews. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

8 Responses to “I am a Crood”

  1. Holly Says:

    Thanks for sharing your link on my review. I think your assessment of the croods is right on! It has the same message as movies like Pocahantas, Little Mermaid, Finding Memo, etc. These movies also completely demean the father’s role in the family. The Croods’ creators definitely had an ungodly agenda on many levels. hanks for sharing!

  2. Philip Hoppe Says:

    Holly, thanks for reading it. Feel free to share a link to your review here as well.

  3. Patrick Says:

    “For the time is coming when people will not endure sound teaching, but having itching ears they will accumulate for themselves teachers to suit their own passions, and will turn away from listening to the truth and wander off into myths. As for you, always be sober-minded, endure suffering, do the work of an evangelist, fulfill your ministry” (2 Timothy 4:3-5).

    I will gladly join you as a Crood. Unfortunately, the progressive theology of America is in the fabric of very founding of our country. Croods unite this Sunday at your local Lutheran parish!

  4. Chris Says:

    Phil,

    I don’t watch movies like this (and never will) so I’m relying on you for the synopsis of this particular movie. But, I don’t see the same implications as you do. Sons/children often have different ideas (or ideals) from their parents, but that, in itself should not be labeled as bad. Luke Skywalker and Princess Leia had different ideas from their father, Darth Vader about the Empire and that wasn’t a bad idea. Isn’t it better to test the idea rather than to test from whom the idea came. Yes, there should be a place for anchors and especially tradition, but never for its own sake. And also consider that the motif of sons rebelling against parents is as old as the Scriptures themselves, if not older.

    Is there one mention of religion in this film? Based on your review, there is not. I think you’re placing way too much weight on symbols (cave=ignorance/church; outside=enlightenment/secularism). To paraphrase Freud, sometimes a cave is just a cave.

    I’m reminded of a SOuth Park episode called “the Adventures of Scrottie McBoogerballs.” In that episode, Stan, Kyle, Kenny and Cartman write the most foul-mouthed non-sensical book ever and it ends up getting published and becomes a bestseller. And people are coming to any number of different conclusions about what the book means are as laughable as the book itself. SOme argue that it is the most pro-life book ever while others vehemently defend the pro-chocie side. It never ends.

    LIterary criticism is in the same vein as film criticism. I really wonder how many dead authors, if they had a chance to sit in a literature class where their book was being taught would throw up their hands and say “You really missed the point.” Same with film writers and directors. How many of them would have the same reaction years down the line if their films were being analyzed? Sometmes a cave is just a cave.

    Does Hollywood promote anti-Christian values and tenets? Absolutely. But that doesn’t mean that every little symbol in any movie amounts to an anti-Christian crusade. We have to be more discerning than that. Yes, HOllywood and the media do a good job of molding our worldviews. IT is through the media that we see the world anymore. Such is why I prefer reading books and movies/Tv shows about historical things instead. Ultimately, responsibility lies with parents (which I see you’re taking by refusing to take your kids to any more of these). But you’re trying to kill the messenger instead of the message. Of course, I don’t believe in either. Opposition to truth always helps to point towards who Truth is.

    FWIW.

  5. Christopher Ogne Says:

    Hey brother – I usually think you’re spot on – but in this case I disagree with you. I don’t believe the symbols you present equate to the things you believe they equate to. The cave isn’t the church – the church exists to impact the world – not hide from it. In the same way when coal miners huddle together when they’re trapped in a cave in – it’s not the church that I see in that coal mine. I see the church as the crane operators, the EMT’s, the fireman, etc…on top offering help to those in darkness.

    I believe I could easily make the analogy that Guy was the church to the Croods – he brought the truth of fire, the truth of heroism, and the truth of liberty from fear – and remember that fear is of the enemy – Jesus feared no man and no thing. I wouldn’t go that far in the movie though – because I believe it was simply a fun story.

    Anyway, just my thoughts.

  6. Brandon Says:

    I found your analysis to be spot on. I guess I interpreted it exactly the same way, and was looking to see if I was the only one noticing it. The movie would have otherwise been enjoyable, had it not been for the persistent messages of Progressivism. I am not against new ideas and innovation, they are key to society advancing medicine and technology, obviously. What I take issue with was that the movie seemed to support a mindset of “throw caution to the wind”, and ridicule anyone who would be reluctant to go along with it. I know a lot of parents probably jump onboard with this sort of thing, but what’s upsetting is how many parents just don’t notice the messages being delivered in movies these days to undermine conservative parents.

  7. Stephanie Says:

    Thank you for your very interesting review. I was also bothered by the message of the movie. Very subtle, indeed, but it seemed to scream loud and clear to me. Even the statement “What would Guy do?” “What would I do?” seemed like a subtle slap in the face of Christians following Christ. I was surprised that Christian reviewers didn’t notice any of this. Thank you so much for your review. I appreciate your discernment.

  8. Trey Says:

    So, I’m a little late getting in on the conversation considering I recently purchased this DVD for my kids. I must COMPLETELY agree with the author’s review. After watching this assault on neanderthal parents — specifically fathers — such as myself, I find myself regretting the choice to purchase this movie. Don’t get me wrong, it was full of humor; but, virtually the entire movie revolved around the father’s poor decision making ability and misfortune. The fact is, we live in a world that is experiencing a pandemic of fatherlessness and this movie only perpetuates the problem by influencing the children who watch it to think that, even if they have a father, he is a stupid, bumbling fool — never to be taken seriously.

    Additionally, there seems to be some semi-covert something going on with the characters names. Let’s examine the two central characters’ names. First, there is Guy. Guy is simply another way of saying “man”, correct? If you view the word “man” through a biblical lens, what do you have? Adam. Okay, so, guy = Adam; now for the female lead, Eep. This may be a stretch for some; however, to me that name sounds a little too much like someone mixed the words “Eve” and “ape.” It seems that the movie producers have attempted to replace our creation by God with the evolution of the species by their interpretation of Homo sapien Adam and his partner, the neanderthal Eve (or Eep, or whatever). The semantic games and near subliminal messaging that movie producers continue to employ in their attempts to erode the family unit and perpetually assault Christian beliefs is appalling and unacceptable. If you haven’t already purchased or rented this movie, my advice is simply “Don’t.”

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