Early Man


Early Man

Directed By: Nick Park
Starring: Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Miriam Margolyes, Timothy Spall, Rob Brydon, Kayvan Novak, Richard Ayoade, Selina Griffiths, Johnny Vegas, Mark Williams, Gina Yashere, Richard Webber, Simon Greenall, Nick Park, et.al.
Rated: PG
Grade: B

Caveman Dug, with his best friend/pet Hognob, lives a somewhat happy existence with his tribe in the valley near their home, despite his wanting to begin hunting larger game, like mammoths and to try and decode the peculiar paintings on their cave walls, which show their ancestors crowding around what appears to be a round object. One night, however, their small, comfortable world is shattered when they’re forced out of their home by ore-mining Bronze Agers, who declare to Dug and the tribe that the stone age is over, and there’s no place for them anymore. Desperate to find a way to get his home back, Dug infiltrates the nearby Bronze Age settlement and discovers that they play a game they call football, which remarkably resembles the old cave paintings Dug inquired about. Dug then decides to challenge the Bronze Agers to a football match which will decide the fate of the cave and surrounding valley.

This is a highly enjoyable movie. While the plot, an origin story for the game of football/soccer, may be a little nonsensical, you can tell that it wasn’t meant to be serious portrayal of the Stone and Bronze Ages. Overall, you can tell that they actors were having fun voicing their roles, and the jokes are genuinely funny, even though most of the comedy tends to lean towards the British end of things, and not of it appears to have been aimed over children’s heads. It’s hard to tell actor chemistry with voice actors since it’s more likely than not that everyone is in different rooms while recording, but the voices all mesh well together.

This movie is animated, and looks to have been done to reflect the claymation-style of animation used in previous movies by these film makers, though it was more than likely done with computer animation. It was done well, though the movie tends to lean towards navy blues rather than go for full-on blacks. The characters and objects have depth and dimension, more so than their hand-drawn counterparts.

Pretty much everyone should find this movie enjoyable, though sometimes British comedy can be a little too subtle for some, this is a kids movie, so the jokes should be on a level that nearly everyone can understand. The plot is easy to follow without needing to be glued to the television, and the hero characters are all likeable.

Early Man is not available to stream anywhere at the moment, but it can be rented from Redbox or Netflix home delivery service, or purchased from a participating store or on-line retailer.

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