Movie Review of The Croods
The movie, The Croods (2013), is about a family of Neanderthals who met one Homo sapiens, and they all traveled together to find a better place to live after earthquakes and comet showers destroyed the family’s former abode. Ten things about Neanderthals presented in the movie are enumerated and discussed below.
- In the movie, Neanderthals run very fast over long distances. The opening scene in the movie showed them running very fast in search for food. When they were attacked by a wild animal, all members of the family ran fast. I learned in class that Neanderthals cannot run very fast because their heal bones are longer than what modern Homo sapiens have. The longer heal bones means longer Achilles tendon, a situation that is not conducive to running.
- In the movie, Neanderthals run after their prey even for long distances. I learned in class that Neanderthals prefer to hunt by ambushing their prey, thus they would be going back and forth a certain area waiting for the prey.
- In the movie, Neanderthals looked healthy and well-fed. Except for the grandmother, the rest of the family, especially the children, was not thin. I learned in class that a substantial number of Neanderthals did not have enough nutritious food. A study was made on the bones of Neanderthals, and scientists claimed that almost half of the tested remains of Neanderthals have hypoplasia. This condition of the bones results from lack of nutrients of the body especially during childhood.
- In the movie, the body of Neanderthals looked robust and big. I learned in class that this was a result of genetics and not environmental factors. Bones of Neanderthal children were already robust. Studies that conducted cross-sectional analysis of the bones (tibae and femora) of Neanderthals show that these are not only larger but the internal walls of the bones are also thickened.
- In the movie, Neanderthals had creative ideas. I learned in class that the brain of Neanderthals was shaped differently compared to modern man. Their brains do not have the expanded regions which would enable them to think creatively.
- In the movie, the Neanderthals were able to survive the extreme environmental factors and they found a new place. I learned in class that Neanderthals lived in isolated regions and their extinction is a result of their inability to adapt to the changing environmental conditions.
- In the movie, Neanderthals were fair skinned. I learned in class that Neanderthals had dark skin, such as the Neanderthal remains discovered in Croatia. The lightness or darkness of the skin actually depended on the geographic location of the group.
- In the movie, the Neanderthal female teenager Eep found the Homo sapiens visitor Guy attractive, and they became a couple towards the end of the movie. I learned in class that Neanderthals lived isolated from the Homo sapiens, and in the areas where they co-existed for some time such as the Levant, there was very little interbreeding between these species.
- In the movie, Neanderthals painted walls of the caves. I learned in class that there was very little evidence that supports the claim of Neanderthals making cave paintings.
- In the movie, the Neanderthal family included an elderly. This was the grandmother with the stick. I learned in class that the life expectancy of Neanderthals was just a little over 30 years old. However, Neanderthals took care of their elderly members.