Typically, I am not a fan of stop-motion animation. Though A Nightmare Before Christmas is definitely an exception to this, as I really enjoyed that film. Even without my generally enjoying this type of movie, when Early Man was brought to my attention by my daughter, and I noticed that it had such voice talent as Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, and Timothy Spall, I thought it would make for a fun family movie night.
Made by Aardman Animation, the same studio that gave us Chicken Run, Wallace & Gromit, Flushed Away, and Shaun the Sheep, Early Man is a stop-motion animation film that tells us a story of Dug, a caveman who, along with his tribe, was run out of his home and his quest to return to it.
Production & Cast
Early Man, being a stop-motion animated film, isn’t always smoothly animated. Aardman Animation’s process for their movies has Early Man look like each of their previous films. And its that look of colorful clay that makes this film something worth seeing.
Being based in Bristol England, Aardman Animation uses British talent, and this film primarily is no different than their previous work. The cast is lead by Eddie Redmayne as Dug the caveman, whose home is taken over by Tom Hiddleston’s Lord Nooth, leader of the Bronze Age humans. Maisie Williams plays Goona, a vendor in the Bronze City who Dug befriended. Rounding out the main cast is Timothy Spall as Chief Bobnar, the leader of Dug’s tribe.
A Children’s Film
Early Man is, without a doubt, a children’s film. I was hopeful when Early Man was brought to my attention that there would be things in it for my wife and me to connect with. Unfortunately, there just was very little of it that we could connect with. My daughter, on the other hand, loved the film.
There was one character that had two scenes that we all found to be fun and made us all laugh. A message bird, who was voiced by Rob Brydon, that gave Lord Nooth messages from the queen. The voice that the actor used and the mannerisms got me to laugh in all the right places.
Early Man is a film made for children with tons of jokes that didn’t land for the older audience. Seeing a Tyrannosaurs Rex and Triceratops hug at the beginning of the film set a tone that didn’t fall for me throughout the film.
Overall, Early Man is not a film for the older crowd and is tailored made for that group of people under the age of 12. And with its PG rating, there really isn’t much in it that I wouldn’t let the younger generations see.