The Croods & Kon-Tiki: Looking back to discover our future

What could the latest from DreamWorks animation, The Croods (2013), possibly have in common with Kon-Tiki (2012), a Norwegian historical drama and a recent Oscar contender for best foreign film? 

Well, quite a lot actually. In both films someone asks the question, when faced with an insurmountable challenge, ‘What would Tiki do?’ or in the case of The Croods, ‘What would Guy do?’ Both questions are asked in the face of certain doom when radical strategies are called for to survive.

Both are exciting family films that pack an emotional punch and can be enjoyed by adults and children. One film looks forward to find the answers; The Croods is about ancient man evolving by reinventing themselves. The other looks backwards to find the answers; Kon-Tiki is about devolving to prove that ancient men were actually more advanced than we gave them credit for.

Our pre-historic past and the achievements of early man have always fascinated me. A world that was both brutal and mysterious in its unlimited potential for discovery, a natural untouched paradise of unknown vastness. Much like our Oceans, the world was mostly unexplored by humans but our predecessors were quickly breaking new barriers, testing new ideas and discovering new lands.

The Croods deals with the historical displacement of Neanderthal (Cave men) by Homo sapiens (modern humans) during pre-historic times.  A family of Neanderthals fights all manner of strange pre-historic beasts to survive using their superior strength and fear of the unknown. But when their world crumbles beneath their feet, they are forced to follow a strange young boy with some progressive ideas on a journey through the unknown.

The humor is quite clever and deals with the theme of living day to day while barely surviving, as opposed to living to dream of and invent a better way of life. It’s a look back at how we evolved from brute strength beings, to thinking reasoning inventors of new technologies that improved our daily lives and set us on a course to the future we live in today. 

Whereas Kon-Tiki is about modern humans recreating ancient methods used by primitive humans to navigate ocean currents and winds, while re-discovering the basic thought processes and ideas they may have had. 

The results are very similar in both films as we follow clans of barely clothed hominids on voyages through vast distances, isolated from other humans, and battling the elements using only their physical strength and ingenuity.

Kon-Tiki is about a band of young Norwegian adventurers who set out on a voyage drifting across the Pacific Ocean using only a balsa wood raft made of materials available to pre-Columbian Indians, to prove the theory that the Polynesian islands could have and were actually settled by ancient South Americans.

Isolated from the civilized world and using only basic primitive materials, the crew places their fates into the hands of nature and the ancient knowledge of our ancestors to float across the perilous unknown expanse of the open seas. 

Both these engaging films are inspired by the adventurous spirit of our early ancestors and pays homage to their courage and perseverance.

JP

1 comment:

Sally DeSmet said...

I enjoy your reviews very much. Now all I have to do is find time to see a movie! Love your blog - very colorful and well written.