|Directed by||:||Nick Park||Produced by||:||Peter Lord, David Sproxton||Screenplay by||:||Mark Burton, James Higginson||Story by||:||Mark Burton, Nick Park||Starring||:||Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston, Maisie Williams, Timothy Spall||Music by||:||Harry Gregson-Williams||Cinematography||:||Dave Alex Riddett|
Review: ‘Early Man’ Is a Very Funny Trip to the Past
My feelings about “Early Man” can be summed up as better late than never. I’m a little sorry that this utterly silly feature from Nick Park and Aardman Animations was not around when I was 7 or 8 years old, or when my children were wearing out the Wallace and Gromit videocassettes that someone had given them for Christmas. Not that anyone could outgrow this kind of movie, which manages to be fresh and delightful even as some of its jokes are so old — how old? So old that the last time I heard them, I fell off my dinosaur I was laughing so hard.
About that: In prehistoric times, according to Mr. Park and the screenwriters (Mark Burton and James Higginson), cave men and giant lizards shared the planet for a while. A bit later, descendants of those same cave-dwellers — a band of genial, not-too-bright hunter-gatherers in a verdant valley near what is now Manchester, England — coexisted uneasily with a more aggressive and arrogant breed of humans, who mastered metallurgy, stadium-building and sports commentary. “The age of stone is over. The age of bronze is here,” they proclaim as they drive the Stone Agers into the wasteland.
It would be pedantic in the extreme to fault this movie for its inaccurate rendering of the past. Did mammoths’ feet in ancient times walk upon England’s green and pleasant land? Does the fossil record contain evidence of a mallard the size of a 727? You might as well ask if there are La Brea Tar Pits in Scotland. As Bugs Bunny will tell you, there are no La Brea Tar Pits in Scotland.