2 1/2 (out of 4)
Adept and engaging enough to please youngins all around, Early Man sadly does not possess the universality or subtle humor that can entertain all ages equally like the best of Aardman's claymation films.
That isn’t to say that the handcrafted visual delights and predictable yet speedy script won’t elicit many a chuckle from any viewer. The typically ugly, wide-mouthed characters and particular details of this prehistoric comedy are frequently amusing. But the satire of primitive man that makes up the movie’s highlight moments and funniest jokes are undone by an underdog sports movie structure that plays out free of any surprises.
Though the effort behind these projects is always easy to appreciate, the simple structure and basic emotions of Early Man make it hard to recommend when the likes of Laika are putting out little masterpieces with every attempt. The talented voice cast completely disappears behind our bug-eyed characters despite the big names like Eddie Redmayne, Tom Hiddleston and Timothy Spall making up our main character. Only Richard Ayoade voicing a husky caveman character continually embarrassed by his mother stood out to my ears.
Effortlessly diverting but less than stimulating, Early Man is still the best children's film you will see for some time when the likes of Peter Rabbit are the alternative.
To keep it brief...