Early Man — 4 Gavels 81% Rotten Tomatoes

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Calling Lyn Hughes!  Calling Lyn Hughes!  The English invented “the beautiful game.”  This witty tale of Cave Man vs. Bronze Man is much better than Peter Rabbit, and a shame that it will be dwarfed by the Black Panther.  We learn, facetiously, that the meteor that killed the dinosaurs actually landed near Manchester, England.  From that “rock,” a foot-ball was formed and it was too hot too handle; thus, early English ancestors had to kick the orb.  Paintings in caves from the earliest recorded times prove that the ancients loved their football.

Dug and his pet wild boar, Hognob, are ready to evolve and hunt bigger game.  Bobnar, the chief of the tribe, sees no reason to hunt anything but rabbits.  Their world falls apart when Lord Nooth decides to mine bronze in the valley inhabited by the the cave men.  Driven out by superior weapons, Dug fights back but is taken to the city.  There, he is discovered, and challenges Lord Nooth and his henchman, a challenge that will have severe consequences for the loser.

Eddie Redmayne is fantastic as the voice of Dug.  Maisie Williams voices Goona, a girl from the city who isn’t allowed to play on the big-boy pitch, and decides to coach the cave men.  Tom Hiddleston voices Lord Nooth, the pompous leader who knows his Real Bronze is much better than the any cave men could ever be. 

Complete with instant replay using puppets, announcers, and some questionable refereeing, one might think these players have seen 2018.  These are the same folks who make Wallace and Gromit and made $225 million with Chicken Run in 2000.  Rated PG, this is definitely one for the kids, and anyone who has ever played soccer, or watched their sons, daughter, nieces or nephews play the sport.  The characters are just so sweet, not sugary, that they are hard to resist.  Put this one on your list to see; you will go to sleep with a smile on your face.

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