Craig Before The Creek... Reviewed!

Shout out to Warner Bros for supplying a copy of this movie for review, my opinions are my own.

I've seen Craig of the Creek in passing, so when I got the opportunity to check out an animated film that acts as a prelude to the show... I couldn't resist. Is it any good? Let's jump in and find out how Craig became one with... the creek!

Story: Craig Before The Creek starts off with a girl running away from someone who looked like they could potentially be bullies as she made off with a composition book with "Hannah" written on it. This was after the reveal of a baddie on a ship.

It then fast forwards to Craig moving to Maryland to their new home... leaving behind his old friends at the start of summer. By the way, perfect time to release this animated film on DVD. Craig isn't thrilled about it, but they start connecting the reasons for the move... which is something a number of parents and children can relate to. A number of children don't see or understand that their parents are trying to make the best move for their long term benefit... but some parents don't understand that their child's social life revolved around their friends and familiar surroundings. I'll come back to this.

Anyway, things start off on this slightly sad note... until Craig's mom suggests that he takes his sister to the park. All is well until... something happens that forces Craig to go into the woods and basically unlocks a new world where everything revolves around... the creek.

That's where he encounters various kids with their individual quirks, including the baddies. The composition book turned out to be a diary, but I won't get into the specifics. Just know that the main adventure begins from this point.

Parents, something you may want to beware of is when Craig finds Hanna's Diary and he begins to suit up to head back to the creek. If you get the DVD, you may want to fast forward once he gets the banister stick (in scene 3) if you don't agree with his next choice when deciding between carrying bags. Instead of Craig selecting his bookbag to pack his items, he went with a purse. It looks like it could be a duffle bag (based on the way he carries it), but... once he mentions it's a purse it might be hard to un-see it as a purse.

Another scenario occurs when Craig was hiding from the baddies after their leader wants him found. He acts like he was going to sleep over at a friends house, which I don't know how many parents would allow boys and girls to have sleep overs... but his mom said yes. This was followed up by another boy asking what was for dinner, and Craig referred to himself as momma and said let him check his purse.

Outside of this, it was a really pretty cool adventure that held my interest as Craig and his newfound crew went on their quest to find a treasure that grants... wishes. The final battle didn't disappoint either. A lot of things seemed more so based on the imaginations of the kids and were played up in visual form, but you get into with the understanding that it's real... to them (based on previous examples of kids using their imagination in awesome ways). This film essentially wraps things up with Craig coming into his own as the dots finally connect his past to his present as... Craig of the Creek. I also liked how this film connected Craig as the hero to the antagonist by way of him trying to cope with the move. I won't spoil it for you, so I'll leave it at that. There is plenty to enjoy in this film, I think it's well rounded, packed with quirky characters, and shows enough diversity to be appreciated by a variety of children + parents.

Visuals: The visuals in this film were solid, and they give depth in regards to the landscape and shading. It easy to get the feeling of being immersed in woods that the creek runs through because the artist did a great job of making the atmosphere feel the way it should. It's not flat as if the environment is always tucked in the background, the characters interact with it in multiple ways. The image below gives you an idea of what I mean. The animations were nice too, especially when it comes to the creek kids... simply based on things they were pretending to be. The kids battling with the bugs and the frog is a prime example, but the final battle was probably the best in terms of animation (second would be the fight on the ship in my opinion). This isn't to say there aren't any other good animated sequences, because there are... but these stood out to me the most.

Audio: In terms of audio, I watched Craig Before The Creek with the 1More Open Earbuds S50. When I saw the 5.1 surround, I was like... hmmmm. I highly recommend watching with surround sound speakers or a nice pair of headphones. The sound engineer ensured that listeners were able to get a nice experience by delivering a decent spatial audio experience. Everything wasn't served up this way, but there is enough to appreciate what was delivered for the surround sound experience. You could hear the various kids in the environment coming from different angles, the sound effects were solid, and the final battle didn't disappoint. Craig Before The Creek is available in Dolby Digital: English 5.1.

Price: Pricewise, you can get Craig Before The Creek on DVD for... $19.98 as listed online, but you can pre-order for $16.98... here. A poster was included in my copy, which may come in your copy, but... since it's not listed I can't say that it's guaranteed. Craig Before The Creek is available on DVD... March 26, 2024! (Pre-orders available now, don't miss out on the discount.)

Story 5

Visuals 5

Audio 5

Price 5

5 out of 5 Cool Points

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