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Early Man

Early Man

Early Man is a 2018 animated comedy film directed by Nick Park. It is an amusing reimagining of the history of the Bronze Age and a clever physical comedy about the origin of the popular game - soccer!

The movie begins with an asteroid collision with Earth which causes the planet’s dinosaurs to become extinct. Only a tribe of cavemen are spared. They chance upon a roughly spherical chunk of the asteroid, that is too hot to touch. And they begin to kick it around to each other, thus inventing the same of soccer.

Many centuries later, in the Stone Age, the cave area has now become a valley. Living in the valley is a young caveman named Dug along with the chief Bobnar and many other cavemen such as Asbo, Gravelle, Treebor, Magma, Barry, Grubup, Thongo, Eemak, and his pet boar Hognob. One day, Dug suggests to Bobnar that they should try hunting woolly mammoths instead of rabbits that they always do, but Bobnar does not buy the idea, believing the tribe could not catch mammoths.

In parallel, an army of War Mammoths led by Lord Nooth comes to put the tribe out of the valley and push them into the surrounding volcanic Badlands to confirm that the Stone Age has officially ended and heralding that the Bronze age has begun. Dug, in his attack of the army, falls into a cart and is accidentally taken into Nooth’s city.

There, as he is trying to escape the guards and getting out of there, he is mistaken to be a football player and is taken to a stadium. There, he challenges Nooth’s local elite team to a match and stakes the valley for the result. He also promises that the tribe would work in Nooth’s mines forever if Dug’s team loses the match. Nooth shuns away the proposal, but later agrees as he is able to see some personal profit in it.

Nooth also learns from a Message Bird that if he loses, he will work in the mines. The Queen Oofeefa warns him to not underestimate Dug’s team. In parallel, Dug discovers that his ancestors had been football players, but the other members of his tribe don’t buy this fact. In fact, their only ball is also taken away by a giant duck. Later that night, Dug and Hognob sneak into the city to steal more balls for their practice sessions, but they are found by a resident named Goona. Goona is angry over the team’s exclusion of women and not only helps them steal some balls but also helps coach the cavemen. She also points out that though Nooth’s players are trained, they lack teamwork.

Nooth meanwhile learns that the cavemen are improving in their game every day and that their ancestors were also football players. To demoralise Dug, Nooth takes him to the cave and shows him paintings of his ancestors who played football but never ended up winning even a single match and then eventually gave up the sport.

Nooth then offers Dug a deal which he later agrees to and forfeits the match on the day that it was to be played. And as part of the deal, the rest of the tribe is spared and Dug agrees to take their place in the mines alone. However, his teammates arrive and persuade him to break the deal and play the match. They are down 3–1 at half-time, but rally in the second half to tie the score.

Nooth tries all cheap tricks to win and also tries to escape and steal the crowd's admission money, but Dug and Goona stops him with the help from the giant duck. Nooth is arrested for his crimes and everyone gets their money back. Finally, all is well that ends well!

The movie has many scenes that will make you smile with its naïve characters and simplistic comic timing. It is a classic underdog sports film wrapped in pre-historic fur. A movie that you definitely should not miss!

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