Clearly and weirdly blind to the limitless potential afforded by an animated feature set during the dawn of man, the usually imaginative Nick Park (Chicken Run, The Curse of the Were-Rabbit) squanders 90 minutes sketching a wearisome soccer match between the Stone Age and the Bronze World. Add to this a host of repulsively designed characters (Shrek & Co. are Disney bunnies compared to Park’s cookie-cutter band of stop-motion Neanderthals), and you’re stuck with a feature that makes The Flintstones look like the Rite of Spring passage in Fantasia. The pun-fueled dialogue is a perfect match for the visual ugliness, making it only fitting that Early Man steals from Youngman. There are jokes here — the Chief’s demand that his underlings start mining ore is met with, “Or what?” — that would make Henny gag. It’s not only destined to top this year’s 10 Worst list, it also qualifies as one of the most unendurable cartoons ever to come from a major animator. (2018) — Scott Marks
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