A masked woman with an umbrella walks with a child through the quiet city centre during a lockdown to curb the spread of COVID-19 outbreak in Sydney, Australia, August 24, 2021. Image Credit: REUTERS

Sydney: Australia’s Prime Minister Scott Morrison has compared the coronavirus pandemic and his nation’s lockdown exit strategy to the animated children’s movie “The Croods,” saying Australians will need to soon start getting out and living their lives, despite ongoing risk.

The 2013 movie made by DreamWorks, depicts a humorous and hapless family of cave men and women as they navigate a harsh terrain after their cave is destroyed and try to survive in the stone age.

“Now, it’s like that movie in The Croods - people wanted to stay in the cave . . . and that young girl, she wanted to go out and live again and deal with the challenges of living in a different world,” Morrison told Australia’s Channel 9 during an interview on Tuesday.

“Covid is a new, different world, and we need to get out there and live in it. We can’t stay in the cave and we can get out of it safely,” he said.

As The Post’s Sydney bureau chief Michael Miller reported, Morrison on Monday defended a plan to begin opening up the country once 70 per cent of eligible Australians have been vaccinated, despite record cases in Sydney, and hinted that states that cling to lockdowns could face punishments.

“Our goal [is] to live with this virus - not to live in fear of it,” Morrison said. “We have to break this cycle” of states going in and out of lockdown, he said, adding, “This groundhog day has to end.”

The Croods - a popular family film that grossed about $587 million at the worldwide box office, according to IMDb - had a sequel out in 2020 and stars the voices of actors Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone and Ryan Reynolds.

Morrison’s comparison sparked a flurry of responses on social media, with some in Australia lamenting that they hadn’t seen the movie, while others commented on the declining rhetoric of statesmen.

Australia has fared relatively well during the pandemic, with about 45,700 recorded cases and 984 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

However, a third wave of infections from the delta variant has plunged Sydney and Melbourne, its largest cities, and capital Canberra into a weeks-long lockdown.