The Croods: A New Age
Starring the voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, Kelly Marie, Tran, and Cloris Leachman
Written by Kevin Hageman, Dan Hageman, Paul Fisher, and Bob Logan
Directed by Joel Crawford
Rated: G with scenes of peril, rude humour, slapstick violence and infrequent portrayals of monsters and transformations in an animated context
Runtime: 95 minutes
Available to own on digital video on demand, 4K Ultra HD, Blu-Ray and DVD. Special features of discs include 2 all-new exclusive shorts, deleted scenes, and How to Draw: Caveman Style, Stone Age Snack Attack, and Famileaf Album featurettes.
Oh, to be young again, or at least to have young children again. I do remember the simple pleasures of watching movies like The Croods: A New Age. I feel like the Ice Age series and The Flintstones were its closest forebears, and I revelled in their comedies.
Now, here I am, middle-aged and watching Croods by myself, and enjoying it - 'tis true - yet wondering more about how these things are made. Who decides what gets made fun of? And how? And furthermore, why did it take so long for a sequel? It's been seven years since the Croods first appeared on the evolutionary scene.
I never did see the first but one imagines that it must have been successful enough to warrant a second act. Probably a third too. I know how these things go. I've always said that an animated family movie is a gold mine. Sure, they take a long time and involve hundreds of computer experts poring over finicky details in millions of lines of code, but every kid in their seat comes with a parent or two, and a sibling or two, and a friend or two. Ka-ching. I should make one of these movies someday.
Croods 2 returns us to the first prehistoric family as they embark on another adventure but one that they might have expected. Enter Guy (voiced by Ryan Reynolds), a young guy without a family of his own. He falls in love with Eep Crood (Emma Stone), much to the chagrin of father Grug (Nicolas Cage). Together, join up in Guy's search of Tomorrow. Instead, they find the more upright Betterman family (comprised of Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage, and Kelly Marie Tran). Coexistence is tough in the best of times, and these are not the best of times. Prehistory becomes a bit medieval when the two clans clash.
Clashing is as much comedy as watching Guy and Eep get goo-goo eyes over each other. I would wager that the target audience of such an enterprise as this animation is approximately eight-years-old. Again, I wonder why it took seven years for the sequel. On top of that, who wants to watch two Neanderthals get kissy-kissy? Gross.
Here, watch the trailer and decide for yourself: youtu.be/N1NS-C3v7M8.
Of course, the Croods learn much about what it means to modernize; the Bettermans learn about traditional values. Oh, and there are still dangerous fanged creatures and other natural perils to be on the alert for.
It's tons of fun, and surely your eight-year-old will get a lot of belly laughs out of it. That's the eight-year-old in me talking. For the adult me, I, alone, still got a few good chuckles, but don't tell anybody. My key points of appreciation: the Mark Mothersbaugh soundtrack, the continuation of the Nicolas Cage-aissance, and the incomparable Cloris Leachman in one of her last roles.
It's still probably better if you brought your eight-year-old along for the show, though.