The Croods: A New Age is sure to have families across the world laughing this Thanksgiving. A worthy sequel pitting The titular family against their biggest challenge yet, another family. This is a slight improvement over the original’s weak story, and there’s a lot more heart this time around. It effectively establishes a purpose, which was lacking in its predecessor makes this a superior sequel.
Dreamworks’ follow-up delivers a story smothered in heart, colorful animation, and a message of accepting each other’s differences. The star-studded cast returns, the jokes are in large quantity, and it’s just an overall good time. The Croods: A New Age corrects the previous errors and is easily one of the best animated films this year. Directed by Joel Crawford, The Croods: A New Age stars Nicholas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann, and Kelly Marie Tran. The Croods have come across their biggest threat, the Betterman’s, a more evolved form of humanity. Guy (Reynolds), who is searching for his tomorrow with Eep (Stone), begins to act differently after reconnecting with old friends. The two families are at war until a threat arises forcing them to put their differences aside.
The film was penned by Paul Fisher, Bob Logan, and Kevin and Dan Hagerman who have collaborated in the best way here. Eep and Guy seem to have a steady relationship, but Grug (Cage), her father is still determined to keep the pack together. Once the Betterman’s are introduced the film takes off because they are a contrast to our titular family, so they instantly look down on them. The Croods love their caveman habits such as eating dry twigs for dinner, but the Betterman’s prefer fine dining and more luxurious attractions. The writers create turmoil between the families by revealing that the Betterman’s are old friends of Guy and his parents.
How the film addresses different lifestyles and looking down on others for what makes them who they are is wonderful. Guy has been looking for his tomorrow ever since his parents passed, and he begins to overlook his findings when Hope Betterman (Tran), an old friend reunites with him. The development of The two feuding families is the film’s strongest aspect, as it highlights an important message about parenting, and how life experiences can shape everyone differently. Aside from its messages, The Croods: A New Age will keep audiences laughing from start to finish thanks to a few jokes, so this will be a hit this holiday season. The Croods: A New Age stumbles a bit once a new conflict is introduced, but manages to still wrap up on a high note.
The cast delivers yet again, and the new additions fit right in as if they were here since the last film. Stone and Reynolds do a terrific job making the chemistry between Guy and Eep seem believable. The rivalry between Phil Betterman and Grug Crood is hilarious thanks to Dinklage and Cage, who have one of the years best fatherly feuds. Crawford’s directional debut is solid, as he has put together an animated blast that has something for everyone to appreciate. It’s a beautifully shot film that features superb animation, and it’s some of the best in recent memory. Crawford understands how to evoke emotions from his audience and the film’s color scheme this time around is a massive increase.
The Croods: A New Age was a much-needed improvement over its predecessor, and perhaps that’s why this one seems so great. Still, this sequel is well made and includes terrific voice work from a star-studded cast. A cast that will keep you glued throughout the entire runtime, but the film’s underlying messages might cause discomfort for some parents, or it could be an eye-opener for others. The Croods are back for more, and fans of the original should have fun with this latest outing.