Being a huge fan of animation, I usually enjoy the family oriented ones that come from the big studios out there. The Croods that was released in 2013 turned out to be a great one, and its sequel, The Croods: A New Age builds on it to deliver prehistoric hijinks families all over will love.
Taking place not long after the original film and most likely their famed Netflix series, The Croods are back are doing their best to survive in an age ruled by dinosaurs, other creatures, and the ever-changing environment as a happy family. Not long after this adventure starts, they eventually find themselves in a sanctuary-like area filled with food, water, and shelter from the outside world that they decide to stay in.
Of course this area didn’t just forge itself, and is owned by the Bettermans (Get it? Because they’re better than the crude Croods.) with Phil (Peter Dinklage of Game of Thrones fame), and Hope (Leslie Mann) and their daughter Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran) making up their family. We quickly learn that Guy (Ryan Reynolds) happens to know the Bettermans from his life before meeting the Croods, and that Phil and Hope would like Guy to one day marry Dawn.
This doesn’t sit well with Eep (Emma Stone), who instantly becomes best friends with Dawn, but clearly has feelings for Guy and he for her as established in the first film, but their relationship is soon put to the test. Meanwhile, Phil and Hope are doing their best to get rid of the rest of the Croods family by gaslighting them into believing they’re better off somewhere else, which causes even more turmoil for both families. As with most family films, there’s even more secrets and dangers that’ll force them to put aside their differences and pull through together if they’re to stand a chance of surviving them.
I ended up enjoying this film even more than the first one, and I had a pretty good time with that as well. The cast is spot on as everyone sounds as though they’re having a great time voicing their characters, especially the always zany Nicolas Cage as the Croods’ patriarch Grug, and even the late and always great Cloris Leachman as the grandmother Gran. The art and animation is just as great, as every comes alive and pops off the screen.
This is definitely the case with the 4K UHD with HDR color I was sent. The visuals are as clean and sharp as can be, and the equally amazing Dolby HD audio will have you cracking up laughing at the dialogue at one point, and taking cover from prehistoric dangers the next.
There’s also quite a few extras to go over once the end credits roll, starting with feature length audio commentary by director Joel Crawford, producer Mark Swift, head of story Januel Mercado (who also voices the shaman monkey), and editor Jim Ryan. Here they go into some of the production of the film and more while also sharing some always welcome anecdotes along the way.
“Dear Diary: World’s First Pranks” is a fun short featuring Eep and Dawn, with “Family Movie Night: Little Red Bronana Bread” being another awesome short featuring the families. Speaking of shorts, “To: Gerard” is the Academy Award nominated one shown before the film during its limited theatrical run. “Gag Reel” is always a favorite of mine as we get to hear the voice actors laugh at their flubs and more. There’s some deleted scenes hosted by Joel Crawford, and a few other extras to check out as well.
Families are sure to have a great time with The Croods: A New Age, as it has everything you could want in a family film and then some. There’s plenty of laughs and jokes, while also touching on dramatic issues that will tug at your heartstrings from time to time. So if you’re looking for the perfect prehistoric family film for movie night, you can’t go wrong with this 4K release.