It’s been 7 years since the first Croods film and while the family has lived on in the Netflix animated series, the fully fledged, star studded sequel is finally on our screens to give 2020 a glimmer of hope through the message of family, love and stickling together. The movie is a worthy follow up to the action filled original with the massive leap forward in technology extremely evident. This all blends with perfect voice casting resulting in a holiday family film that everyone can enjoy.
The story once again focuses on the Crood family, honing in on Eep (Emma Stone) and her relationship with Guy (Ryan Reynolds) as they are discussing breaking away from the pack and moving on their own. Grug (Nicholas Cage) overheard the couple’s late night plans and is trying to work out a way to keep his daughter by his side. While escaping a number of enemies the family stumble upon a high fence that is sheltering the Betterman family. The three family members Phil (Peter Dinklage), Hope (Leslie Mann) and their daughter Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran) are the polar opposite of The Croods, they have a city slicker hipster vibe with manbuns, lattes and doors. Having a family like the Bettermans clash with The Croods makes for extremely entertaining viewing.
The film is stunning with truly impressive animation that is typical of the quality of Dreamworks films everytime they have a break between films. The prehistoric world is full of vibrant colour this time around and this also reflects in the dialogue for each character as they experience a whole new part of the world. A special shout out needs to go to the designers of the creatures. Each one that comes for the Crood family is unique and terrifying. The introduction of the batch of punch monkeys and their incredibly detailed lair propels the films final act bringing in themes of climate change and human interference in the natural world. It is told with a serious dose of zest and fun that will keep your kids entertained. When I asked my goddaughter what her favourite part of the movie was, she told me when the Gran (Cloris Leachman) pulls her hair off and it flies away to help the monkeys. It was incredibly cute and definitely the part of the films that kids seem to react to the most.
While the story doesn’t take any risks, it is important to keep in mind that this is a family film with a fanbase that have been following the show on Netflix for years. The stories feel very connected so any wild change to the formula could impact further seasons of the TV show that they just might not be ready for yet. If you haven’t seen any of the TV show you won’t feel lost in this film. It feels like a true sequel and hopefully we won’t have to wait so long in between instalments.
The Croods : A New Age starts in Australian theatres December 26.
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