The Croods: A New Age
Theatrical release poster
Directed byJoel Crawford
Screenplay by
Story by
Produced byMark Swift
Starring
Edited byJames Ryan
Music byMark Mothersbaugh
Production
company
Distributed byUniversal Pictures
Release date
  • November 25, 2020 (2020-11-25)
Running time
95 minutes[1]
CountryUnited States
LanguageEnglish
Budget$65 million[2]
Box office$216 million[3][4]

The Croods: A New Age (also known as The Croods 2) is a 2020 American animated adventure comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by Universal Pictures. The sequel to The Croods (2013) as well as the second film in The Croods franchise, it was directed by Joel Crawford (in his feature directorial debut) from a screenplay by Paul Fisher, Bob Logan, Dan and Kevin Hageman, based on a story by Kirk DeMicco and Chris Sanders (who directed the previous film).[5] The film features the returning voices of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Ryan Reynolds, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke and Cloris Leachman. The film also makes new additions to the cast, including Peter Dinklage, Leslie Mann and Kelly Marie Tran. The film follows The Croods, Guy and their pets Belt, Chunky and Douglas, as they discover an idyllic, walled-in paradise that meets all of their needs. Unfortunately, they must also learn to live with the Bettermans, a family with a couple of steps above the Croods on the evolutionary ladder.

A sequel to The Croods was first announced in April 2013, with directors Sanders and DeMicco returning to helm the film. Its development continued through 2014 and 2015 until its cancellation in November 2016 due to doubts in response to Universal's acquisition of DreamWorks. However, the project was revived in September 2017 with Crawford replacing Sanders and DeMicco as director in the following month. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic in the United States, most of the final results from the animating process were done from the crew's homes.

The Croods: A New Age was theatrically released in the United States on November 25, 2020. It grossed $216 million worldwide against its $65 million budget and received mostly positive reviews, with critics calling it "a decent-enough follow-up" and praising the cast and animation. The film was also nominated for the Golden Globe Award for Best Animated Feature Film.[6]

Plot

The Croods, including Guy and their pets, Chunky and Douglas, are still on a quest to find a suitable place to settle while battling dangerous creatures. Grug, the family patriarch, is increasingly concerned about the budding romance between Guy and his daughter, Eep, fearing they might leave the rest of the family behind.

Their journey takes an unexpected turn when Grug discovers a massive wall and leads the family to a paradise-like land on the other side. However, they are soon captured by the land's owners, Phil and Hope Betterman, modern humans who were friends with Guy's late parents and are now technologically advanced, well-mannered, and somewhat condescending toward the Croods. Phil and Hope hope to persuade Guy to stay with them, believing he would be better off, and devise a plan to get him to leave the Croods.

Grug's time with the Betterman family becomes uncomfortable as he is manipulated by Phil, who believes that Guy should stay with them in exchange for Eep staying with her family. Hope also tries to manipulate Ugga, Grug's wife, but fails, leading to Grug and Ugga's decision to leave. Eep discovers that Phil and Hope's daughter, Dawn, has never left the inside of the wall. Feeling isolated, Eep persuades Dawn to escape with her for a joyride using Chunky, but their adventure goes awry. Upon their return, Guy scolds Eep for her recklessness, leading to a falling out between them. During dinner, tensions escalate, and Grug accidentally reveals the plan hatched with Phil. Fed up with the Bettermans' condescension and their differences, the Croods decide to leave, while Guy opts to stay behind. However, their departure is soon disrupted by Punch Monkeys who are angry for not having bananas that Phil had been providing as a daily offering. The Punch Monkeys capture Grug, Phil, and Guy and the remaining Croods and Bettermans follow their scent.

The Punch Monkeys take Grug, Guy, and Phil to their home and discover the reason behind the monkeys' aggression: Phil's irrigation project deprived them of their water supply, and they need the bananas as an offering to the Spiny Mandrilla (portmanteau of "mandrill" and "gorilla"), a gigantic primate-like monster, to maintain peace. Meanwhile, the remaining Croods and Bettermans lose the boys' scent and find themselves marooned in a frozen wasteland, where they encounter Wolf-Spiders. During their time together, Hope finally comes to terms with her prejudice against the Croods and accepts them as equals. They decide to name themselves "The Thunder Sisters." They eventually locate Grug, Phil, and Guy just as the Punch Monkeys prepare to sacrifice them to the Spiny Mandrilla. Guy and Eep reconcile and use a giant skull chandelier to defeat the Spiny Mandrilla by plummeting it to its death, and the two families manage to escape the danger.

With their differences resolved, the Bettermans invited the Croods to live as neighbors on their land. Guy and Eep choose to share one of the Bettermans' bedrooms, and the Punch Monkeys become their next-door neighbors.

Cast

ADR group provided by Richard Gould, Januel Mercado, Ryan Naylor, James Ryan, Randy Thom and director Joel Crawford.

Production

Development

In April 2013, DreamWorks announced a sequel to the film The Croods, with Chris Sanders and Kirk DeMicco set to return as directors and writers.[7] According to DeMicco, the sequel would focus on Ugga and motherhood, making it "the first chapter of society," expanding on the first film, which he said is about "the last chapter of the caveman."[8]

On June 12, 2014, it was announced that the sequel would be released on November 3, 2017.[9] On August 21, 2014, the film was pushed back to December 22, 2017.[10] On August 9, 2016, nearing Comcast's impending acquisition of DreamWorks Animation, 20th Century Fox removed the film from the release schedule. The film would be instead released by Universal Pictures sometime in 2018.[11] On August 23, 2016, it was reported that Kevin and Dan Hageman were hired to rewrite the script.[12]

On November 11, 2016, DreamWorks announced that production for the sequel was cancelled.[13] According to reports, there had been doubts about proceeding with the project before Universal's acquisition of DreamWorks, and it was DreamWorks' decision to cancel the film.[13] However, in September 2017, DreamWorks and Universal revealed that the film was back in production with a release date scheduled for September 18, 2020. It was also revealed that both DeMicco and Sanders would not be returning.[14] In October 2017, it was reported that Joel Crawford would replace them as director and Mark Swift would replace both the first film's producers Jane Hartwell and Kristine Belson as the producer of the film.[15] Production of the film was shifted to work remotely during the COVID-19 pandemic.[16]

Casting

In September 2013, it had been confirmed that Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, and Ryan Reynolds would reprise their roles in the sequel as Grug, Eep, and Guy from the first film.[17] On May 21, 2015, Leslie Mann and Kat Dennings had joined the voice cast. Mann would lend her voice to an upscale mother of a rival family named Hope Betterman, while Dennings was set to voice her daughter, Dawn. It was also reported that Catherine Keener and Clark Duke were reprising their roles as Ugga and Thunk.[18] In September 2017, it was confirmed that the original actors would reprise their roles.[19][20] In October 2018, Peter Dinklage was cast in the film to voice the character Phil Betterman.[21] In October 2019, DreamWorks revealed that Kelly Marie Tran had replaced Dennings as Dawn.[22]

Animation and design

While the first film had some rough details similar to How to Train Your Dragon, the designs of the second film were more simplified and rendered from Moonray. 2D Animation for the Travel Logs and the Cave Diary was provided by Bird Karma director William Salazar rather than animation from James Baxter on the first film.

Music

In September 2020, it was announced that Mark Mothersbaugh had replaced the first film's composer Alan Silvestri as composer for this film.[23] In November 12, 2020, a single called "Feel the Thunder" performed by HAIM was released.[24]

Soundtrack

The Croods: A New Age (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[25]
Film score by
Mark Mothersbaugh
ReleasedNovember 20, 2020
StudioDreamWorks Animation
GenreScore
LabelBack Lot Music
DreamWorks Animation soundtrack chronology
Trolls World Tour
(2020)
The Croods: A New Age (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)[25]
(2020)
Spirit Untamed
(2021)
Mark Mothersbaugh chronology
The Willoughbys
(2020)
The Croods: A New Age
(2020)
The Mitchells vs. the Machines
(2021)
Singles from The Croods: A New Age (Original Motion Picture Soundtrack)
  1. "Feel the Thunder"
    Released: November 12, 2020

All music is composed by Mark Mothersbaugh, except as noted

No.TitleWriter(s)ArtistLength
1."Guy’s Backstory / Guy Meets Eep"  2:17
2."Cave Diary"  1:18
3."Meet the Croods"  1:37
4."Welcome To Tomorrow"  1:33
5."Feeding Frenzy"  0:47
6."BaNaNa"  0:54
7."Meet The Bettermans"  1:35
8."House Tour"  0:32
9."Meet Dawn"  1:13
10."Betterman’s Plan"  1:07
11."A Betterman Day"  1:30
12."Scars Joy Ride"  2:27
13."Phil, Grug, Lazy River"  1:37
14."Caveman Mancave"  2:53
15."Picture Book / Drunken Arrival"  2:25
16."Word for Word / Betterman The Tool Maker"  1:04
17."Thunder Sisters"  0:57
18."Mothers And Daughters"  2:15
19."Bone Arena Fight"  1:16
20."New Tribe Names"  1:00
21."My First Love"  3:00
22."Working Together"  1:17
23."Explosive Love"  1:52
24."I Think I Love You"Tony RomeoTenacious D (Jack Black & Kyle Gass)3:19
25."Feel the Thunder"Alana Haim, Danielle Haim, Este Haim, and Ariel RechtshaidHAIM2:50
26."Travel Log / World’s First Neighborhood"  2:34
27."We Are Here Together"MothersbaughHAIM & Jack Black2:51

Release

Theatrical

The Croods: A New Age was theatrically released in the United States on November 25, 2020, by Universal Pictures, which was then followed by a PVOD release on December 18.[26] It was previously scheduled to be released on November 3, 2017, December 22, 2017, September 18, 2020, and December 23, 2020.[9][10][19] The studio spent about $26.5 million promoting the film.[27] In the United Kingdom, the film was released on July 16, 2021.[28]

Home media

The Croods: A New Age was released by Universal Pictures Home Entertainment on Digital HD and on DVD, Blu-ray, Blu-ray 3D and 4K Ultra HD on February 23, 2021.[29] All the releases include two new short films Family Movie Night: Little Red Bronana Bread and Dear Diary: World's First Pranks, the award-winning short To: Gerard, deleted scenes, an audio commentary and more. It was also released by Universal Sony Pictures Home Entertainment in Australia, along in a 2-movie pack with its 2013 film. It was also released on DVD and Blu-Ray on October 18, 2021, by Warner Bros. Home Entertainment in the UK.

Reception

Box office and VOD

The Croods: A New Age has grossed $58.6 million in the United States and Canada, and $157.4 million in other territories, for a worldwide total of $216 million.[3][4] It became the first animated film released during the COVID-19 pandemic and the first family film since Sonic the Hedgehog to break the $200 million mark.

In the United States, the film made $1.85 million from 2,211 theaters on its first day, $2.7 million on its second (a 47% increase, opposed to the normal 40% drop seen on Thanksgiving Day), then $4 million on its third. It went on to debut to $9.7 million in its opening weekend (a five-day total of $14.3 million), the biggest opening weekend since Tenet over two months prior.[27] The film remained in first the following two weekends, grossing $4.4 million and $3 million, respectively.[30][31] It was dethroned by Monster Hunter in its fourth weekend.[32] That same weekend, the film was the most-rented on FandangoNow, Apple TV, and Google Play.[33] In its fifth weekend the film grossed $1.7 million over the Christmas frame.[34] It also remained number one on all digital rental platforms. IndieWire estimated the film had made about $20 million from PVOD sales up to that point (of which Universal would keep 80% of).[35] The film continued to hold steady in subsequent weekends, and regained the top box office spot in its 12th week of release with $2.7 million.[36][37]

The film earned $3 million on its opening day in China, which is the third biggest for a Hollywood film in 2020, behind Tenet and Mulan.[38] It went on debut to $19.2 million in China, and a total of $21.6 million internationally.[39] By its third weekend of release the film crossed $46 million (RMB 300 million) in China, becoming the second-biggest Hollywood title of the year in the country behind Tenet ($66.6 million).[31] It made $3.2 million in its fourth weekend of international play, pushing its running total above $57 million. [40]

Critical response

Critics noted The Croods: A New Age as "a decent-enough follow-up" and commended the cast.[41] On review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes, 77% of 158 critics' reviews of the film are positive, and an average rating of 6.4/10. The website's critics consensus reads: "Another agreeable outing for the titular prehistoric clan, The Croods: A New Age may be the missing link for parents between more elevated family-friendly fare."[42] According to Metacritic, which calculated a weighted average score of 56 out of 100 based on 30 critics, the film received "mixed or average reviews".[43] Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A" on an A+ to F scale (the same score as the first film), and PostTrak reported 83% of those gave the film a positive score, with 59% saying they would definitely recommend it.[27]

Ben Kenigsberg of The New York Times gave a mixed-to-positive review, writing "No one would call it a huge leap on the evolutionary ladder, but the animated sequel The Croods: A New Age is slightly funnier than its serviceable 2013 predecessor."[44] Michael O'Sullivan of The Washington Post rated the film 2/4 stars, describing it as a "larky, slightly lunatic film".[45] Lindsey Bahr at Associated Press rated the film 2.5/4, stating "it might not be as novel as the first, but it's essentially harmless, if a little chaotic, fun for kids and doesn't need to be anything more than that".[1] Kate Erbland of IndieWire gave the film a "C+" and said, "It's a little silly, very colorful, and entertaining enough to deliver some good-hearted ideas that aren't beholden to any period in time. Worth nearly a decade of push-pull to get here? Probably not, but on its own merits it's a charming throwback".[46] Cath Clarke of The Guardian rated the film 3/5 stars, writing "A-list voice actors leaven this hectic children’s movie with gags for grownups".[47] Alonso Duralde of TheWrap gave the film a positive review and wrote, "You may never have thought you needed or even wanted a sequel to The Croods, but you may find it a pleasant surprise in a year where most of the surprises have been anything but."[48]

In 2021, LA Weekly placed it in the "Top 10" list.

Accolades

Accolades received by The Croods: A New Age
Award Date of ceremony Category Recipient(s) Result Ref.
Alliance of Women Film Journalists Awards January 4, 2021 Time Waster Remake or Sequel Award The Croods: A New Age Nominated [49]
American Cinema Editors Awards April 17, 2021 Best Edited Animated Feature Film James Ryan Nominated [50][51]
Annie Awards April 16, 2021 Best Animated Feature The Croods: A New Age Nominated [52]
Outstanding Achievement for Animated Effects in an Animated Production Amaury Aubel, Domin Lee, Alex Timchenko, Andrew Wheeler, and Derek Cheung Nominated
Outstanding Achievement for Character Animation in a Feature Production Rani Naamani Nominated
Outstanding Achievement for Character Design in a Feature Production Joe Pitt Nominated
Outstanding Achievement for Storyboarding in a Feature Production Evon Freeman Nominated
Outstanding Achievement for Voice Acting in a Feature Production Nicolas Cage Nominated
Art Directors Guild Awards April 10, 2021 Excellence in Production Design for an Animated Film Nate Wragg Nominated [53][54]
Artios Awards April 15, 2021 Animation Christi Soper Hilt Nominated [55][56]
Cinema Audio Society Awards April 17, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Mixing for a Motion Picture – Animated Tighe Sheldon, Christopher Scarabosio, Leff Lefferts, Alan Meyerson, Richard Duarte, and Scott Curtis Nominated [57][58]
Detroit Film Critics Society Awards March 12, 2021 Best Animated Feature The Croods: A New Age Nominated [59]
Georgia Film Critics Association Awards March 12, 2021 Best Animated Film The Croods: A New Age Nominated [59]
Golden Globe Awards February 28, 2021 Best Animated Feature Film The Croods: A New Age Nominated [60][61]
Golden Reel Awards April 16, 2021 Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Feature Animation Brian Chumney, Leff Lefferts, Randy Thom, Rick Hromadka, Dominick Certo, Pascal Garneau, Mac Smith, Doug Winningham, Dee Selby, Jonathan Greber, Ronni Brown, Shelley Roden, John Roesch, and Janna Vance Nominated [62][63]
Golden Trailer Awards July 22, 2021 Most Original TV Spot (for a Feature Film) "Fashion Statement" (Framework) Nominated [64]
October 6, 2022 Best Comedy/Drama TrailerByte for a Feature Film "Wildest Wildlife Documentary" (The Picture Production Company) Nominated [65][66]
Hollywood Critics Association Awards March 5, 2021 Best Animated Film The Croods: A New Age Nominated [59]
Hollywood Music in Media Awards January 27, 2021 Best Original Score in an Animated Film Mark Mothersbaugh Nominated [67][68]
Best Original Song in an Animated Film Alana Haim, Danielle Haim, Este Haim, and Ariel Rechtshaid for "Feel the Thunder" Nominated
Houston Film Critics Society Awards January 18, 2021 Best Animated Film The Croods: A New Age Nominated [59]
Nickelodeon Kids' Choice Awards March 13, 2021 Favorite Animated Movie The Croods: A New Age Nominated [69]
Favorite Voice from an Animated Movie Ryan Reynolds Nominated
Emma Stone Nominated
Producers Guild of America Awards March 24, 2021 Best Animated Motion Picture Mark Swift Nominated [70]
Visual Effects Society Awards April 6, 2021 Outstanding Visual Effects in an Animated Feature Joel Crawford, Mark Swift, Betsyf Nofsinger, and Jakob Hjort Jensen Nominated [71][72]
Washington D.C. Area Film Critics Association Awards February 8, 2021 Best Animated Feature The Croods: A New Age Nominated [59]

Television series

A sequel animated series, titled The Croods: Family Tree was announced and set to be released simultaneously on Peacock and Hulu on September 23, 2021. Tran reprises her role as Dawn, while A. J. Locascio reprises his role as Thunk from Dawn of the Croods. The new voice cast features Amy Landecker as Ugga, Kiff VandenHeuvel as Grug, Ally Dixon as Eep, Artemis Pebdani as Gran, Darin Brooks as Guy, Matthew Waterson as Phil, Amy Rosoff as Hope and Dee Bradley Baker as Sandy.[73]

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