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Joel Crawford
Emma Stone, Nicolas Cage, Ryan Reynolds
Writing Credits:
Kevin Hageman, Dan Hageman, Paul Fisher, Bob Logan

The prehistoric family the Croods are challenged by a rival family the Bettermans, who claim to be better and more evolved.

Rated PG.

Aspect Ratio: 2.35:1
English Dolby Atmos
English DVS
Spanish Dolby 7.1
French Dolby 5.1
Supplements Subtitles:

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $34.98
Release Date: 2/23/2021

• Audio Commentary with Director Joel Crawford, Producer Mark Swift, Head of Story Januel Mercado and Editor Jim Ryan
• 2 New Shorts
• Gag Reel
To: Gerard Short
• 8 Deleted Scenes
• “Family Album” Featurette
• “The Evolution of the Croods” Featurette
• “How to Draw” Tutorial
• “Famileaf Album” Tutorial
• “Stone Age Snack Attack” Tutorial
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Sony UBP-X800 4K Ultra HD Blu-ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


The Croods: A New Age [Blu-Ray] (2020)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (February 21, 2021)

Back in 2013, The Croods became a moderate hit. With a take of $187 million, it wound up in 14th place for the year, and it also turned into the fourth most popular animated flick from 2013.

Given the evergreen nature of the genre, one would’ve expected a sequel pretty quickly, but for reasons unknown, The Croods: A New Age didn’t hit screens until late 2020, seven and a half years after the first movie’s debut.

In the prior flick, a prehistoric cave family led by father Grug Crood (voiced by Nicolas Cage) became forced to evolve when they met teenaged homo sapien Guy (Ryan Reynolds). At that movie’s end, the Croods and Guy formed a partnership, one abetted by a burgeoning romance between Guy and Grug’s daughter Eep (Emma Stone).

Guy pursues a promise of a brighter tomorrow, and he leads the Croods to a seeming paradise packed with food and safety. As it happens, another family already lives there: the Bettermans.

Not only do these more advanced humans enjoy abundance and luxury, but as it happens, Guy knew them in his youth. His dead parents were friends with Phil (Peter Dinklage) and Hope (Leslie Mann), and he also palled with now-teen Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran).

Phil and Hope want Dawn and Guy to become a romantic item, an obvious twist that clearly upsets Eep, especially when Guy “goes native” and starts to emulate Phil. Grug also feels threatened, and the Croods need to deal with this new world order in a variety of ways.

While not my idea of a cinematic classic, the original Croods became a pleasant surprise in 2013. As I relate in my review, I entered with low expectations and only saw the movie out of “desperation” – due to an eagerness to watch something on the big screen and no other viable options - but the flick offered pretty good entertainment.

Though I liked the 2013 film, I admit I went into Age without much enthusiasm as well. I guess I viewed its long gestation as a bad sign, like no one involved really wanted to make a Croods sequel but they bothered anyway.

Given my less than eager approach to the film, I must chalk up Age as another happy surprise – and probably a better movie than its predecessor. Looser and wilder, this turns into a gutsy little flick.

Face it: most sequels tend to play it safe, especially if they follow unanticipated hits. For instance, look at the Austin Powers franchise for a cautionary tale.

Those behind 1997’s International Man of Mystery made the flick as a labor of love and likely expected it to find a small cult but nothing more. Though the movie didn’t soar at the box office, it earned a huge following on video, and that spawned 1999’s The Spy Who Shagged Me.

Though not enormously expensive, Shagged came with massive expectations of a financial windfall – and it lived up to those hopes, as it made buckets of money. However, the movie itself seemed like a disappointment after the free and lively Mystery.

I got the impression all involved with Shagged felt a much more intense pressure to produce a hit, and that led to a movie that lacked the original’s joy and verve. After Shagged earned all that money, the filmmakers could go on to 2002’s Goldmember, a much closer cousin to the spirit of the original, but the expectations of that initial sequel damaged its creative nature.

Perhaps because the first Croods wasn’t a Frozen-style mega-hit, those behind it seemed unencumbered by expectations that Age would turn into a huge smash. As it happens, we’ll never know what the movie would’ve done in normal times, as its release smack-dab during the COVID-19 pandemic clearly dampened its box office in a massive manner.

I surmise Age would’ve performed as well as the 2013 film and perhaps better. It earned slightly stronger reviews than the original, and based on audience scores from Rotten Tomatoes, those who saw it loved it.

Count me among that crew, as I think Age offers a dynamic little effort. Okay, I might not truly love the flick, as that seems like a high bar, but I find more than enough entertainment to make this a lot of fun.

Like the first movie, Age does take a little while to get going. The opening act needs to reintroduce us to the main characters and create a new plot thread along with the eventual addition of new characters.

That can slow down the pace and make Age a bit of a slog for its first 20 minutes or so. We just need to cram through so much exposition that the movie seems stuck in neutral.

However, once Age gets all that content out of the way, it finds its wings and starts to soar. As alluded, the filmmakers seem completely unbound by any sense that they need to work in a cautious manner, so Age becomes downright bonkers before long.

Even with its obvious links to The Flintstones, Age owes a greater debt to Looney Tunes. It plays fast and loose with its comedy and situations, and these choices allow it to deliver wacky and wild bits.

Not that Age gives us little more than a collection of barely-connected comedic segments, as it manages to link all these fairly well. It melds the character and plot threads to the gags in a fairly seamless manner.

As such, Age comes packed with laughs and inspired lunacy. I hope those involved decide to continue the franchise, as the sequel improves upon its predecessor.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus B

The Croods: A New Age appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pleasing presentation.

Sharpness always looked good, as the movie exhibited fine delineation. No obvious signs of softness marred the image, and I noticed no jaggies or shimmering. Edge haloes and print flaws also remained absent.

Colors seemed solid, as the movie offered broad palette. The hues delivered lively, full tones with good reproduction.

Blacks appeared dark and dense, while low-light shots came across as smooth and clear. The image worked well.

In addition, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack suited the material, with a soundscape that came to life during the movie’s occasional action scenes. Downcoverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, those offered lots of magical elements that popped up in logical spots and blended well.

Quieter scenes also fared nicely, as they showed good stereo music. Effects created a fine sense of place and delivered a rich sense of surroundings.

Audio quality satisfied, with natural, concise speech that lacked edginess or other issues. Music came across as full and warm, while effects delivered rich, accurate material. New Age boasted a fairly solid soundtrack.

As we move to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Joel Crawford, producer Mark Swift, head of story Januel Mercado and editor Jim Ryan. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, cast and performances, animation and visual design, music, editing/cut scenes and other domains.

Expect a loose and lively track here, as the participants joke and lot and make this a breezy affair. We learn a lot about the production in this engaging discussion.

Two exclusive shorts follow: Dear Diary: World’s First Pranks (2:54) and Family Movie Night: Little Red Bronana Bread (3:39). Pranks shows Eep and Dawn as they invent practical jokes, while Bread gives us Dawn’s animated riff on Red Riding Hood

Of the two, Pranks provides superior amusement, though both seem decent. Pranks brings back the whole cast, another advantage for it.

A Gag Reel runs one minute, 51 seconds and shows the actors in the recording studio. Though I don’t love blooper collections, this one gives us a better glimpse of the sessions, and that makes it more fun than most.

To: Gerard offers a DreamWorks short from spring 2020. It lasts seven minutes, 32 seconds, and it seems unclear if/where it ran theatrically.

Gerard follows a mail room employee who uses magic to cheer up a little girl, with surprising future ramifications. It seems cute but not especially memorable.

Eight Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 23 minutes, seven seconds. Crawford introduces them to tell us that we’ll see storyreel versions of these segments, not final animation. He also gives us additional notes about why the clips didn’t make the movie.

As for the scenes themselves, they’re generally fun. 10 of the 23 minutes comes from two alternate/extended versions of the Grug/Phil “man cave” sequence, and as Crawford admits, they go on far too long to fit the final film.

The others offer more original content and they tend to amuse. Crawford made the right choices to cut the scenes, as none really would’ve fit the end film, but they still offer entertainment.

The Croods Family Album goes for eight minutes, 24 seconds and offers comments from Crawford, Mercado, Swift, and actors Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Clark Duke, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann and Kelly Marie Tran.

“Album” looks at cast, characters and performances. Much of this feels puffy, but I like the shots from the recording studio, and the actors add a few good notes.

Next comes The Evolution of the Croods, a 10-minute, 17-second piece with Crawford, Cage, Reynolds, Stone, Mann, Tran, Swift, Mercado, Tran, Ryan, head of character animation Jakob Hjort Jensen, story artist Heidi Jo Gilbert, and production designer Nate Wragg.

During “Evolution”, we learn about characters, set design, story areas, visual choices and collaboration. Again, some of this leans toward happy talk, but “Evolution” includes a pretty good array of insights.

How to Draw takes up 29 minutes, five seconds, as Gilbert teaches the viewer how to sketch eight movie characters. Young budding artists should dig these lessons.

A Famileaf Album lasts two minutes, 58 seconds and shows kids how to create their own artistic family albums. Kids might enjoy this.

Another tutorial, Stone Age Snack Attack provides instructions how to concoct three kinds of movie-inspired food items. This five-minute, 52-second piece could be fun for those aforementioned children. Boss Baby 2, Trollstopia and The War With Grandpa. No trailer for New Age appears here.

Can I dislike a movie in which a lead character uses a peanut to substitute for her amputated toe? Nope, and The Croods: A New Age comes with plenty more laughs in other areas as well, all of which make it a wild, winning sequel. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals, solid audio and a pretty good collection of bonus materials. New Age continues the Croods saga on a delightful note.

Viewer Film Ratings: 4 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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