DreamWorks Animation hits another homer with The Croods: A New Age, a sequel that’s on par with its clever Oscar nominated predecessor, that’s just as funny but so much weirder.
In this new adventure, the traveling pack of rambunctious neanderthals (reuniting the original voice cast of Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Catherine Keener, Clark Duke, and Cloris Leachman) continue to hunt for a new homestead and, possibly, find the answer they’re looking for at a hidden oasis. The colourful, bountiful paradise has been created and conserved by Phil and Hope Betterman (Leslie Mann, Peter Dinklage), two free spirits who happily invite the Croods to stay after recognizing one of their own in their pack, Guy (Ryan Reynolds). Guy is also taken in by the Betterman’s daughter, Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran).
The change in scenery guarantees fish-out-of-water gags when the Croods have to adjust to the Betterman’s sophistication and the Bettermans try to accept the primitive, enclosed lifestyle of the Croods – tying in themes of inclusivity and acceptance that movie goers of all ages will appreciate. Although these themes are usual go-tos in family features, the hilarious sight gags paired with the terrific delivery from the voice cast makes this chapter stand sturdily on its own legs.
The franchise, however, receives a stranger sense of humour from its new director Joel Crawford, a filmmaker making his directorial debut after contributing to the Kung Fu Panda series, Trolls, and The Spongebob Movie: Sponge Out of Water as a story artist. The film sneaks up on you with bizarre gags ranging from cheeky innuendos, the Croods’ animalistic dining, a running fixation with eye injuries, and a last minute conflict involving being enslaved by punch-happy monkeys and bribing beasts with bananas. The brand of humour is much different than the first film, which seems more quaint in retrospect as it focused more on witty inventions and dialogue. While jarring at first, this new brand of humour depends more on wild visuals and flashy animation which, I believe, the film achieves because the production is so consistent with its craziness.
Do You Tweet? Follow These Tweeple:
Addison Wylie: @AddisonWylie