I could not believe it had been 7 years since the release of The Croods as I was watching the surprise to me, trailer for The Croods: A New Age last year. I had no idea a sequel was in the works and I was so excited to see this hilarious prehistoric family on my screen again. The Croods: A New Age is already available on digital and hits stores on 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on February 23rd. I'm sharing my thoughts on this film in a no-spoilers, parent review.
Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of The Croods: A New Age. All thoughts and opinions are my own. This post contains affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
The Croods: A New Age | No-Spoiler Parent Review
The Croods: A New Age | Movie Synopsis
The first prehistoric family is ready for another rocking adventure! The Croods have survived fanged beasts, natural disasters, and even young love, but now they must face their biggest challenge yet: another family! In search of a new home, the Croods discover a walled-in paradise created by the sophisticated Betterman family (emphasis on the “better”). As they try to coexist, the differences between the two families escalate into a full-blown feud, but when a new threat forces both families to embark on an epic adventure, they must all learn to work together...or they’ll all go extinct!
Related: A New Age Director Shares Insight on Making New Croods Movie
The Croods: A New Age | Parent Review
The Croods: A New Age Parent Review | The Plot
Like I said, it has been 7 years from the first film but in the Croods world it has maybe been 7 days. They don't actually say how much time has elapsed but everyone looks exactly the same.
One thing that has progressed is Guy and Eep's relationship. Grug is struggling with the thought of Guy taking Eep away from the pack and thinks he has stumbled upon a solution; a walled-off oasis that is just sitting there with plenty of food ripe for the taking.
Sounds too good to be true, right? YEP!
Enter the Bettermans. This "new-age" thinking family is practically the antithesis of the Crood family, I mean they take showers!! With a not-so-surprising twist the Bettermans have a connection to one of the members of the Croods family pack and they reveal themselves to be not very nice (and extremely judgmental and manipulative).
The plot has a large focus on Guy and Eep's relationship and for two teens the talk of "leaving the pack" makes them sound like they are older than they really are, though I guess in caveman times daughters left the pack early? This might spark some questions from older kids but will most likely go unnoticed by younger watchers.
Related: Parent Movie Review: Red Shoes and the Seven Dwarfs
The Croods: A New Age Parent Review | Questionable Bee Sting
I really enjoyed The Croods: A New Age but there is a particular scene that had me thinking, "Was that really necessary?"
In her effort to bond with Dawn Betterman, Eep takes her on a journey with Chunky that ends up with Dawn getting stung by a bee.
So what's the problem? This particular bee sting appears to have the effect on Dawn the same way one too many drinks would. She is slurring her words, having trouble walking in a straight line and is completely out of it.
Was this sequence funny? To a 30-something year old, sure but did it progress the plot at all? That's a big no for me.
I get it, The Croods: A New Age is trying to give parents a laugh while also entertaining children but I was entertained before the bee sting and I was entertained after it, this is one scene that I didn't really *need*.
The Croods: A New Age Parent Review: The PG Rating
The Croods: A New Age is rated PG for "peril, action and rude humor."
PG Rating Breakdown: Peril
The big one for me is "peril" our main characters are in danger for a large portion of the second half of this film.
As we reach the climax of the film and it is finally revealed why the Crood family is told to not eat the bananas, the tone of the film switches from pure comedy to action (animated action but action none the less).
First, the women are separated from the men and Hope Betterman comes face to face with Wolf Spiders(!!) and while these creatures are surprisingly cute (did I just say that about a creature that has the word SPIDER in its name??) it is certainly an intense interaction as the women of the Crood family fend off the Wolf Spiders.
Next we find the men, Grug, Guy and Phil Betterman in a sticky situation involving Punch Monkeys and other monkey variants. These men come pretty close to being someone (something's) dinner and this scene may make younger viewers nervous.
The action-packed sequence does not stop there. Just as we feel our families are finally safe, more peril! Just know that from when the moment viewers are shown the Punch Monkey lair, the peril is real and does not let up until it is more than obvious that the danger has been eliminated.
PG Rating Breakdown: Action
As mentioned, the peril and the action pretty much go hand in hand because it is in thanks to the action that peril is avoided.
There's running sequences and fighting sequences that feature man to man combat and man to prehistoric creature combat.
Related: Parent Movie Review: The War with Grandpa
PG Rating Breakdown: Rude Humor
I'll say it again, Punch Monkeys. These monkeys have an unusual language and as Guy points out, it isn't pretty. These monkeys literally punch to communicate and of course it is all for laughs. Guy takes most of the beating as he is fluent in the Punch Monkey language (truly a man of many talents).
Other rude humor includes bathroom references and the terms "dumb" and "stupid".
The Croods: A New Age Review | My Final Thoughts
Speaking as someone who was a big fan of The Croods, I'm happy that everything I loved about it was present in The Croods: A New Age, for starters, the phenomenal cast.
The humor is also very much along the same lines as the first film as well as the heart. For all his over-protectiveness, Grug loves his family and it shows.
What stood out to me was the colorful visuals in "A New Age" it certainly is a feast for the eyes to see the opulence of the oasis the Bettermans have created.
One thing The Croods: A New Age may have more of than The Croods is cheese. No, not actual cheese, but a more intense cheese-factor. We learn more about Gran's past and the women make an over-the-top transformation as a nod to it. It is a bit cheesy but the soundtrack to this scene is ACE!
Age recommendation for The Croods: A New Age: 5+
I'll be honest, my two are younger than 5 and they both watched it and really enjoyed it. We recently watched Abominable and they were more scared during sequences in that film than they were in The Croods: A New Age.
I have seen that a few of my fellow parent reviewer counterparts have suggested 8 and up and I believe that might be too old.
Everyone's child is different but if they are younger than 8 and have seen The Croods, or even Abominable and did well, they can certainly watch The Croods: A New Age.
The Croods: A New Age is available on digital NOW and 4K, Blu-ray and DVD on February 23rd.