Seven years ago The Croods was released and audiences were introduced to the first Cave Family. Grug, Ugga, Eep, Gram, Thunk and Guy venture out into the wild to find a new home. One day, Grug stumbles upon an Oasis that has everything the family needs to survive but they are not alone. There, they meet the Betterman family of Phil, Hope and Dawn and they may or may not have ties to Guy and his past.
My first impression of this movie is that it is absolutely gorgeous. It’s full of so many vibrant colors and the world itself becomes a character in the movie. Every single scene draws in the audience and captures their attention by just showcasing the colors and the background and it also helps move the story along. One of my favorite sequences in the movie features Eep and Dawn venturing beyond their new home on Eep’s giant tiger Chunky. It’s so beautiful and captures the wonder of this prehistoric world. It’s a true testament to the hard work and dedication of the animation team. This is especially noteworthy as, with the pandemic going on, this team most likely finished post production on the movie while working from home.
The film is directed by Joel Crawford and written by Kevin Hageman, Dan Hageman, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan. The five of them craft a simple yet heartwarming story about family. While this movie is very sentimental, it is also one of the funniest animated movies I have seen in a long time. The entire cast has great chemistry but the standouts are Nic Cage as Grugg and Peter Dinklage as Phil Betterman. The two of them play off of each other so well and they serve up some of the funniest moments of the movie. One of these moments takes place in Phil’s “man cave” that his wife doesn’t know about. On top of all of that, the story and comedy are meant to ease the minds of the audience and it was nice to forget about the ongoing pandemic for a bit.
If there is one issue that I have with this movie is that I completely forgot the events of the first film because it had been so long since it had been released. I had to go back and watch it in order to get a feel for the characters again. When the movie first started, I was taken out of the story and away from the characters. It wasn’t until the jokes began that the movie really started to get going and I found myself enjoying what I was watching. Yes, I understand that this is a kids movie, but I feel that an opportunity to bring in newer audience members might have been missed due to the time between film releases.
Despite the negatives, this is a fun movie and it was nice to forget about the world for a bit. It has some of the funniest jokes I have seen and heard in a while and it was nice to see a movie about families sticking together in the midst of hardship.
3.5 Giant Cats out of 5.
Thank you to Allied and Universal Pictures for the early screening opportunity!