THE CROODS: A NEW AGE movie poster
In prehistoric times, Grug Crood (the voice of Nicolas Cage) and his family go in search of a better place to live. Leaving their cave, they journey to a land beyond a great wall. This paradise is lush, has plentiful food and something unexpected: the evolved Bettermans. Grug feels threatened by the modern family and their tree house with advanced inventions. A reluctant friendship develops and grows stronger when a menacing force outside their safe habitat becomes a problem. The future is at stake.

Fans of 2013's "The Croods" won't be disappointed with this fun journey. First-time feature film director Joel Crawford (TV short "Trolls Holiday") finds a comfortable mix of action and humor within visually stunning animation. Children will be amused, but a couple of scary moments may frighten smaller kids. There's not much for adults beyond a harmless tongue-in-cheek joke or two (one involving a toilet). A marvelous voice cast brings the characters to life. Nicolas Cage returns as Grug. Also back are Catherine Keener as wife Ugga, Emma Stone as their daughter Eep, Ryan Reynolds as Eep’s smart boyfriend Guy, Clark Duke as son Thunk and Cloris Leachman as Gran. New additions include Peter Dinklage as Phil Betterman, Leslie Mann as his wife Hope and Kelly Marie Tran as their daughter Dawn. Young daughter Sandy Crood gets a new voice courtesy of Kailey Crawford. Guy's adorable pet sloth Belt, voiced by Chris Sanders (co-director/writer of the original), is on board again for added cuteness. A familiar story by Kirk DeMicco (Kevin Hageman, Dan Hageman, Paul Fisher and Bob Logan monkey around with the screenplay) falls short of the first adventure, yet still has some charm. There's a hint of a romantic triangle between Guy, Eep and Dawn - the tune "I Think I Love You" (remember The Partridge Family?) is heard more than once. HAIM’s original song "Feel The Thunder" rocks, as does composer Mark Mothersbaugh's score. A welcomed diversion from today's troubles, "The Croods: A New Age" is ageless entertainment. (3/5 CAMS)

Rated PG (for peril, action and rude humor)
Running Time: 95 minutes

In theaters November 25, 2020.

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