It took seven years for a sequel to come to fruition from DreamWorks Animation for its 2013 hit The Croods, but as it turns out the timing was just right. The coronavirus pandemic not only impacted the production process for the follow-up The Croods: A New Age, it also actually wound up giving it more gravitas and relevance.
In this iteration the prehistoric family led by Grug (Nicolas Cage), a pack that lives closely together in isolation comes upon a more modern version of caveman, the Betterman family, and a sharp divide between the two families is clearly apparent. Joel Crawford, a DWA animator making his directorial debut, took that idea and ran with it; the result is not only a purely entertaining ‘toon but also one that may remind you of The Flintstones in some ways, though it takes things to a whole new level.
Actress Kelly Marie Tran, who plays the Bettermans’ daughter Dawn, says during the film’s panel at Deadline’s Contenders Film awards-season event that it was movie magic for her.
“It was one of the best experiences I have ever had working with everyone on this. You can just feel the joy people had making it. I think the world needs more fun, good-hearted things like it,” she says, adding that the female bonding between her character and Eep, voiced by Emma Stone, carries its own strong message that should resonate with viewers.
Crawford said they were 60% through production when the pandemic shut everything down, but the team of 300-plus rallied in difficult circumstances to get the movie completed on time and ready for theaters, and then VOD, for a successful release. The whole experience and themes of isolation and division really are pertinent.
“When we started this three years ago we wanted to approach the theme of human connection and strength of family bonds. It felt timeless and always relevant, but it is funny just how timeless and more relevant it is right now,“ Crawford says. “It’s about coming together and seeing the best in each other.”
Check out the panel video above.