The Croods: A New Age

Movie review by
Tara McNamara, Common Sense Media
The Croods: A New Age Movie Poster Image
Parents recommendPopular with kids
Prehistoric cartoon sequel has slapstick, rude humor.
  • PG
  • 2020
  • 96 minutes

Parents say

age 8+
Based on 15 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 32 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

Educational Value

While film is mostly fantasy, a few tidbits could be educational moments. Opening scene shows migrating humans being stuck in tar pits, which could open up discussion about early humans' migration, how tar pits preserved bones so that we can identify ancient species. Comparisons between Croods and Bettermans could spark a conversation about evolution. 

Positive Messages

People are stronger as a pack than they are as individuals. Hiding away from life leads to a life half lived. Courage opens up your world, and teamwork can help you overcome big problems. Don't jump to conclusions. Also, be yourself -- and be open to those whose preferences and habits aren't the same as yours.

Positive Role Models

Women are shown to be equally strong and as fierce as men -- even more so, when push comes to shove and rescue is needed. When it comes to romance, Eep and Guy pursue each other equally. Hope and Phil learn important lessons about judging and manipulating others. Dawn and Eep build a friendship, despite the fact that they're being positioned to be rivals for Guy's affections.

Violence & Scariness

Frequent peril. Primary characters are prepared as human sacrifice for a giant monster/animal; it looks like they might die. Other characters battle that monster, some appear to be in mortal danger. Characters are shown trying to survive animal attacks in a slapstick, cartoonish manner, with few signs of worry or stress. Frequent punching, especially between monkeys and humans. Electrocutions that don't cause actual harm. Flashback to family members being stuck, fatally, in rising tar pits and urging a little boy to keep traveling alone. Menacing monkeys with glowing eyes and large fists may be scary to younger children. Arguments/yelling.

Sexy Stuff

Plot's central focus is a romance between teens/young adults. Kissing. "Naked" animal butt. A male character is shirtless on several occasions as a source of humor. 

Language

Insult words include "dumb," "stupid," and "twits." Some rude/potty humor.

Consumerism

Although movie itself contains no product/brand references, there are many offline merchandise partnerships.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

A character who suffers a bee sting is affected by the venom in a way that seems like she's drunk. 

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that The Croods: A New Age is the sequel to 2013's The Croods, which centered on a family of Neanderthals trying to survive the elements, including teen daughter Eep (voiced by Emma Stone). This film focuses on Eep's romance with Guy (Ryan Reynolds) and her dad Grug's (Nicolas Cage) worries about losing his daughter. While the clan faces all kinds of perilous moments, most of them are over-the-top and slapstick -- fending off wild beasts is just another day in this family's life. But as the story goes on, more threats emerge that could scare littler viewers, like monkeys with glowing eyes and a giant ape monster that intends to eat some of the main characters. Some kids may also find the "punch monkey" characters -- which communicate by slugging each other -- hilarious and try to imitate them. Characters use mild insults ("dumb," "twits," etc.), there's some potty humor, and a bee sting makes one character act like she's drunk. Characters kiss, and one male is shown shirtless. Parent-child separation is referenced during a flashback, and the death of a boy's family is implied. This film strays even further from actual prehistory than the first one did, but some tidbits could prompt discussions about human evolution and migration, and there are clear themes of courage, teamwork, and the importance of being yourself. There are also some great "girl power" moments when Eep and the other female characters have to rescue the menfolk.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byMeagjames December 23, 2020

Whole Family Loved!

So much fun! Kids aged 6 and 9 loved and my husband and I laughed our way through.
Parent of a 6 and 8-year-old Written byDale Dietrich December 20, 2020

Another Winner!

Just like the first Croods our 6 and 8 year olds loved this movie. Family friendly. While I give it a 5 and above rating, if your kids are especially sensitive... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byFeministWitch December 21, 2020

A great watch!

I loved the quirky animation style and the vibrant colors. It was definitely very fun to watch visually.

The plot was simple and engaging. It was an amusing... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written bysofidomi06 December 19, 2020

Funny Sequel, Some Iffy content

Ok, so don’t hate me, but I liked the first movie A LOT better than this one. Let me plead my case.

In the first movie, yes, it’s crazy, but it’s a reasonable... Continue reading

What's the story?

THE CROODS: THE NEW AGE follows the titular family -- Eep (voiced by Emma Stone), Grug (Nicolas Cage), Ugga (Catherine Keener), Gran (Cloris Leachman), and foundling Guy (Ryan Reynolds) -- after they leave their cave and set off in search of a new home. When they find a lush, predator-free utopia, they think their worries are over. The only problem is that the more evolved Bettermans -- Hope (Leslie Mann), Phil (Peter Dinklage), and Dawn (Kelly Marie Tran) -- already live there. What initially seems like the recipe for companionship turns into competition -- and it turns out that the Bettermans' walled community isn't as safe as they thought.

Is it any good?

This Stone Age family comedy is a bit rocky: It has lots of laughs, but it lacks the originality of its predecessor. The film picks up from the point of view of Guy, who's joined the Croods' pack and is engaged in a full-blown, butterflies-in-the-stomach, goo-goo eyes romance with Eep. Where before Grug was worried about adventurous Eep's safety because she wanted to explore outside the safety of their cave, now he's worried that she'll leave the pack, so he discourages her relationship with Guy. It's a tired cliché and a bit of a strange choice as the plot for a kids' film. And then the Croods meet another family, the Bettermans, who try to steal Guy as a partner for their own daughter, Dawn.

On the other hand, Eep and Dawn don't take the bait and fight over a boy -- instead, they become friends. While Dawn is drawn in a more traditionally "cute" way, Guy never stops loving his tough, wild girlfriend. And Eep's rough physical nature -- which has resulted in scars and missing digits -- is shown to be cool, evidence of a life well-lived. While the original movie helped bring to light the realization that it's something of a miracle humans ever survived the prehistoric elements, this one is lighter on reality. The saber-toothed tigers and mastodons are replaced with spiderwolves and primates that communicate by getting socked in the arm or face. So, educational, it is not. But for a couple of hours of leave-your-brain-at-the-door fun, it's fine. 

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about what "stronger together" means in terms of surviving as a pack. How does that message connect to a modern-day family? 

  • Talk about the courage of the Thunder Sisters. Why is it important to show women working together and, at times, being the ones to rescue men? What makes teamwork an important life skill?

  • What do the Bettermans and the Croods learn about each other over the course of the movie? How do their conflicts show the dangers of making assumptions about people who might be different from you?

  • How historically accurate is The Croods: The New Age? How could you find out more about prehistoric facts? How important is it for animated, fictional movies to stick close to history? What do you imagine it would really have been like if Neanderthals and Homo sapiens met up?

  • Does this sequel measure up to the earlier film? Why, or why not? What do you think makes a sequel successful?

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