7/10 It has been seven years since “The Croods” hit theaters, making this follow up quite a while in the making. The good news is that I actually enjoyed this sequel more than the original, which can be a rarity in animated films outside of Pixar releases. The first Croods adventure was fine but felt generic and rather run of the mill. Luckily, this sequel wasn’t rushed so the film makers took their time to develop the script and find a story that was worth telling. The first movie introduced our main players, but this sequel not only expands on the universe but provides some solid subplots and humorous moments for our supporting characters to experience. The pacing of the film works well, the score gets the job done and has an energy to it, the voice cast is perfect (Leslie Mann and Peter Dinklage are fantastic additions as the Bettermans) and both kids and adults will find something to enjoy here. The animation doesn’t quite reach Pixar levels of perfection but the film still looks good overall. Characters stay consistent from the previous movie to this latest film and I enjoyed how the film has some moral messages and lessons that our audience can take away by the time the end credits start rolling. The first movie did have a much better ending credits song from Owl City & Yuna entitled “Shine Your Way” and I almost wish they would have brought that same duo back for this follow up. This isn’t the most memorable animated film and “Onward” still is the best animated film of the year (note: I have yet to see “Soul” yet) but improving upon the original, giving people of all ages a brisk, fun time at the cinema and telling a self-contained story as opposed to setting up for a sequel or spinoff is a breath of fresh air. These characters are fun to spend time with and whereas sometimes I hope they end a franchise while they’re ahead, I really wouldn’t mind seeing a third film to close out the trilogy. I just hope we don’t have to wait another seven years and revisit them in 2027. “The Croods: A New Age” is a fun animated flick if you’re looking for something new to watch as a family this holiday season.
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