Freedman’s Film Forum: “The Croods: A New Age”


Photo courtesy Joshua M. Freedman

Junior Joshua M. Freedman gets ready to watch an early premiere of “The Croods: A New Age” from his home on Jan. 13.

Although having a target audience primarily consisting of young children, DreamWorks Animation’s “The Croods: A New Age” contains themes more suitable for adolescents. Nevertheless, I believe that this film is suitable for all audiences, as it is chock-full of adventure, humor and stunning animation.

Those who have seen “The Croods,” the prime movie in the franchise, will be pleased to find that “The Croods: A New Age” contains the same majestic scenery and creative creatures. While the story takes place some 250,000 years ago in primitive jungles, it is easy for viewers to forget that the story revolves around cavemen.

The lush environment full of intriguing hybrids, vibrant colors and aesthetically pleasing vegetation transports viewers to an alien world full of color and imagination. What I enjoyed even more was the abundance of humor, which was mostly composed of witty puns and one-liners.

Without spoiling any main ideas of the film, “The Croods: A New Age” tells the story of what would happen if a family of cavemen came into contact with more evolved humans. However, do not expect any real science or anthropology- “The Croods: A New Age” is purely entertainment.

As aforementioned, this film contains themes more suitable for adolescents. These consist of coming of age, teenage love and the evolving parent-child relationship. However, one theme that is included that I believe is important for every audience member to see portrayed in a positive way, is the importance of family.

Another key concept presented in the film is how to deal with and embrace change. For some, change comes easy, but for others, like Grug (voiced by Nicolas Cage), change is harder to accept. Grug is the unofficial “pack leader” for the Croods, and as his family begins to evolve, he quickly realizes that old traditions can adapt to new conditions.

This struck me as timely, because 2020 (the year “Croods: A New Age” was released) involved nothing but change. Society has had to endure a global pandemic, as well as cope with the news of celebrities, performers and loved ones dying. Politics, policies, social life, education and the economy all changed drastically. This film makes clear that while new concepts and events can not always be controlled, how humanity deals with them can be.

One implicit theme that is a great addition to the film is gratitude. There is a common expression that goes “the grass is always greener on the other side.” Characters in this film often feel that their counterparts have more opportunity or a better lifestyle than they have. However, “The Croods: A New Age” teaches viewers to be grateful for what they have in life, rather than long for what they do not.

Perhaps my favorite aspect of the film is the fact that it provides humorous origin stories for modern-day appliances and utilities (such as showers, toilets, televisions and tablets). This is done through the use of puns and not-so-subtle dialogue.

Full of action, adventure, humor and positive messages, “The Croods: A New Age” is a film that is “ahead of its time.”