The Croods: A New Age tackles the question we all had after the first movie: When and how does their way of life transition to modern humans? And, Do Eep and Guy get together?!? This story praises the expression of individual strengths and culture at the tough crossroads of encountering another group of people with different strengths and culture. The Croods meet the Bettermans whose technological advancements are the shiny and new better way of life for everyone. Except that the Croods don’t fit in. They do not belong. Instead of ultimately proving one way of life to be better, the story shows us a journey of feminist empowerment, embracing forgotten traditions, letting down your hair (literally), and trying a new expression of life altogether.
Yes, the story tells us that the Bettermans have a higher emotional quotient and have adopted a lifestyle of prioritizing personal hygiene, but the story also reveals to us that the Croods care about more than that – they want to be together and connected and living an uncomfortable life through living instead of hiding. When the men of each tribe are kidnapped, the women pull together for a reimagining of Gran’s (Cloris Leachman‘s) roots from a female warrior tribe and create a new way to work together.
This is the message my family needs today.
I loved being able to sit down with my kids and talk about how no one had a better way of life, but each culture measured priorities and values in a different way. Ultimately, every character was enriched by experiencing the life of their neighbor. And they all adopted a new rhythm in order to live in harmony together. A little on-the-nose for the current world around me, but the jokes were just so damn good and I enjoyed every minute.
The entire cast killed it. Nicolas Cage is always a joy to behold, Emma Stone is a fierce teen cave women (that is a really weird description to write), Ryan Reynolds is hilarious in every moment, and Peter Dinklage is my favorite. He’s not slimy even when he’s manipulative. He’s just intelligent, pompous, lonely, and truly charming.