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When it comes to evolution, it's survival of the fittest.
The Croods: A New Age is a 2020 animated film by DreamWorks Animation, a sequel to 2013's The Croods. It is directed by Joel Crawford. Set sometime after the original film, the Croods have been searching for a new home. Father Grug Crood is aggravated by his oldest daughter Eep's plans to move away and start a new pack with her 'modern' boyfriend Guy. Along the way they meet another family of humans: Hope and Phil Betterman, who are old friends of Guy's deceased parents. Phil and Hope allow the Croods to move in with them, though they are truly interested in keeping only Guy as a mate for their daughter Dawn. Despite the intentions on match-making, shy Dawn befriends the rebellious Eep while her parents scheme and manipulate Grug and Ugga.
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The Betterman's treehouse and farm amenities absolutely delight Guy but his materialistic fascination causes jealousy in his girlfriend Eep.The tensions between the parents and the young couple flare until a secret of Phil's brings out danger. Despite their family differences everyone must come together to save their loved ones.

Originally set for a release on November 3, 2017, the film was temporarily cancelled following Universal's acquisition of DreamWorks Animation. However, it was Un-Canceled in late 2017 and theatrically released on November 25, 2020.


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The movie provides examples of:

  • All Animals Are Dogs: Applies to Sandy, despite being human. She acts like a puppy throughout the film until the very end when she says her first word,"boomzies". That wasn't her first word. Her first word was actually "dada", which was said in the first film.
  • Allegory: Much like Guy and the Croods in the first film, the contrast between the Croods and the Bettermans can be read as a take on real relations between Neanderthals and Cro Magnons (albeit with far less genocide). In this case, it creates a contrast between the Croods' old hunter/gatherer way of life versus the Betterman's advancement into farming and domesticating animals. While the Croods have a much more fulfilled way of living as a pack, it is also fraught with constant danger. The Bettermans live a much safer, more carefree life thanks to technological advancement, but it has left the Cro Magnons to vent their aggression through Condescending Compassion, their daughter Dawn bereft of real life character-building life experience, or "scars."
    • The first movie was a romance between Guy (a man, Adam) and Eep at the dawn of time - the second one features being locked in a beautiful garden with actual Forbidden Fruit.
  • Anger Born of Worry: Guy is furious at Eep's joyride leading to Dawn's injury.
  • Amazon Brigade: Gran mentions how she was once apart of an all-female tribe called the "Thunder Sisters", a story that she has told her family dozens of times before. When Guy, Grug and Phil are kidnapped, the women (and Thunk) all band together as the new Thunder Sisters.
  • Art Evolution: No pun intended on the "evolution" word, mind you. This film shows the Croods being much more detailed than in their previous film. Per the norm of the evolving technology, the lighting is far more breathtaking.
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    • Eep's 2D Cave drawings segments now resemble the art style of Dawn of the Croods.
  • Ascended Extra: The Punch-Monkeys were just one of many animals the Croods encountered in the first movie, largely disappearing after their one big scene. Here, they're the main antagonists, kidnapping Phil, Grug and Guy after their banana tribute gets eaten and planning to sacrifice them to the Spiny Mandrilla.
  • Bait-and-Switch:
    • When they first meet, Eep approaches Dawn in a threatening manner, suggesting that she views her as a potential threat. She suddenly picks Dawn up in celebration and is utterly overjoyed to finally meet another girl her own age.
    • Once Grug learns what the Bettermans truly think of his family, he and Ugga begin to devolve into animalistic mindsets in their anger... only for Ugga to quickly put the kabosh on the idea of them mindlessly rampaging through Tomorrow and just decide to eat all the Bettermans' bananas in revenge.
    • After Grug ate all the bananas in the offering, something is violently rattling the wall until it falls to reveal... one tiny Punch-Monkey. Grug laughs at Phil being afraid of a small monkey for all those years, but stops laughing when the Punch-Monkey summons its dozens of friends.
    • When the Spiny Mandrilla finally appears, its face at first looks like it's sporting an adorable smile. That turns out to be its wrinkled forehead above a truly horrifying visage.
    • In the climax, Thunk throws a rock at the Spiky Mandrilla, which seems to completely miss. As it lands on the ground, the rock launches a branch right into the Mandrilla's eye.
    • At the end of the movie, Guy and Eep are shown with backpacks announcing their intention to move away and begin their life together. The scene plays out like a traditional forever goodbye moment...then it's revealed they're just moving into their separate apartment three meters away.
  • Bald Women: Gran reveals that she is actually bald, and that her "wig" is actually a pet named "Wigasus" (sort of a cross between a possum and a flying squirrel).
  • The Big Damn Kiss: Eep and Guy share one during the climax just after defeating the monster.
  • Better to Die than Be Killed: When the Croods first see the Bettermans' wall and believe they've reached the "End of the World", Gran climbs into Chunky's mouth and closes herself in, preferring to be eaten by him rather than anything out there. Chunky doesn't swallow her, however, and lets her out after they see what's behind the wall.
  • Big Bad: Spiny Mandrilla, the tyrannical ruler of the Punch-Monkeys. He was the one who has been coercing the Punch-Monkeys into giving him food to eat otherwise he would kill the Punch-Monkeys, up to the point that they are forced to invade the Bettermans' home for their banana supply.
  • Big Damn Heroes: The Crood and Betterman females burst in to save the males from being sacrificed to the Spiny Mandrilla. Of course, Thunk is the only male who wasn't kidnapped and did have a piece in the action in saving the other males.
  • Brick Joke: Thunk, while playing fetch with Douglas, accidentally throws the stick into the eye of one of the Bettermans' chickenseals. The same thing later happens to the Spiny Mandrilla. During the end credits sequence, the same chickenseal confronts Thunk.
  • Bridal Carry: Eep will carry Guy and they'll flirtatiously 'boop' each other's noses. Later when captured by the Punch-Monkeys, Guy briefly believes Eep came to rescue him and 'booped' the nose of a 'broad shouldered redhead'. To his terror, it's actually a punch-gorilla carrying him.
  • Captain's Log: Guy kept a Travel Log since he was a child but seemed to have lost track after meeting the Croods. He starts a new one when he's kidnapped by the Punch-Monkeys, literally using a log, the one he's trapped in with Grug and Phil.
  • Carpet of Virility: While at Phil's "man cave" sauna, Grug starts feeling hot. Phil suggests he take off his pelt, but Grug already had taken it off; what Phil (and the audience) thought was the pelt is actually Grug's thick body hair.
  • Catapult Nightmare: Happens a few times, like when Guy dreams of a giant Eep leaving him.
  • Chekhov's Gun:
    • Eep's "peanut toe." At the end of the film, the Spiny Mandrilla is clinging to Eep's foot, only to show that it was actually holding onto the previously-established peanut toe. The toe comes off and the Mandrilla falls to its death.
    • Thunk's Running Gag of accidentally launching sticks into creatures' eyes. He accidentally uses it against the Spiny Mandrilla at a crucial moment.
  • Chuck Cunningham Syndrome: While Chunky and Douglas return, the other animals that the family befriended in the first film's epilogue, notably the Bear Owl and Gran's conjoined lemurs, are not seen or mentioned in A New Age.
  • Clingy Jealous Girl: Subverted. When Eep meets Dawn and sees how "handsy" she and Guy are, it starts out with Eep looking suspicious of this new girl... only to immediately hit it off with her, neither of them having had another girl their age to be friends with. For the rest of the film, both get along very well, Eep's problems with Guy having nothing to do with Dawn.
  • Clucking Funny: The chicken seals are known for their screams. An unlucky Thunk accidentally throws a stick in one's eye, causing it to scream and chase him.
  • Cluster F-Bomb: Hope has one of these towards the Croods. While it’s bleeped out by geysers, you can easily make out what her lips are saying.
  • Cock-a-Doodle Dawn: Played for laughs. A chicken seal starts to crow like a rooster, but lets out a seal bark mid-crow.
  • Cold Turkeys Are Everywhere: Nearly every attempt Grug has to help himself to a banana, the one food he wants more than anything, Phil stops him at every turn, eating the bananas the one thing they don't allow him to do because they are an offering for the Punch-Monkeys.
  • Continuity Snarl: While Douglas was in the first film, the crocopup now has a completely different body color scheme.
  • Cool Garage: Phil hangs out in a cave of gysters like it's a steam room.
  • "Could Have Avoided This!" Plot: When asked why he didn't simply tell the Croods why they couldn't eat any of the bananas, Phil doesn't have much of an explanation.
  • Denser and Wackier: Due to significantly lower stakes, there's a notable emphasis on exaggerated comedy compared to the first film.
  • Dinner and a Show: So so many tangled webs. Each couple of the film argues across the table, while Thunk sits innocently eating a flower decoration and Gran, just for giggles, reveals her 'wig' to a terrified Sandy.
  • Disney Villain Death: The Spiny Mandrilla dies after Eep and Guy drop a giant skull on him, sending him falling down into a pit.
  • Distracted by the Luxury: Guy and Thunk immediately fall in love with the Betterman's modern conveniences. Thunk in particular becomes addicted to looking out a window, treating the experience like watching television.
  • Downer Beginning: The film opens with the death of Guy's parents.
  • Effortless Amazonian Lift: Much like she did with Guy in the first film, Eep is able to pick Dawn off the ground and holds her up without any struggle whatsoever.
  • Emo Teen: Eep looks like one as she writes about her break-up with Guy, complete with Peek-a-Bangs.
  • Establishing Character Moment: Phil and Hope Betterman are introduced hiding behind elaborate shielding even after the Croods have been incapacitated. When they realized that they had captured cave-people and not any vicious animals, they free them and try to communicate to them as though they are small children, dropping it when they realize that they can speak their language just fine. This establishes the Bettermans as well-meaning, but easily shaken and condescending.
  • Every Scar Has a Story: Eep shows off her various scars to Dawn, saying that each one reminds her of an adventure she had. Dawn feels sorry that she never got a scar, so she's ecstatic when she gets a bee sting on her hand.
  • Explain, Explain... Oh, Crap!: When he learns about how the Punch Monkeys lost their water supply, he confidently boasts that he was able to create an oasis by changing the direction of the river from a mountain... before realizing that the same mountain he used to create his home was the one the Punch Monkeys got their water supply from. This promptly turns the Punch Monkeys against him, Grug, and Guy.
  • Eye Scream: Characters getting a stick thrown in one eye becomes a sort of Running Gag.
  • Fan Disservice: When Gran announces the newest iteration of the Thunder Sisters, she rips off her pelt, revealing her Chainmail Bikini. While she's surprisingly muscular under her usual outfit, she's still an old lady. An old lady without her wig.
  • Fantastic Racism: While they try to be polite, Phil and Hope come to the conclusion that the neanderthal Croods don't belong in their corner of the world and attempt to get them to leave without Guy, who they think belong with his fellow cro magnons. It isn't until much later do they both come to respect their differences, Hope apologizing and Phil becoming "banana bros" with Grug.
  • Fire-Forged Friends: Grug and Phil hate each for a majority of the movie until both of their strengths (Phil's inventiveness and Grug's literal rhino-like strength0 fail to free them from the Punch-Monkey's prison. After verbal blows and getting spat from the Spiny Mandrill they become Banana-Bros!!
  • Foil: Grug and Phil are both flawed dads, but in very different ways. Both are overprotective of their daughters, but while Grug has learned to let Eep be independent from his Character Development in the first film, Phil allows only a shallow idea of independence (like letting her have her own room), but is otherwise too controlling to let her discover things on her own. While Grug is prone to smother his family (can't sleep without a sleep-pile, listens in on Guy and Eep's conversations, is terrified of the two of them leaving), Phil puts up literal and metaphorical walls (the wall around the property, his "pact" with the Punch-Monkeys and his secret man-cave) that alienates them. While Grug hated having Guy around and has tried to keep him away from Eep, Phil and his wife have tried to get Guy and Dawn together.
    • Eep grew up stifled in a cave and marvels at the unknown wild. Guy spent years surviving the harsh wilderness, searching for a place to settle down. So while Guy sees the cozy comforts of the Bettermen's farm as his dreamhome, Eep feels stifled once again.
  • Fun with Flushing: Guy marvels at the Betterman's indoor plumbing system, with Guy and Belt flushing random things down it. When Guy asks what it's for, Hope deflects.
  • Fun with Subtitles: Phil and Grug's attempts at "speaking" Punch-Monkey by hitting each other results in subtitles with random words, then random letters, and Grug hitting Phil on the head translated as "Rock rock rock rock..."
  • Gender Reveal: Early in the film, Guy tells Eep about his childhood friend, Dawn. When the family meet the Bettermans, Eep is pleasantly surprised to find out that Dawn is a girl.
  • Giant Food: The Betterman's farm grows very large fruits and vegetables.
  • Giant Woman: Eep in Guy's dream of her breaking up with him.
  • Gilded Cage: The farm where Dawn lives is extremely beautiful, but she's unhappy with it because she is forbidden from going beyond the walls.
  • Glad You Thought of It: Phil and Hope's go-too method of manipulating the Croods comes across as this, Hope trying to talk Ugga into leaving and Phil trying to talk Grug into leaving Guy with them, both of them trying to make them think that it was their idea. While Ugga catches onto this immediately, it isn't until she points this out to Grug does he realize that Phil was doing it too.
  • Gross-Up Close-Up: In the climactic fight, Gran tosses her wig into the Spiny Mandrilla's nostril to make it sneeze. We get to see what the nostril looks like on the inside, and it's full of snot.
  • Happy Ending Override: Downplayed. The previous film ended with the family seemingly settling down in Tomorrow, while the sequel opens with them once again facing struggling to survive in the wilderness. However, they're clearly much more experienced and prepared to face the perils and their dynamic is more cooperative and trusting than it was before, and they've all mostly moved past the fears that held them back in the first film.
  • Heart Symbol: Eep draws hearts on her journal, thinking they are what love must look like. This is parodied when Eep and Guy are dreamingly looking at each other while the other Croods are struggling with hostile creatures, which serendipitously create heart shapes in the background. Culminates in the climax, with the Spiny Mandrilla taken down by a giant skull that looks like a heart from above.
  • Hulking Out: When Grug finds out Phil has been manipulating him, he briefly becomes more Neanderthal-like, his brow ridge and muscles swelling up in anger as he bursts out of the clothing and hairstyle Phil put him in.
  • Impact Silhouette: Ends up happening a lot — Thunk running through a giant gourd, the Croods breaking through the Bettermans' walls, Phil's impression in the mud after getting captured by Punch-Monkeys.
  • Indulgent Fantasy Segue: After seeing Thunk accidentally put out a chickenseal's eye with a stick, Grug does the same to Phil. This turns out to be Grug's daydream.
  • Inevitably Broken Rule: The Bettermans have two rules: for Dawn, it's "do not leave the wall." For the Croods, it's "eat anything but the bananas." For Dawn, it gets broken when Eep takes her over the wall on Chunky's back, resulting in her getting stung by a bee. With Grug, he eats all of the bananas out of spite when he finds out that Phil was trying to manipulate him, causing the Punch-Monkeys they were keeping at bay to kidnap Guy and the both of them.
  • Interrupted Intimacy: The opening has Guy and Eep, caught up in each other and constantly being interrupted by the nonstop chaos of their survival and the lack of any private time away from the rest of the Croods.
  • Intoxication Ensues: On-top of a seriously swollen palm, Dawn acts intoxicated from a bee-sting after a trip outside the wall with Eep.
  • I Will Show You X: A furious Eep acts extra ill-mannered after Guy states 'cave-girl' like an insult.
  • Jaw Drop: The Croods (including Chunky) all react this way when they see the beautiful farm the Bettermans live on.
  • Jerkass Realization: Guy has this in the third act while recounting the breakdown in his relationship with Eep. He realizes that he was being condescending to her while choosing the Betterman's lifestyle over his relationship with her.
  • Killer Gorilla: The Punch-Monkeys live in terror of a giant ape named the Spiny Mandrilla. As its name suggests, it's part spiny echidna, part mandrill, and part gorilla.
  • King Kong Copy: The Spiny Mandrilla is a giant ape that a local indigenous people (the tribe of Punch-Monkeys) have to appease with regular offerings as though it was a primal god. The Punch-Monkeys' home is even littered with numerous giant, vaguely dinosaur-like bones.
  • Letting Her Hair Down: After sleeping in the Croods' sleep pile, Hope's braids come undone, revealing an absolutely enormous mass of unkempt hair. This is the start of Hope loosening up and embracing her wild side.
  • Lighter and Softer: While the first film had its funnier moments, the plot revolved around the family trying to outrun a world-breaking cataclysm and the stakes were played completely seriously. In this film, the main conflict is about the Croods learning to live with other people, with the main threat being an army of invading Punch-Monkeys.
  • Love Makes You Dumb: Grug is disgusted at how being in love made Guy gooey and useless.
  • Love-Obstructing Parents: Grug still wishes to keep Eep in his pack forever, and he's barely tolerating Guy. He overhears Eep ecstatically agree to Guy's proposal of moving out and the heartache engulfs him for most of the movie. Then the Bettermens interfere on Guy's behalf....
  • Maniac Monkeys: The Punch-Monkeys take bananas from the Bettermans, and when Grug eats the bananas, they respond by kidnapping him, Phil and Guy. However, they are only doing this in self-defense to appease the Spiny Mandrilla that terrorizes them.
  • Matchmaker Failure: Phil and Hope do wish to set up Dawn so she wouldn't be lonely but Dawn and Guy only like one another as childhood friends.
  • Monster Is a Mommy: Dawn realizes the Spider-Wolf is only attacking them because she thought her cub was in danger. Once she proves to the pack that they're not dangerous, they become more friendly and join them in their rescue mission.
  • My Beloved Smother: Hope Betterman overly dotes on Dawn and Guy states this of Grug.
  • My Hovercraft Is Full of Eels: Phil's attempts at learning the punch-monkeys' language results in this.
  • Nice Job Breaking It, Hero!: All of Phil's attempts at getting the monkeys to bend to his will only tightens their trapped-state more and more. He takes a stick and sharpens it using the ground to threaten them with it, only for the monkeys to copy him and now they all have spears. Phil makes a torch to scare them with his fire, only for the monkeys to snatch it away and now they all have fire. He even instructs them out to tie them up better because he found their knots subpar.
  • Not a Game: Eep is stunned when Guy states he doesn't 'love adventure' he loves 'not dying'.
  • Obnoxious In-Laws: Guy doesn't enjoy the sleep-pile (and the dirty feet in his face) as much Grug. Eep doesn't like sleeping alone but admits the idea of "privacy" sounds good.
  • Only Known by Their Nickname: Gran gives everyone "new tribe names" before the final battle. She names Sandy "Seeker", Eep "Fire Heart", Ugga "Blood Horn", Thunk "Thunk", Dawn "Sister Sunset" and Hope "Bog Water". Hope is skeptical at first.
    Hope: My name's "Bog Water"?
    Gran: I thought of it before you had cool hair.
    Hope: I am BOG WATER!!!
  • Parody of Evolution: The film poster, as shown above.
  • Poor Communication Kills: If Phil had just explained to Grug why the bananas should not be eaten, it would have saved everyone a ton of grief! Granted, it wouldn’t have spark the events that led to the Punch Monkeys being liberated and the Croods, Bettermans, and Punch Monkeys living in harmony.
  • Rent-a-Zilla: The Spiny Mandrilla.
  • Running Gag:
    • The Croodss super-strong clumsiness causing them all to accidentally break through the Betterman's thatched walls.
    • Characters getting eyes put out by sticks.
    • Phil appending "unofficial motto" to various aphorisms.
  • Savage Wolves: Subverted. When Hope gets trapped in an ice cave, the spider wolves spot her and prepare to attack her. It doesn't help that the rest of the Croods and Bettermans (except Guy, Grug and Phil) draw out their weapons. When Dawn notices a spider wolf pup, however, she tells everyone to drop their weapons. It's revealed that the spider wolves were hostile because they were protective over the pup. This trope is double subverted when Thunk starts petting them, causing the adult wolves to attack him. Finally, the trope is subverted again when the Croods and Bettermans tame them.
  • Secret Diary: Eep draws her thoughts on a slab, in the 2D style of the first film's opening credits. This is used as a recap in the beginning and involves a lot of pink hearts around her and Guy.
  • Seen-It-All Suicide: Upon seeing the wall, Gran declares that "I've seen everything" and walks right into Chunky's mouth to be eaten. Chunky, of course, doesn't.
  • Sickeningly Sweethearts: Eep and Guy have very long rounds of saying 'Hey' to each other. During the beginning of the movie the two are more focused on one another than the dangers they're nearly surviving.
  • Slobs vs. Snobs: The Croods do break a few things by unfamiliarity but are gracious house-guests. The Bettermans are passive-aggressively condescending with Hope more urgent to see them out (sans Guy, who they want to pair up with Dawn) and Phil enjoying feeling superior to Grug. Eep acts extra feral during a fight with Guy.
  • Sound-Effect Bleep: When Hope starts ranting about the Croods, the geysers surrounding them go off just in time to drown out the bad words.
  • Speaks Fluent Animal: Guy is fluent in the Punch-Monkey's language, which involves hitting and getting hit. He's not happy to be a translator and refuses to repeat anything. In the epilogue Phil has learned their language, but Grug has not.
  • Spiritual Successor: The climax of the film involves humans and their former animal enemies (the Punch-Monkeys) working together to fight a massive apex predator that has enslaved the animals to gather food for it from their human neighbors or be eaten themselves, with the use of fire and dropping the monster to its doom. This is similar to How To Trainyour Dragon, another Chris Sanders-affiliated Dreamworks Animated movie.
  • Starfish Language: The Punch Monkeys, as their name suggests, only communicate through a series of punching and hitting. It’s learnable though, and Guy is fluent in it.
  • Surprisingly Realistic Outcome:
    • The Croods (along with their pets and Guy) still sleep in a pile even though they've left their cramped cave for a more open world, because the open world has more dangers in it.
    • In order to create the Betterman's home, Phil devised a method of diverting water from a mountain river to his location. While he was able to make a thriving Arcadia out of a desert, this collapsed the Punch-Monkey's ecosystem in the process.
    • When Phil tries save himself, Grug, and Guy from the the Punch-Monkeys by making spears and fire to use against them, once the monkeys see how to make the tools themselves, they are used against the three.
  • Thrill Seeker: Eep is experienced in the dangers of the wild and empathetically decides to share some reckless fun with Dawn.
  • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The rugged and adventurous Eep quickly bonds with the Bettermans' more shy and sheltered daughter, Dawn.
  • Trademark Favorite Food: Grug had a banana once and he loved it so much, he had dreamed of tasting it again ever since. Much to his frustration, bananas are the one thing Phil won't let him eat, considering Phil has them all brought as an offering to the neighboring tribe of Punch-Monkeys to keep them from destroying their new home.
  • Underground Monkey: The punch monkeys from the first movie are expanded upon into an entire tribe of various subspecies. There are now kick monkeys, low-blow monkeys, mind teasers, brain squeezers, tail smashers and stranglers, and one that has a very creepy appearance with big, bloodshot, staring eyes (called "creepo monkey" in promotional material).
  • Unwitting Instigator of Doom: Phil accidentally turned the Punch-Monkey's home into a wasteland when he redirected the mountain stream toward the farm. This angered the Spiny Mandrilla who extorted them for bananas, which in turn forced the monkeys to terrorize Phil for his crops.
  • Wacky Marriage Proposal: Guy's proposal to Eep that they have their own "Tomorrow" is sweet and both are excited. The wacky part is Grug, whom the two think is sleeping, silently reacting in horror to his first-born moving away.
  • Wolves Always Howl at the Moon: The spider-wolf pup and Sandy are seen howling at the moon.
  • Women Are Wiser: The females get along better than the males, and even form an Amazon Brigade to rescue Grug, Guy and Phil. Somewhat downplayed in that Thunk is a member of the said brigade (though the most useless one when it comes to fighting the monkeys).

 
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The Thunder Sisters

Gran mentions how she was once apart of an all-female tribe called the "Thunder Sisters", a story that she has told her family dozens of times before. When Guy, Grug and Phil are kidnapped, the women (and Thunk) all band together as the new Thunder Sisters.

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