*“Trolls (Holiday) did so well I didn’t want to mess it up,” said Joel Crawford about directing the DreamWorks Animation, The Croods: A New Age – distributed by Universal Pictures and in (opened) theatres November 25, 2020, and Video On Demand on December 25th. “Been here at DreamWorks since 2006 and worked on many projects as a storyboard artist. I’ve taken movies scene by scene…all these things that add up to me being a director.”
Joel’s natural progression led to directing the Troll’s Holiday short animated film to directing this feature animated film The Croods: A New Age. The project stars the voices of Academy Award winning Nicolas Cage (The Guardian) as Grug Crood; Catherine Keener (Into the Wild) as Ugga Crood – Grug’s wife; eight-time Primetime Emmy winning Cloris Leachman (“Raising Hope”) as Gran; Academy Award winning Emma Stone (The Amazing Spider-Man) as Eep Crood – the eldest daughter; Randy Thom (Skywalker Sound) as Sandy Crood – daughter, and Clark Duke (“The Office”) as Thunk Crood – the son, and they are The Croods.
The Croods’ characters were developed by Chris Sanders (Lilo & Stitch), Kirk DeMicco (The Croods), and John Cleese (Shrek the Third). In the first installment of The Croods, they survive an end-of-the-world earthquake. In The Croods: A New Age, the family along with Guy, Eep’s boyfriend that is voiced by Ryan Reynolds (“Two Guys and a Girl”), and two pet sloth – Sash voiced by Tara Strong (Teen Titans) and Belt voiced by Chris Sanders – discover they are not the only survivors when they meet the Betterman family. They don’t get along because the Bettermans believes they are more evolved than the Croods. However, the families are forced to work together when their children become missing. The hunt is on to find the missing kids and save their lives.
The Betterman family consists of Phil Betterman – the father voiced by Primetime Emmy Award winning Peter Dinklage (Game of Thornes), Hope Betterman – the wife voiced by Leslie Mann (17 Again), and Dawn Betterman – the daughter voiced by Kelly Marie Tran (Star Wars: The Last Jedi).
“Chris Adams gave me notes,” Joel said about the storyline. “We were trying to see what the sequel will be for a long time…I came in later. Meeting another family was already in there…but who they are…developed when I came in.”
Rated PG, The Croods: A New Age was produced by Mark Swift and is a DreamWorks Animation production. Crawford’s credits, as Art Director in the animation’s department of DreamWorks, also includes Rise of the Guardians, both Kung Fu Panda as Art Director, and Lego Movie 2 as Art Director.
“It’s the same characters with a different journey,” Joel Crawford concluded. www.UniversalPictures.com/movies/the-croods-2
SYNDICATED COLUMN: Eunice Moseley, MS, MBA, MPhil has an estimated weekly readership of over ¼ million with The Pulse of Entertainment. She is also a Public Relations Strategist and Business Management Consultant at Freelance Associates, and is Promotions Director (at-large) for The Baltimore Times. www.ThePulseofEntertainment.com. EVENTS: “Uplifting Minds II” Entertainment Conference (ULMII), founded by Eunice in 1999, is into its 21st year. Next events are coming Baltimore Saturday April 17, 2021 at Security Square Mall and Los Angeles Saturday November 6, 2021 at (TBD). The ULMII event is a free conference offering an Entertainment Business Panel Q&A Session, a Talent Showcase and Talent Competition (vocal, songwriting, dance and acting) where aspiring artists have a chance to receive over $15,000 valued in prizes/product/services. Log onto www.UpliftingMinds2.com for more information or email info@ThePulseofEntertainment.com.