The Croods: A New Age appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 2.35:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. This became a pleasing presentation.
Sharpness always looked good, as the movie exhibited fine delineation. No obvious signs of softness marred the image, and I noticed no jaggies or shimmering. Edge haloes and print flaws also remained absent.
Colors seemed solid, as the movie offered broad palette. The hues delivered lively, full tones with good reproduction.
Blacks appeared dark and dense, while low-light shots came across as smooth and clear. The image worked well.
In addition, the film’s Dolby Atmos soundtrack suited the material, with a soundscape that came to life during the movie’s occasional action scenes. Downcoverted to Dolby TrueHD 7.1, those offered lots of magical elements that popped up in logical spots and blended well.
Quieter scenes also fared nicely, as they showed good stereo music. Effects created a fine sense of place and delivered a rich sense of surroundings.
Audio quality satisfied, with natural, concise speech that lacked edginess or other issues. Music came across as full and warm, while effects delivered rich, accurate material. New Age boasted a fairly solid soundtrack.
As we move to extras, we begin with an audio commentary from director Joel Crawford, producer Mark Swift, head of story Januel Mercado and editor Jim Ryan. All four sit together for this running, screen-specific discussion of story/characters, cast and performances, animation and visual design, music, editing/cut scenes and other domains.
Expect a loose and lively track here, as the participants joke and lot and make this a breezy affair. We learn a lot about the production in this engaging discussion.
Two exclusive shorts follow: Dear Diary: World’s First Pranks (2:54) and Family Movie Night: Little Red Bronana Bread (3:39). Pranks shows Eep and Dawn as they invent practical jokes, while Bread gives us Dawn’s animated riff on Red Riding Hood
Of the two, Pranks provides superior amusement, though both seem decent. Pranks brings back the whole cast, another advantage for it.
A Gag Reel runs one minute, 51 seconds and shows the actors in the recording studio. Though I don’t love blooper collections, this one gives us a better glimpse of the sessions, and that makes it more fun than most.
To: Gerard offers a DreamWorks short from spring 2020. It lasts seven minutes, 32 seconds, and it seems unclear if/where it ran theatrically.
Gerard follows a mail room employee who uses magic to cheer up a little girl, with surprising future ramifications. It seems cute but not especially memorable.
Eight Deleted Scenes occupy a total of 23 minutes, seven seconds. Crawford introduces them to tell us that we’ll see storyreel versions of these segments, not final animation. He also gives us additional notes about why the clips didn’t make the movie.
As for the scenes themselves, they’re generally fun. 10 of the 23 minutes comes from two alternate/extended versions of the Grug/Phil “man cave” sequence, and as Crawford admits, they go on far too long to fit the final film.
The others offer more original content and they tend to amuse. Crawford made the right choices to cut the scenes, as none really would’ve fit the end film, but they still offer entertainment.
The Croods Family Album goes for eight minutes, 24 seconds and offers comments from Crawford, Mercado, Swift, and actors Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Clark Duke, Ryan Reynolds, Leslie Mann and Kelly Marie Tran.
“Album” looks at cast, characters and performances. Much of this feels puffy, but I like the shots from the recording studio, and the actors add a few good notes.
Next comes The Evolution of the Croods, a 10-minute, 17-second piece with Crawford, Cage, Reynolds, Stone, Mann, Tran, Swift, Mercado, Tran, Ryan, head of character animation Jakob Hjort Jensen, story artist Heidi Jo Gilbert, and production designer Nate Wragg.
During “Evolution”, we learn about characters, set design, story areas, visual choices and collaboration. Again, some of this leans toward happy talk, but “Evolution” includes a pretty good array of insights.
How to Draw takes up 29 minutes, five seconds, as Gilbert teaches the viewer how to sketch eight movie characters. Young budding artists should dig these lessons.
A Famileaf Album lasts two minutes, 58 seconds and shows kids how to create their own artistic family albums. Kids might enjoy this.
Another tutorial, Stone Age Snack Attack provides instructions how to concoct three kinds of movie-inspired food items. This five-minute, 52-second piece could be fun for those aforementioned children.
Boss Baby 2, Trollstopia and The War With Grandpa. No trailer for New Age appears here.
Can I dislike a movie in which a lead character uses a peanut to substitute for her amputated toe? Nope, and The Croods: A New Age comes with plenty more laughs in other areas as well, all of which make it a wild, winning sequel. The Blu-ray boasts excellent visuals, solid audio and a pretty good collection of bonus materials. New Age continues the Croods saga on a delightful note.