By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Saturdays 9:00 AM EST/PST
The Croods: Family Tree is a surprisingly short animated series which is now available across specific cartoon networks and streaming services. YTV in Canada is stretching the six episodes out, and hopefully, more episodes will be released sooner than later. Waiting this series out for new tales in 2022 is a long way away.
This series is decent enough for fans to enjoy. It retains much of the humour from the sequel, and it seems a lot of the Croods family dynamic has reset. Grug is even more overprotective of Eep, and instead of her and Guy leaving the compound they are in, they are all staying safe within. Plus, they have another clan to annoy, whom they met in Croods: New Age. If this series is supposed to take place within the time frame of this sequel as a whole, it’s not been said at all.
The only real danger is in whether the Croods family can adapt. They’re so used to roughing it out in the real world. Unlike the previous animated series where they dealt with other clans of their genus, this one only has a group slightly advanced in their way of thinking, trying to accept, if not teach the other manners.
The only noticeable improvement is in giving the Betterman clan a better backstory. We learn Hope was once just as wild and rowdy (“The Flopping of the Bullruses”), but after meeting Phil and having a child together, she’s changed her ways. The patriarch is as stuffy as ever, and he needs his own episode to reveal how he became that way. Their daughter, Dawn, wants to explore the world. The episode, “What Goes Eep Must Come Dawn,” is the highlight since it deals with traditional teenage girl problems.
In contrast, “Parental Stridence” shows it’s impossible to teach Thunk manners. Sadly, he’s the low point of the series as the humour he’s supposed to bring is lowbrow.
This sit-com won’t go far unless the writing is kicked up a notch. Dawn of the Croods was more amusing since it had a large cast to which we see The Croods deal with life and have lots of neighbours to interact with. This new series can quickly get stale. It’s more purposely styled like The Flintstones. Both families generally get along, but as for whenever I see Grug throw a tantrum, I can’t help but think, the writers are wanting to have him shout for Wilma instead.
3 Stars out of 5