“It’ll never happen,” I remember grumbling to myself back in 2013 as I stood in line to see “The Croods” at a general press screening, pondering its Oscar hopes. Sure, the crowd waiting in line was bursting with anticipation, since journalists were permitted to bring guests, so that meant kids ran amok, spreading excitement about seeing a film that promised them that acting crude was OK, even cool and lovable since it’s about a whole family of Croods!
My internal grumbling persisted: “But with a title like that, I don’t care how good this movie turns out to be, Oscar voters are notorious snobs – they won’t even watch the DVD” that would be shipped to them as part of its FYC campaign, I thought.
The winner of Best Animated Feature was a shoo-in that year: “Frozen” was an international sensation and it featured upper-crust folks who those Beverly Hills/ Hollywood academy members could feel more cozy with: royalty. “Frozen” didn’t celebrate homeless, grunting prehistoric cave folks with obvious hygiene and behavioral issues.
But, by golly, “The Croods” turned out to be a huge hit that got the attention of Hollywood voters when it earned good reviews (77% at RT) and $187 million at the U.S. box office (nearly $600 million worldwide).
Alas, it then got nominated for Best Animated Feature at the Critics’ Choice Awards, then the Golden Globes and even the Annies.
Heading into the Oscar nominations, it seemed likely that the four non-“Frozen” slots would go to “The Wind Rises,” “Monsters University” … and? Maybe “Dispicable Me 2,” “Ernest and Celestine,” “Epic,” “Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2” or even — uh-oh — “The Croods.”
Ultimately, when that year’s Oscar bids were unveiled, “The Croods” not only burst through, but those barbarians bumped out “Monsters University,” which got snubbed. The remaining nominees turned out to be “The Wind Rises,” “Dispicable Me 2” and “Ernest and Celestine.”
Now, Oscar watchers, beware: Here those crazy Croods come again! And not only that, but the sequel, “The Croods: A New Age,” scored the same great critics’ score (77%) at RT plus a sky-high audience score (94%). Despite most theaters being dark during the pandemic, “New Age” has successfully earned $40 million domestically and $135 million worldwide.
And now, just this week, those crazy Croods 2″ broke into the Golden Globes race for Best Animated Feature!
Can the franchise crash the Oscar party again? If so, that would be rather ironic because its plot is very anti-snob as the cave family squares off against hoity folk called the Bettermans.