Animated family films have always been considered to be a sure thing at the box office, but as we recently found out with Dreamworks' Rise of the Guardians, that's not always the case. Unless Guardians rakes in a boatload of money near Christmas, it stands to lose nearly $50 million. Could the same fate befall future Dreamworks projects, such as The Croods?
We've already seen the first trailer for The Croods, and the new one (above) further indicates that the animated film has all the makings of solid family-friendly entertainment. There's some humor, a wide-eyed sense of wonderment, some stunning visuals, and a talented ensemble voice cast, including Nicolas Cage, Emma Stone, Clark Duke (Kick-Ass), Catherine Keener (40-Year-Old Virgin), Cloris Leachman (Raising Hope) and Ryan Reynolds.
After watching the trailer, you'll see how the film can easily play to the wide swath of demographics. There's the strong father (Cage), who simply wants to protect and provide for his family and doesn't want things to change. Then there's his daughter (Stone), who yearns for adventure and wants to get away from the everyday normalities of home life. There's also the somewhat senile grandmother (Leachman), the dense, brute of a boy (Duke) and the strapping young explorer (Reynolds) who develops a romantic interest for the daughter. Of course, these are very safe, tried and true archetypes that we've seen many times before in movies, but they're also very relatable to a general audience.
Although you get the family dynamic that's at work here and the general story arc of a family coming together on a life-affirming adventure, the trailer focuses much of its energy on generating laughs and lightheartedness that should play well with a large audience. There will certainly be plenty of contemporary humor juxtaposed against the Croods' primitive world (hopefully no Geico jokes), as well as fish-out-of-water jokes as the family journeys into new territory. So, there should be a little something for everybody here.
Considering all they had to work with and what we are seeing so far, it seems that co-directors and co-writers Kirk DeMicco (Space Chimps) and Chris Sanders (How to Train Your Dragon) made a film that has the potential to be a big mainstream hit, but after the flop of Rise of the Guardians, I suppose nothing is a sure thing these days.
Check out The Croods when it hits theatres on March 22nd, 2013.