croods2_cancelled croods2_cancelled
Feature Film

Dreamworks Animation and Universal Kill ‘Croods’ Sequel

Dreamworks Animation will not make Kirk De Micco and Chris Sanders’ sequel to the 2013 hit The Croods. The film had been in development for the last three-and-a-half years. The news was first reported by Variety on Friday evening.

The decision was reportedly delivered to Dreamworks employees on Thursday, the same day that Cartoon Brew reported Dreamworks could be ceasing operations at its 300-person studio in India.

The 30 or so employees who had been working on the film will be reassigned to other projects or placed into educational/training programs at the studio, an unnamed Universal source told Variety.

Last August, Croods 2 was delayed from 2017 to 2018; at the time, the delay was attributed to Comcast/NBCUniversal’s impending purchase of the studio. But, as Variety points out in its piece:

Individuals at both DreamWorks and Universal said doubts had been raised about proceeding with Croods 2 even before Universal was put in charge. Two sources said that Universal was effectively just ratifying a decision already made by DreamWorks Animation to kill the movie.

  • J.S

    Sad news, Croods was one of my favourite Dreamworks movies. I was really looking foward to rhe sequel.

  • Another project with Chris Sanders as a director/leadership role taken from him. I wasn’t expecting this to happen. It sucks to hear. I wonder now, what else DreamWorks had in mind that may not come to fruition.

  • Memorian

    This actually makes me kind of sad. I thought Croods was really cute and fun and better than what I was expecting, I was looking forward to a sequel.

  • Mesterius

    Honestly, the first Croods was by far the weakest of Chris Sanders’ animated features in my eyes. So I don’t consider this the biggest loss, controversial as that may be to say here. Hopefully Sanders can get back to work on something better.

    Incidentally, is it possible this is related to….. http://www.cartoonbrew.com/feature-film/famous-animation-director-just-got-removed-film-142463.html

    • Doesn’t seem to be (the whole film has been dropped and the series really isn’t that beloved yet…..).

    • Chris can write. He’s easily the best writer I’ve ever worked with. The fact that Croods 2 has been in i development he’ll for so long is not a sign that something is wrong with Chris, but rather that the draconian executive structure there is broken.

  • Elsi Pote

    Seems like Sanders and Cage can’t get a break these days.

    Also seems like universal would rather monetize on Shrek 5, 6, 7, 8 and beyond than developing new stuff.

    At least we will get Dragon 3 , unless Sing is the Xmas juggernaut they claim will be.

  • Strong Enough

    i cant find the career section of DWS. is it a hidden land that rumors suggest?

  • white vader

    And yet, more Shrek is on the way. Despite Katzenberg’s grandstanding a couple of years back about not overmilking the cow.

  • aarett

    aw man! that was the best dreamworks movie! if you don’t think so, watch it again. i wish there was some way to at least see the work that was done on the sequel! too bad they made that (i couldn’t make it through an episode)netflix series and weren’t able to roll this into a higher quality series for netflix like the troll hunter! anybody know what Chris is working on now?

  • Johnny Marques

    I found the Croods kinda disapointing but the visuals had wonderful elements to them and I’d absolutely give the benefit of the doubt to a sequel. Yesterday I was in a Q&A session with Peter Lord and he mentioned the cancellation and how little it surprised him, saying that work on the script of the first one (when Aardman was still linked to Dreamworks and the project) was a difficult uphill struggle and decision-makers at Dreamworks wouldn’t compromise on how family friendly it should be.

  • Landon Kemp

    Now that’s something you don’t hear often these days: A sequel getting cancelled. Considering how sequel-happy modern movie audiences tend to be, this is quite an unexpected turn of events.

  • The art for American Dog was fantastic. There are a couple of interesting pieces from the original concept in Mike Gabriel’s book. To think what could have been…but at least Chris Sanders was able to take “Patch-Eyed Cat” with him when he left Disney. Kiskaloo is wonderful.

  • Well, that’s depressing.

  • I thought Croods was pretty good. I find your judgement of writing uneven. Two great movies and one good one = he can’t write? That’s nonsense.

  • PS: Sanders was also the main writer on Mulan and all agree the true architect of everything good in that movie.

  • Mark Walton

    I’m truly sorry that people didn’t get to see what Chris had come up with for American Dog. But I’m told that Bolt still has many ardent fans – including myself. And yes, I’m prejudiced. We worked hard on it, and I’m proud of what we did.

    • Chicken McPhee

      Don’t get me wrong, Bolt isn’t a terrible film, though it is slightly generic, which is not a fault of anyone working hard on it. It’s executed perfectly. But all the concept art and leaked footage I’ve seen from American Dog excited me for a movie that appeared to be the polar opposite of what we ended up getting.

      • Funkybat

        Exactly. “Bolt” is not a failure or a bad movie, but it was just kind of forgettable for me and most people I know who saw it. I too was excited by the concept art and basic story outline for “American Dog” and felt let down that “Bolt” was more of a “coloring inside the lines” affair.

        The only post-2000 Disney features I would say were truly disappointments were “Home on the Range” and “Chicken Little.” The latter particularly felt like three episodes of a potential TV series, being mashed together as a “pilot” to use to whet the appetite of some exec with the power to greenlight it. I will say that “Meet the Robinsons” was better than a lot of people seem to give it credit for, though like “Bolt” it was more of a double than a home run, like pretty much everything Disney has done since “Bolt” has been.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    I’ve heard that Sanders and the other folks behind Lilo & Stitch were given more creative freedom than Disney usually offers. If that’s true, it really explains the quality. I do agree that it would be nice for him to get more projects that offer more creative freedom. Personally, I love his mermaid drawings, I’d love for him to get to create something with mermaids, ha ha.

    • Chicken McPhee

      Chris needs creative freedom. Lilo & Stitch is in a league of its own. I still gladly rewatch it time to time, which isn’t really true for most other animated disney features.

  • Mermaid Warrior

    Eh, people have already moved on from “Anaconda”.

  • Funkybat

    To assume that any problems in the development of the Croods falls primarily at Chris Sanders’ feet is shortsighted and biased. Those with longer memories most likely recall another film that came out lukewarm at best that originated with a Sanders idea; “Bolt.”

    That movie was originally titled “American Dog” and had a much more offbeat and subversive story and characters than “Bolt” ultimately ended up with. When Disney bought Pixar and brought in Lassetter to fix what was broken, he and Sanders apparently butted heads over several aspects of “American Dog” until it became clear there were irreconcilable differences. That’s how Sanders ended up at DWA doing Dragons. Maybe “American Dog” would have failed if Chris were allowed to follow through on his original vision for it, we can’t know. All we do know is Bolt is at best a middle-of-the-pack entry in the Disney feature lineup, and it was after that that the studio started to do truly great films again.

    The Croods wasn’t my favorite Chris Sanders-related film, but I thought it was better than a lot of DWA’s post-2010 films, and am disappointed that the sequel was killed. I for one wanted to see what awaited them on “the other side.”