Dreamworks Inks First-Look Deal With ‘The Croods: A New Age’ Director Joel Crawford

Dreamworks Animation has announced a first-look development and directing deal with Joel Crawford, who directed its recent feature The Croods: A New Age. The deal cements a relationship between Crawford and the studio that stretches back more than a decade.

Joining Dreamworks in 2006, Crawford cut his teeth as a story artist on Trolls, Shrek Ever After, Rise of The Guardians, the Kung Fu Panda trilogy, and Bee Movie. He graduated to directing with the 2017 Christmas special Trolls Holiday Special, and made his feature directorial debut with the Croods sequel.

A Calarts grad, Crawford’s credits as a story artist outside Dreamworks include Paramount’s The Spongebob Movie: Sponge out of Water, Fox’s Alvin and the Chipmunks: Chipwrecked, Warner Bros.’s The Lego Movie 2: The Second Part, and the Nickelodeon series Avatar: The Last Airbender.


Margie Cohn, president of Dreamworks Animation, said in a statement:

I am so happy that Joel will continue to be a creative contributor to the future of Dreamworks. Joel’s relentless positivity shows up in every frame of his work, and in the way he collaborates with his crew. Whatever his next movie will be, it will certainly be beautifully crafted, brilliantly funny, and envelop the audience in warmth, because that’s what Joel does.


Crawford added:

Dreamworks has been my home for many years, and every day I am inspired by all the amazing artists that I have the great fortune to call my colleagues. I am sincerely looking forward to jumping into my next film in such a creative and collaborative environment!


The Croods: A New Age has topped the very calm North American box office for three straight weekends, grossing $24.1 million domestically, as part of its $76.3 million global take — a pretty strong performance given the circumstances. Universal is premiering the film on PVOD today, as per the terms it negotiated with exhibitors to shorten the theatrical window.

Crawford is represented by Sandy Weinberg at Summit Talent and Literary Agency.


By ALEX DUDOK DE WIT/Cartoonbrew

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