Two by Two Overboard follows mischievous animal best friends Finny and Leah as they navigate living on Noah’s Ark, with their misadventures implicating every other species during the flood.
This family-friendly sequel to the 2015 predecessor Ooops! Noah is Gone…, is a left-field approach to the biblical tale as it illustrates how the animal kingdom co-operate together while stranded on the ark. Thematically, a culture clash emerges, initially amongst the herbivores and carnivores on the Ark, but also the protectionist views of Nestrian leader Patch who is unwilling to help the animals as they find land.
Leah and Finny are instinctually different animals; Leah, a wily and hard-nosed Grymp whose predatory instincts reflects a fiercely independent attitude. This is heavily contrasted by the big-heartedness of Finny, whose fluffy disposition matches his generosity. This distinction complements their growth as they develop the maturity to take responsibility for their actions. In particular, when they stumble upon a Nestrian colony, Patch appears warm and caring, but her manipulative edge hoodwinks her followers into mis-trusting the animals from the ark as they arrive on her volcanic island. Here, both Leah and Finny muster up the strength to save the Nestrian colony and the animals from an erupting volcano. With this in mind, the film obliquely tackles moral messages of climate change and refugee treatment that never quite feels developed enough.
The computer animation appears extremely smooth and soft, which may be comforting for children to watch, but some animals, like the elephants, have almost no detail to them. Not only this, the humour is very child-like and often tedious, with recurring gags of a hippopotamus arriving late to key moments, and comically asking “what did I miss?”, while a dove in search of land attracts danger. Also, when the Nestrian colony build a statue of their leader Patch, they instal a “butt observation deck” which feels like a forced attempt at crude humour.
Two by Two Overboard is heavily targeted toward children, with charming characters and a light-hearted approach to a unique concept making for unchallenging viewing. However, its overzealous humour and simplistic animation fails to separate from many animated films before it.
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Patrick Scott is a recent graduate from Monash University with a Bachelor’s Degree in Media Communications. He is a freelance film reviewer based in Melbourne, and contributor to The Blurb.