Everone’s favourite Nestrians and Grymps have returned in Two by Two: Overboard! This sequel to the 2015 animated adventure Two by Two follows Finny and Leah as they try and get back on board Noah’s ark after falling overboard. On top of this, it seems their parents are having trouble trying to keep all hell from breaking loose between the herbivores and carnivores as food supplies are running dangerously low.
Right so let’s address the nestrian and grymp in the room
I just gave a brief synopsis of Two by Two: Overboard! However if like me you never saw the first film, Two by Two you will be coming into this particular adventure quite confused. So let’s start at the beginning. There is an ark (yes that ark), Noah is missing (yes that Noah), all the animals are trying to survive and two pairs of fictional creatures (the good-natured Nestrians Dave and Finny and the tough Glymps Leah and her mom Hazel) are trying to keep everything afloat.
One day Leah and Finny are playing and they are accidentally flung overboard. With them goes the remainder of the supplies for the animals. Terrified for their respective children Dave and Hazel try to find them while trying to keep everyone onboard the ark from going into a complete meltdown with the prospect of starvation on the horizon.
Thankfully Leah and Finny happen across an island and from there the adventure really kicks off.
Two by Two: Overboard! an animated film of a strange colour
Two by Two: Overboard! is a strange film. Since I was coming in blind I had no attachment to any of these characters. However, I found myself quickly growing worried for them due to their plight and how Dave and Hazel were trying to handle the whole situation. Though they are not a traditional family, clearly the trials they have faced to get here have formed an unbreakable bond.
You can see from the opening of the film, Dave is more straight-laced and tries to figure things out in an accommodating fashion while Hazel is no fuss and tries to see everything through with a more pragmatic attitude. This is reflected in their children. You can tell that both Leah and Finny are the younger selves of their respective parents. Finny is worrisome and doesn’t try to get into trouble but goes along with the far more assertive and adventurous Leah.
Both dynamics are engaging and I enjoyed watching where both pairs went over the course of the film, even if the film was somewhat unoriginal. It won’t win any awards for storytelling.
Leaks in the ark
It also won’t win any for animation. Some of the designs, the Nestrians with their almost alien anteater shape and the Glymps with their hyper-stylised wolf form, in particular, are grand but the normal animals are average at best. The most work put into the film is when our heroes land on the island where a strange colony resides and it is quite well done but when you compare it to other animations this year it doesn’t hold a candle.
There is also a lack of a decent score. It felt like more like a poorly produced Saturday morning cartoon from the 80s than a 2020 animated feature film. It’s a real shame because with the right score a lot of the elements of Two by Two: Overboard! would have been elevated in their emotional resonance.
When all is said and done though I came away from Two by Two: Overboard! with a smile on my face. The simple reason is it is an entertaining if imperfect film. And most importantly of all, it will engage it’s chosen audience, children. With the bright colours, pitch-perfect comedy and engaging characters it’s a film that will keep the little ones engaged for the 96 minutes of runtime.
Stay tuned to Scannain for more news, review and interviews.