Two By Two (2 stars)

Two By Two

Predictable and derivative animation centred around Noah's Ark

As Lady Gaga once so gloriously put it, 'Put your paws up, cos you were born this way.' A sentiment at the core of this Old Testament-inspired, cliché-ridden animated feature that nonetheless delivers a positive message about the beauty of diversity, acceptance and teamwork. It's a tale told from the point-of-view of an array of colourful animals as they embark on a voyage in Noah’s Ark in order to save themselves from the great flood. Unfortunately, some don’t make the cut.

At the centre of the story – co-directed by newcomer Sean McCormack and Toby Genkel – are a couple of adorable nomadic creatures called nestrians who, when refused entry to the ark, come up with a cunning plan to sneak aboard. However, when nestrian child Finny (voiced by Callum Maloney) goes off exploring with companion Leah (Ava Connolly) they wind up falling overboard. We follow their perilous journey back to the Ark, along with their parents’ attempts to find them.

The narrative is a bit too similar to Finding Nemo and, sadly, it’s missing the satire, charismatic voice-actors and impressive visuals of a Pixar production. There’s also little imagination in terms of how the characters evolve, or in fact what they are called. For example, a plus-sized creature is branded with the horrible moniker Obesey. However, the nestrians are delightful creations whose homemaking abilities and sunny disposition add a sprinkle of magic. In addition, a scene which sees a lion fighting with one of the cat-like grymps pleasingly recalls the motions of a silent movie.

Two by Two delivers a few decent jokes and should be enough to keep very young children amused, but there’s nothing truly original in its telling and its extreme predictability may prove painfully testing to parents.

General release from Fri 1 May.

Two by Two

  • 2 stars
  • 2015
  • Germany / Belgium / Luxembourg / Ireland
  • 1h 25min
  • U
  • Directed by: Toby Genkel, Sean McCormack
  • Cast: Callum Maloney, Dermot Magennis, Ava Connolly, Tara Flynn
  • UK release: 1 May 2015

When the world's animals board Noah's ark to escape from the flood, two junior creatures fall overboard and must find their way back to the ship. The extremely predictable story is a bit too similar to Finding Nemo and there's none of the wit, voice-over wizardry or impressive visuals of a Pixar production.