Although the first Two By Two film from 2015 was almost the cartoon equivalent of a war crime, this sequel is merely annoying for the most part, and even has fleeting moments when it’s sort of OK. That said, the script is still super-derivative and the retina-searing palette should carry a health warning.
Aboard Noah’s ark, which is somehow still stuck at sea since the last film, the assembled species are getting fractious. Dave, the only surviving adult of a race of big, fluffy, psychedelically coloured creatures called the nestrians, tries to keep the peace as head chef by serving a green slop that looks like guacamole on the turn. This, unsurprisingly, satisfies neither the carnivores nor the herbivores.
Dave and his partner Hazel, a pseudo-vulpine creature that’s the last grown grymp, also struggle to raise their two offspring, a wussy boy nestrian named Finny and a bolshie female grymp called Leah. When the two kids fall off the ark in a storm, they end up discovering a desert island populated by dozens of other nestrians. But their leader, a battle-worn matriarch named Patch, is none too keen on letting the ark residents repatriate to this paradise. A pink jellyfish who talks in a high-squeak infantile voice comes to the rescue. There’s a volcano involved as well, and blue gas that comes out of the nestrian bottoms when they fart.
The crosscutting between assorted storylines is especially hectic even by the standards of this kind of film, and younger kids may struggle to keep up, but the animation is a little smoother and more comely than that of its predecessor. Meanwhile, the numerous Irish accents in this English-language version, reflecting the film’s co-production background, makes for a pleasant break from the dubbed-in American phonetics preferred by most cartoons of this nature.
• Two by Two: Overboard! is in cinemas from 23 October.