By Ed Sum
(The Vintage Tempest)
Available to view on Netflix
Extinct is an odd animated film with an unusual history. It’s clearly made for a Chinese audience in mind and it doesn’t always acknowledge it. This movie written by Joel Cohen, John Frink, and Rob LaZebnik (best known for their work on The Simpsons) doesn’t translate over well. I imagine the plan was that, should this movie be successful, it’d launch a merchandise empire of oddball shaped critters.
This film first debuted in the UK, went to Russia and it took the long route to making it back to the Americas. Its like these doughnut shaped animals don’t want to be found, and nor do they want the love from the country that can help this movie survive. Instead, it’s on Netflix.
These flummels are doomed to go extinct. The reason is simply due to where they live, which is an island near an active volcano and if they are to keep on living, Charles Darwin better be nearby! These critters need his help, and with no Noah around in his Ark, we can safely know they’ve been around for some time before a volcano threatens the entire island species.
Ed (Adam Devine) and Op (Rachel Bloom) are two doughnut shaped critters who travel to the future via flower-power. Where they end up, in Shanghai, China, is unusual. After learning about their their fate, these runts have to somehow fix the timeline and alter the past.
This film won’t win awards as it’s rather uninspired at times. We don’t have enough of an introduction to explain why this species is important. At other times, the conflict is nowhere in the same level as the Ice Age movies concerning survival of this species. The tone feels ripped out of Angry Birds the Movie, and as with both films, the heroes have to make gain allies to deal with the threat.
Unfortunately, there’s no anthropomorphic avengers to really save this film from mediocrity. Technically, there sort of is, but to realize this team’s potential would mean them getting their own movie. This sadly isn’t likely to happen unless kids everywhere wants to make it so. Yes, there’s no merchandise to cuddle, and even then, most people may accidentally think of them as that sweet dessert and eat them up.
2 Stars out of 5