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artisanal film reviews | by maryann johanson

Two by Two: Ooops… The Ark Has Gone (aka Two by Two: God’s Little Creatures, aka All Creatures Big and Small) movie review: global apocalypse, you know, for kids

Two by Two Ooops! Noah Is Gone... All Creatures Big and Small red light

This spectacularly ill-conceived movie is what happens when a cheap ripoff cannot even rise to the level of crass Hollywood junk.
I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

The story of Noah’s ark is rather bizarre in its original incarnation, but what this cheap European animated film does with it is almost beyond comprehension. And not in a good way.

Not everyone is gonna get a berth on the ark — ya gotta be on the list, like it’s a hot nightclub or something — and Nestrians Dave (the voice of Dermot Magennis) and his son, Finny (the voice of Callum Maloney), don’t rate. What the heck are Nestrians? Imagine stuffed carnival prizes designed by a kindergartner come to annoying life. (Finny, who has no fins, is constantly threatening to hug anyone who will stand still. This is meant to be cute. But he makes even other characters onscreen with him want to kill him.) They are not denied rescue because they are not a mating pair but for a reason that will eventually be revealed as, at best, the result of petty cruelty (though this is the Old Testament, after all, which isn’t known for its kindness). Another nonmating pair, catlike Grymps Hazel (the voice of Tara Flynn) and Leah (the voice of Ava Connolly), are entitled to rescue; the fact that they are mother and daughter may account for the fact that there are no longer any Grymps in the world. Anyway, Finny and Leah get left behind when the ark launches, because shenanigans, and Dave and Hazel have to rescue them. (“Dave”? “Dave”? Maybe he comes from “Kansas”… which is also mentioned here. *facepalm*)

This spectacularly ill-conceived movie is a sort of low-rent ripoff of the Ice Age flicks, which no one should be copying in the first place. This is what happens when a movie cannot even rise to the level of crass Hollywood junk. Two by Two (aka All Creatures Big and Small) would be atrocious for the cringe-inducing banality of its sledgehammer-driven motifs about fitting in, friendship, and family alone. But it also features a strained running joke about the ark as a cruise ship, the invention of a whole new kind of fart, a bleak mass-extinction existentialism completely inappropriate in a children’s movie (“Maybe we’re not destined to survive this deluge…”), and some ill-fitting videogame metaphors. (Some people will likely also be displeased to discover that there isn’t a single mention of God or why the world is flooding.)

But the absolute worst, the thing that made me actually wince every time someone said it? Finny and Leah meet another animal who was also turned away from the ark, a large blobby Studio Ghibli-esque creature named — *wince* — Obesey. The name gets ineffably more horrid each time it is uttered, and it’s perfectly emblematic ofTwo by Two’s consummate tone-deafness.


See also my #WhereAreTheWomen rating of Two by Two: Ooops… The Ark Has Gone (aka Two by Two: God’s Little Creatures, aka All Creatures Big and Small) for its representation of girls and women.


red light 1 star

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Two by Two: Ooops... The Ark Has Gone (aka Two by Two: God’s Little Creatures, aka All Creatures Big and Small) (2015)
US/Can release: direct to DVD
UK/Ire release: May 01 2015

MPAA: rated G
BBFC: rated U (mild threat, comic violence, rude humour)

viewed at a public multiplex screening

official site | IMDb
more reviews: Movie Review Query Engine | Rotten Tomatoes

If you’re tempted to post a comment that resembles anything on the film review comment bingo card, you might want to reconsider.

  • RogerBW

    OK, so it’s not the “like Ice Age… but Christian” that I’d expected from the setup. How weird.

  • But not really Christian. There’s no religion in this at all.

  • Timber Humphrey

    ouch! that was harsh! i mean, granted. this movie wasn’t really good, but it wasn’t as terrible as you made it out to be. i actually found a few entertaining moments in the movie, which saves it from me calling it “god awful”

  • Danielm80

    If you click over to the Rotten Tomatoes site, ten critics and 652 audience members reviewed the movie. Some of them liked it, some of them didn’t. If you want, you can post your own review: “Not god awful.” None of that will get MaryAnn to change her opinion of the movie, and none of it makes her review “wrong.” That’s why there’s more than one critic on the Internet, so people can search around for a reviewer they trust. If you describe a few things you liked about the film–beyond saying that it had “a few entertaining moments”–maybe some people will think about your opinion when they’re considering whether or not to see the movie.

  • Why don’t you tell us what was not terrible and entertaining about it?

  • Timber Humphrey

    when the hell did i ever say her review was wrong? i respect the woman’s opinion, but all i said was that maybe she was a little bit too harsh. granted, the movie’s still not that good

  • Timber Humphrey

    well, the animation was surprisingly really good, some of the jokes caught me off guard and made me laugh and there were a few scenes that were pretty entertaining.

  • criticalclive

    You sound very angry Mary. Whether it is to please your Readers or get more likes please keep in mind as a critic all you do is talk. Trashing work other sweated to produced e. Beliefs other people cherish. Halfway your angry rant I stopped reading because it didn’t make sense how much anger you put to a movie rated average. Sure its your opinion but there to be a limit to trash talk. If you want to stand out, speak for you not your readers. Then those who associate with you shall follow suit

  • Danielm80

    I can understand why you might not like her angry tone (though, to me, she sounded much more bemused than outraged). What I can’t understand is why you think the review doesn’t represent her actual opinion. You may have liked the movie better than she did, but when I read her review, I have to conclude that she really, genuinely hated it. She wouldn’t be the only one. And when you suggest that she’s lying about her opinion to get “likes,” or to appeal to some hypothetical angry readers (which would be very unprofessional of her), that’s more insulting than anything she said about the film.

  • criticalclive

    I believe if she was speaking out of her own opinion, certain things would have shown.
    For one since she seems to be very opinionated when watching a movie, she would dramatized how much she loved at least one scene or idea in the movie as she did on the opossite side. I understand she didn’t like the idea but something had to stand out as good. This review was one sided.
    Secondly as an upcoming writter, i love c ts her opinion and I have no right to tell her what to write, and s its their movie you have no right to tell them what to do with it.

  • Danielm80

    For one since she seems to be very opinionated when watching a movie, she would dramatized how much she loved at least one scene or idea in the movie as she did on the opossite side. I understand she didn’t like the idea but something had to stand out as good. This review was one sided.

    This is not a presidential debate. There’s no “equal time” rule. If she didn’t like anything in the movie enough to praise it, she’s not required to search for some tiny flicker of quality, just to make the review seem balanced. Her job isn’t to be balanced. Her job is to be honest.

    Secondly as an upcoming writter, i love creativity when i see it. The movie gwts a middle ground for religion and science. Evolution and the flood. Sincerely cant it get some credit for that?

    You think she’s obligated to praise the movie because it isn’t religious propaganda? That’s a pretty low bar to set.

    Lastly its her opinion and I have no right to tell her what to write…

    But you are telling her what to write. You’re telling her to sound less angry, and you’re telling her she needs to “dramatized [sic] how much she loved at least one scene or idea in the movie.”

    …and s its their movie you have no right to tell them what to do with it.

    She’s not telling them how to construct a movie. She’s explaining why she didn’t enjoy the movie they made. That’s what critics do. Or are you suggesting that no one should ever make negative comments about a film, because they might hurt someone’s feelings—or sound angry?

    (the opposite is true, people shall always dictate what you write and critic what you criticise )

    I honestly have no idea what you’re trying to say here.

  • There is no limit to trash talk, actually. And *I* do not rate this movie as “average.”

  • she seems to be very opinionated when watching a movie

    You might be on to something here…

    The movie gwts a middle ground for religion and science. Evolution and the flood. Sincerely cant it get some credit for that?

    Hahahahahaha. No. There is no “middle ground” here.

    its their movie you have no right to tell them what to do with it

    Why are you reading film criticism if you don’t understand its purpose?

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