The Flummels – Extinct (2021)
Directed by: David Silverman, Raymond S. Persi | 84 minutes | animation, adventure | Dutch voice cast: Birgit Schuurman, Bo Beljaars, André Dongelmans, Joost Bouhof | Original voice cast: Adam Devine, Rachel Bloom, Ken Jeong, Zazie Beetz, Jim Jefferies, Catherine O’Hara, Reggie Watts, Henry Winkler, Alex Borstein, Benedict Wong, Julia Chan, Tom Hollander, Richard Kind, Steve Aoki, Nick Frost, Jon Lovitz, Sydney Malmberg Liu, Maria Bamford, Raymond S. Persi, Terry Gross, David Silverman, Kelly Hu, Tom Kenny, Jason Hightower, Kevin Michael Richardson, Brenden Patrick Hill
‘De Flummels’ (‘Extinct’) is an American animated film about a group of animals that still lived on the Galapagos Islands in 1835. They are fluffy, sociable and move around in a rolling manner. However, their main external feature is that they look like a donut with legs and ears. The hole in their bellies has no real obvious function, other than being funny when things get stuck in it, a mother can easily carry her child in it or you can see through it as a viewer.
Ed and his sister Op are also two Flummels, but they are a bit left out. They are not popular because they are rather clumsy. Everything they do ends in a fiasco. With the annual flower festival approaching, Ed finally hopes to connect with the rest of the group as a ‘friend in the end’, but Op unintentionally puts a stop to that. The duo is banned. Dan discovers Op a rare flower. She hopes that the discovery of this will make the other Flummels milder towards her and her brother, but things turn out slightly differently. The flower turns out to be a time travel flower and Op and Ed end up in the Shanghai of 2021.
When they have recovered from the shock, the white fluffy dog Clarance (how he got his name is a funny joke) takes the two in tow. Clarance turns out to know more about the technology behind time travel flowers – his owner invented it, but sadly passed away. When he tells Ed and Op that they will be extinct by a volcanic eruption in 2021, the two want to do everything they can to prevent that. When they accidentally lose Clarance in another era (which ends up with Ernest Shackleton’s expedition), they encounter a number of other extinct animals (a Dodo, a Tasmanian tiger, a Triceratops and a South American ungulate belonging to the Litopterna). , which help them on their way.
‘De Flummels’ is a mediocre animation film. The story is bursting at the seams with fantasy and crazy ideas and the characters are amiable enough, but the humor is mainly aimed at the little ones and even they won’t roll off their chairs laughing. There are a few fun visual jokes in there for adults (you’ll find out how Apple got its iconic logo, for example), but that’s really just one sequence of short scenes. The animation style is generic and doesn’t help the film stand out from the crowd. Still, the target audience will enjoy themselves with this and it’s nice that they get a bit of history in this way (which might plant a seed for their interest in the subject).