Extinct parents guide

Extinct Parent Guide

After getting off to a great start, this film goes downhill in the third act.

Overall B

Netflix: In this animated feature, two 19th century creatures accidentally time travel from the Galapagos Islands to 21st century Shanghai, only to learn that all flummels are now extinct. Can they turn back time and save their species?

Release date November 19, 2021

Violence B
Sexual Content A
Profanity A
Substance Use A-

Why is Extinct rated TV-PG? The MPAA rated Extinct TV-PG

Run Time: 84 minutes

Parent Movie Review

It’s 1835 and a community of donut-shaped creatures called Flummels live on a small island in the Galapagos. Siblings Op (Rachel Bloom) and Ed (Adam Devine) struggle to fit in with the rest of the Flummels and are often excluded from activities. While exploring an unknown part of the island, Op and Ed accidently time travel to modern day Shanghai, where they learn that Flummels are doomed to extinction. Determined to save their species, the pair travel through time (again) with the help of a small dog named Clarance (Ken Jeong) and a group of extinct animals.

This movie has a great premise. The time travel mechanism is kind of convoluted and makes no sense if you put any thought into it, but I’m willing to forgive that because the idea of a species trying to save itself from extinction is a fun one. Unfortunately, this is a case of a good idea with questionable execution. The first half or so of the runtime is surprisingly good: an above average children’s flick with some good jokes and interesting ideas. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stay that way. You can actually pinpoint the moment the writers ran out of ideas, right around the beginning of the third act. There’s a twist that comes out of nowhere and everything goes downhill from there. It’s too bad because, as I said, it started strong.

The voice actors are all fantastic, and the animation, though not as high quality as more expensive films, is well designed and consistent. I laughed far more than I expected, and my son even more so. There’s a lot going for this production; it’s just too bad the writers couldn’t stick the landing. Young children probably won’t notice, since they are blissfully ignorant of story structure, but adults can expect to be thoroughly disappointed. Although the story falls apart, the writers did still manage to get some positive messages across. Op learns to be more considerate of others and think before she acts. Ed learns to not worry so much about what other people think, and all the characters learn to work together and be more accepting.

As far as content is concerned, Extinct is fairly typical for the genre. There’s lots of slapstick shenanigans involving falls and hits that don’t leave a scratch, and a plot point revolving around explosives. It’s no worse than you’d see in most animated features. There is a sight gag involving a flask, though I wonder how many children will pick up on the alcohol implication. My son sure didn’t; he just thought it was hilarious. The word “booby” is also said repeatedly, as a joke about the species the Blue Footed Booby. All things considered, I think Extinct is worth a watch, at least for the exceptional first half, though parents have my permission to zone out after that.

Directed by David Silverman, Raymond S Persi. Starring Rachel Bloom, Adam Devine, Ken Jeong, Zazie Beetz. Running time: 84 minutes. Theatrical release November 19, 2021. Updated

Watch the trailer for Extinct

Rating & Content Info

Why is Extinct rated TV-PG? Extinct is rated TV-PG by the MPAA

Violence: There is slapstick violence including lots of falls with no real injuries. A man throws a spear at some creatures. Dynamite is used to blow up the entrance of a cave. There is a plot point involving a bomb. Characters throw rocks at each other.
Sexual Content: Two creatures kiss.
Profanity: There are some mild insults such as “stupid” and “idiot” and a single use of a term of deity. The word “booby” is said repeatedly as a joke about the Blue Footed Booby (a real bird).
Alcohol / Drug Use: As a gag, a sailor chugs from a flask after seeing something unbelievable.

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Extinct Parents' Guide

How do Op’s actions affect others, especially her brother? What does she learn about thinking before she acts? How can we be more aware of the consequences of our actions?

Home Video

Related home video titles:

If you want to help your kids appreciate the need to protect endangered species, Hollywood has some movies to help drive that message home. Dr. Seuss’ The Lorax tells the sad story of the demise of the Truffula trees, harvested to extinction to make “thneeds that nobody needs”. In Hoot, a group of friends band together to protect the habitat of endangered owls when a pancake franchise wants to build on the site. Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home is geared at teens and adults and provides a facetious warning about the future risks of extinction.