The Last Kids on Earth Book 2 is, like its predecessor, full of action, imaginative visuals and repurposed video game logic, and will entertain kids and adults alike.
Count me among the people who’re rather confused by Netflix’s distribution strategy for The Last Kids on Earth. I reviewed Book 1, which was a single feature-length episode released in September of last year, and I thought it was a pretty great version of exactly what it was trying to be. But The Last Kids On Earth Book 2 is a ten-episode series – it’s still good, mostly in exactly the same ways, and being divided up into half-hour chunks really suits the material. I’m just wondering why the first Book wasn’t structured like this, or why the second wasn’t feature-length like that one, and I’ve been at home in isolation too long, haven’t I?
No matter. To refresh: Jack Sullivan (Nick Wolfhard) is a 13-year-old kid with a gang of mates surviving a monster (and now zombie) apocalypse mostly by repurposing the aesthetics and logic of video games and genre classics. The game stuff is particularly obvious – the plot of Book 2 largely revolves around a bestiary, for crying out loud – but is done in a way that is something of a treat for those who’ll spot the references.
I made no secret of it in my previous write-up about this show and won’t do so in my appraisal of The Last Kids on Earth Book 2 – this is a very good version of an energetic kid-focused animated adventure. It’s visually inventive, the monster designs are great, it’s pacey and uncomplicated and jam-packed with ideas that’re fun to spot and play along with. This sophomore outing, which adapts the second in Max Brallier’s same-named New York Times bestselling book series, is roughly analogous in terms of quality but really suits its ten twenty-ish-minute episodes. The visuals courtesy of Atomic Cartoons are consistently enjoyable and the all-star voice cast, including Rosario Dawson, Bruce Campbell, Keith David, and Mark Hamill, all impress.
In times like these, fun-for-all-the-family entertainment is at a premium, and any show that’ll get the kids off your back for a while is a welcome one. Luckily any adults with even remotely dorky interests will find themselves watching along with the nippers here – and perhaps even getting more out of the show than they do.
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