A few years back, on a visit to Dublin, I spotted in a bookstore Ricky Gervais’ series of children’s books, called Flanimals. Illustrated by Rob Steen, it’s about 50 species of animals that are so ugly that they’re actually cute. I was pretty excited about finding the books; they weren’t available in the United States at the time. But I read them in the bookstore (they’re children’s books; they’re short) and came to the conclusion that, besides the illustrations, they were really pretty horrible books. I mean: Really not very good. Flat and uninteresting, which is probably why they weren’t published in the United States at the time (it was before the American version of “The Office.”)
Nevertheless, Illumination Entertainment will create a 3D animated movie based on the characters, which will be exec-produced by Gervais, who will also provide the voice of one of the Flanimals. According to Variety, Gervais’ character is a pudgy, perspiring purple creature, who goes on a mission to change the world. “It will be great to play a short, fat, sweaty loser for a change,” Gervais said. “A real stretch.” The script will be written by Matt Selman (“The Simpsons”).