Kids’ tale from the out­back

BLINKY BILL THE MOVIE

The Irish Times - Friday - The Ticket - - FILM REVIEWS - TARA BRADY

Di­rected by Deane Tay­lor. Fea­tur­ing Ryan Kwan­ten, Ru­fus Sewell, Toni Col­lette, David Wen­ham, Deb­o­rah Mail­man, Richard Roxburgh, Robin McLeavy, Barry Otto, Barry Humphries. Cert G, gen re­lease, 87mins

Blinky Bill is a smart-mouthed koala cre­ated in the early 1930s by the Aus­tralian chil­dren’s au­thor and il­lus­tra­tor Dorothy Wall.

The naughty mar­su­pial has al­ready en­joyed al­most a cen­tury of celebrity: he joined the Aus­tralian army as a mas­cot in a 1940 ad­ven­ture, he brought out a fam­ily cook­book in 1977, graced a postage stamp in 1985, and was adopted as a tal­is­man by the Aus­tralian Repub­li­can Move­ment in 1993. (Para­dox­i­cally, a 1937 comic strip fea­tur­ing the mar­su­pial saw Blinky leave his na­tive Oz to at­tend the coro­na­tion of King Ge­orge VI and Queen El­iz­a­beth.)

This new CG-an­i­mated fea­ture, fol­low­ing on from 1992’s Blinky Bill: The Mis­chie

vous Koala, marks Blinky’s sec­ond crack at the moviev­erse and sees the lit­tle chap ven­ture off in search of his long-lost ex­plorer dad. Along the way he be­friends Nutsy, a koala who

was raised in cap­tiv­ity, two ec­cen­tric emus (both voiced by Toni Col­lette), a wise-crack­ing lizard and one weird wom­bat (Barry Humphries).

In­evitably, our high-spir­ited hero makes some en­e­mies, too, no­tably a power-mad goanna and – watch out, Blinky; he’s a pomme ie a Bri­tisher – Sir Claude, a wild (and some­how knighted) cat played by Ru­fus Sewell.

Ruder than Pooh Bear but sweeter than Den­nis the Me­nace, Blinky loves his mum and his var­i­ous chums. He may prove rather too quaint for older chil­dren, but younger ones will likely en­joy the high jinks and Day Glo colour­ing.

Ac­com­pa­ny­ing adults may no­tice that the plot­ting could be tighter and the an­i­ma­tion could be more so­phis­ti­cated, but at 87 min­utes, Blinky at least knows when to say “Hooroo”.

Grin and bear it: na­tional Aussie trea­sure Blinky Bill

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