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Blinky Bill: The Movie - Film Review

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Published September 6th 2015
Adventurers do not give up or break their promises
Blinky Bill theatrical release poster

Blinky Bill can be said to be a distinct Australian icon, having been around since the 1930s. Originally a character from a series of books written by Australian author Dorothy Wall, Blinky has inspired two television series and one feature film prior to Blinky Bill: The Movie, which premiers on September 24. It will be followed by a new television series slated to air next year on the Seven Network.

Blinky Bill: The Movie features the voice cast of well-known Australian actors such as Ryan Kwanten (True Blood), Toni Collette (Little Miss Sunshine), Richard Roxburgh and Robin McLeavy. Set in the fictional town of Greenpatch, described as a sanctuary for lost animals, the film follows Blinky (Kwanten) as he embarks on a journey to the bush to locate his missing father (Roxburgh) after discovering a mysterious marker that may hint at the latter's whereabouts. Blinky receives help from a zoo koala, Nutsy (McLeavy) and a frill-necked lizard, Jacko (David Wenham), while being pursued by a vengeful feral cat (Rufus Sewell) with a personal score to settle. Other outback animals like Wombo (Barry Humphries), an eccentric wombat acquainted with Blinky's parents, as well as two emu sisters, Beryl and Cheryl (both voiced by Collette) also play a part in Blinky's quest.

The film carries subtle hints about the importance of conservation. It also reinforces important messages of how teamwork and friendship, along with resourcefulness, get the job done even when the odds are stacked against you. The notion that adventurers never give up or break their promises is virtually the central theme of the film. Blinky has always believed that his father is still alive even after the latter has been missing for a year. He is thus keen to follow the trail his father took in the hope of finding him in one piece. Despite the many odds stacked against his companions and him, Blinky eventually succeeds in locating his father, who had been held captive at a zoo after being savaged by crocodiles in a nearby canyon. It can also be said to be a coming of age tale, as Blinky helps his father escape the zoo and return to Greenpatch triumphantly. Thus, Blinky's daring exploits put him in the same league as his father, who is said to be the town's most well-known adventurer.

It would seem likely that this Australian animation would be quite a hit with younger audiences. The use of native animals and the depiction of the outback give Blinky Bill: the Movie a distinct local feel. The adventure-based story line at times seems reminiscent of the Ice Age series. This film is highly recommended for the kids who will be having their upcoming school holidays towards the end of September.

Rating: 8/10

Directed by: Deane Taylor (Blinky Bill: The Mischievous Koala), Noel Cleary, Alexs Stadermann, Alex Weight

Based on characters created by Dorothy Wall

Produced by: Jim Ballantine, Hans Bourlon, Gabrielle Joosten, Emily Price, Barbara Stephen, Gert Verhulst

Main Voice Cast: Ryan Kwanten, Robin McLeavy, David Wenham, Rufus Sewell
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