Dot and the Kangaroo

Year: 1977
Studio: Yoram Gross Films
Director: Yoram Gross
Producer: Yoram Gross
Writer: John Palmer/Yoram Gross
Cast: Barbara Frawley, Joan Bruce, Spike Milligan

Australia's not usually at the forefront of film technology, but while Pete's Dragon and The Water Babies were twinkles in their respective filmmakers eyes, the Israel-born Yoram Gross and his film company was a children's entertainment powerhouse in Australia and would go on to produce over 20 Dot and Blinky Bill films. Dot and the Kangaroo was one of the first examples of animation and live action in the same frame.

Like most kids at the time, I had no idea the film was actually based on a book just like Blinky Bill was. Originally written in 1899, it tells the story of Dot (Frawley) who gets lost in the outback and befriends a kangaroo (Bruce) that takes care of her until she can get back home.

Encompassing themes of ecology, aboriginal culture and the fear of the wild and lost children we've seen since the days of Tarzan, it won't affect you as much if you're a grown up when you see it. But although the effects certainly won't stand up to the Pixar standards of today, it's a good example of how the charm of childhood memory can trump any moviemaking style or technology you care to mention.

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