When I was growing up, 4.30pm on week days was reserved for one thing: watching Blinky Bill on the ABC.
The hilarious antics of the cheeky koala and his friends were a huge part of the childhood of many Australian children, but when a character like Blinky is revived, there is always that chance that the “new” version will not live up to the rose-coloured memories.
Fortunately, this animated adventure directed by Deane Taylor and featuring a who’s who of Australian acting talent is just as enthralling as the original.
Blinky Bill: The Movie sees Blinky Bill (voiced by True Blood star Ryan Kwanten) set out on a mission to find his missing father (Richard Roxburgh).
Leaving behind the safety of his home in Greenpatch, he journeys into the harsh Australian outback where he encounters a relentless enemy, as well as a menagerie of new friends including Nutsy the koala (Robin McLeavy), Wombo the wombat (Barry Humphries) and Jacko, an eccentric, sweatshirt-wearing frill-necked lizard.
As his search intensifies, Blinky’s courage is put to the test in an action-packed, imagination-fuelled adventure which proves that heroes come in all shapes and sizes.
Kwanten is thoroughly enjoyable as Blinky, and although his voice adds a new level of maturity to the koala, he perfectly captures the cheeky, adventurous spirit many adults will remember.
Toni Collette voices emu sisters Beryl and Cheryl, while David Wenham is hilarious as Jacko, a lizard with more than a few unusual personality quirks. The talented cast members – who also include Rufus Sewell, Deborah Mailman and Barry Otto – have added their own twist to their characters, and the keen-eyed will spot several subtle references to Aussie icons and landmarks.
Reloaded for a new generation, Blinky Bill the Movie will capture the hearts of young viewers, with enough tongue-in-cheek gags and cleverly crafted one-liners to keep adults entertained, too.
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