An Australian settler girl gets lost in the outback, but she is befriended by a kangaroo who gives her a ride in her pouch as they search for the girl's home. Aiding the pair are musically gifted koalas, platypuses, and kookaburras in this 72-minute film based on Ethel Pedley's 1899 children's book, with animated humans and animals superimposed upon a live background. Children will be touched by the relationship between the child and her marsupial protector, who has lost her own joey. But they may also be frightened by the mythical bunyip (a threatening animal-bird hybrid) or the heroines' violent confrontation with snarling dingoes. Finally, children who are used to happy endings will be mystified that the kangaroo never finds her own baby, and Dot, although returned home, sobs when separated from her beloved kangaroo. The film movingly dissolves from a weeping Dot to footage of real kangaroos bounding through the Australian bush. Ages 3 to 8. --Kimberly Heinrichs
Two childhood friends, a New York hairstylist and a wanna-be musician, get mixed-up with the mob and are forced to deliver $50,000 to Australia, but things go all wrong when the money is lost to a wild kangaroo.
Wake in Fright is the story of John Grant, a bonded teacher who arrives in the rough outback mining town of Bundanyabba planning to stay overnight before catching the plane to Sydney, but as one night stretches into several he plunges headlong into his own destruction.