Beloved cartoon koala, Blinky Bill, has returned to the screen after ten years beating about the bush. His reappearance heralds much nostalgia from the kids of the 90s. As the star of The Adventures of Blinky Bill on the ABC (1993-1995), the ever-curious, ever-anthropomorphic Blinky and friends captivated these denim-clad tots for many Aussie morning adventures. These escapades centered, generally, around wattle, friendship, kindness and the beautiful vastness of the Australian outback.
Excitingly, much of this has been carried through to Blinky’s latest adventure, Blinky Bill the Movie. Although he now stands with three-dimensional proportions, Blinky is no less endearing, adventurous or down-right cheeky. His reincarnation is thanks to Flying Bark Productions. These creatives have established a reputation for reinventing classic Australian childrens’ story characters for contemporary youth. Their transformation of Frienberg, Frienberg and Gamble’s Tashi into a 3D television show in 2014 was particularly successful during its time on air.
With a star-studded cast and furiously driven plot, Blinky Bill the Movie is a thrilling attempt to revive an Aussie childrens’ classic. Blinky himself is voiced by Ryan Kwanten (True Blood, Summerland) while his mother sounds remarkably like, and in fact is Deborah Mailman. Richard Roxburgh (Rake, Moulin Rouge), voices Bill, father of Blinky and founder of their hometown, Green Patch.
Upon the anniversary of Bill’s year-long disappearance, Blinky takes matters of finding his father into his own paws and sets off to the Sea of White Dragons (a.k.a the desert) to locate him. Amid red dirt, psychedelic mirage sequences and making new friends, Blinky’s courage is rewarded.
But what would a childrens’ film be without a few slightly crude, slightly how-did-that-line-get-through-script-edits jokes? Parents, you will be pleasantly and entirely surprised by the laugh out loud dialogue of character Jacko the lizard, voiced by David Wenham. He is the frill-necked side-kick who lacks all coordination and courage but makes up for it entirely in sass. The energy of this film is preposterous, endearing and tangible. A fitting solute to the original Blinky Bill; “Hey, hey Blinky Bill. You’ll never find him standing still!”
Director: Deane Taylor
Running time: 1hr 33mins
Release date: 17th September
Words by Anna Saxby