Dot and the Kangaroo
|Dot and the Kangaroo|
|Illustrator||Frank P. Mahoney|
|Publisher||Angus and Robertson|
|Media type||Print (Hardback and Paperback)|
Dot and the Kangaroo, written in 1899, is a children's book by Ethel C. Pedley about a little girl named Dot who gets lost in the Australian outback and is eventually befriended by a kangaroo and several other marsupials. The book was adapted into a stage production in 1924 and a film in 1977.
A 5-year-old girl named Dot is lost in the outback after chasing a hare into the wood and losing sight of her home. She is approached by a red kangaroo who gives her some berries to eat. Upon eating the berries, Dot is able to understand the language of all animals, and she tells the kangaroo her plight. The kangaroo, who has lost her own joey, decides to help little Dot despite her own fear of humans. The book is filled with criticism on negative human interference in the wild in 1884.
|Dot and the Kangaroo|
|Directed by||Yoram Gross|
|Produced by||Yoram Gross|
|Written by||Yoram Gross
|Based on||novel by Ethel C. Pedley|
|Music by||Bob Young
Marion Von Alderstein
|Studio||Yoram Gross Films|
|Distributed by||Hoyts (theatrical)
Hen's Tooth Video
Family Home Entertainment
|Release dates||15 December 1977|
|Running time||86 mins|
The book was adapted into a film in 1977 which featured a combination of animation and live-action.
Yoram and Sandra Gross wanted to make an Australian animated feature for the world market. They read a series of books before deciding on Dot and the Kangaroo. Two thirds of the budget was provided by the Australian Film Commission.
The main character, Dot, was voiced by Barbara Frawley. The film also featured Spike Milligan as the voice of Platypus. The movie featured an original soundtrack including several lyrical melodies composed by Bob Young, John Palmer and Marion Von Alderstein. The movie backdrop was filmed on location in and around the Jenolan Caves of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia. Although the film uses many of the same elements as other animated children's musicals involving animals, such as many of the Disney classics from the United States, the film is essentially Australian in its use of icons and accents. It also references Indigenous Australian culture in some scenes which depict animation of cave paintings and aboriginal dancing.
The film was a success, being screened around the world and returning its cost within three years. It allowed Yoram Gross to enlarge his production company and market his family films in the United States. Additionally, the film's use of animation set against photographic backgrounds established the style for many of his later films.
Lyrics by John Palmer:
- "Quark Ducks"
- "The Bunyip (Bunyip Moon)"
- "Platypus Duet"
- "Click-ity Click"
- "In The Kangaroo Pouch"
Lyrics by Marion Von Alderstein
Additional lyrics by Bob Young.
Recorded by Maurie Wilmore.
The complete series of films are as follows:
- 1977 – Dot and the Kangaroo
- 1981 – Around the World with Dot
- 1983 – Dot and the Bunny
- 1985 – Dot and the Koala
- 1986 – Dot and Keeto
- 1986 – Dot and the Whale
- 1987 – Dot and the Smugglers
- 1987 – Dot Goes to Hollywood
- 1994 – Dot in Space
A DVD version of the film was released on 30 October 2001. In the 1980s, the first 7 films were released on video in the United States, the first three by CBS/Fox Video and the next four by Family Home Entertainment (possibly the only Australian cartoons to be released on home video by the company). In Australia there is a complete series DVD set of all the Dot films.
- Giannalberto Bendazzi, Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation, Indiana university Press, ISBN 0-253-20937-4
- Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 320
- Rick Thompson, The Oxford Companion to Australian Film, 1999, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-553797-1
- Antoinette Starkiewicz, "Yoram Gross", Cinema Papers, August 1984 p338
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Dot and the Kangaroo.|
|Wikisource has original text related to this article:|
- PDF of the (public domain) text.
- Dot character page at Yoram Gross website
- Dot and the Kangaroo at Project Gutenberg (with original illustrations)
- Dot and the Kangaroo at the Internet Movie Database
- Dot and the Kangaroo at the Big Cartoon DataBase
- Dot and the Kangaroo at Oz Movies