Blinky Bill is a step back in time in more ways than one. The character stems from a 1930s book series, made famous once more in the 80s by an ABC TV series and then a feature film in 1992.
The computer animation style is more reminiscent of a film that came out a few years later, A Bug’s Life, than anything we see coming out of the top animation houses today. And the storytelling is gentler, simpler, easier.
It’s the whimsical adventure of a young koala off to find his father, an explorer lost for a year, encountering a bunch of bonkers native animals and an English cat with Koala issues.
This is an animated film out of yesteryear, not fussed with including many jokes for the parents (an opening cricket motif aside) or with frenetic editing, action, complex themes or sub-plots. In the age of Inside Out and Frozen, this is willfully small storytelling, aimed almost exclusively for a young audience.
One lesson has been learned, with seemingly every big name Australian actor jumping behind the microphone to voice a character (or two). Toni Collette, Richard Roxburgh, Barry Humphries, Deborah Mailman, Barry Otto, Robin McLeavy and David Wenham all join Ryan Kwanten as Blinky, having a bunch of fun going full ocker in the Blinky bushscape.
The result is a nice film – with all the positives and few negatives that entails. It takes about half an hour for the modern viewer to slow down to the film’s pace and style, but once in sync, younger audiences especially will have fun.
While Pixar and co. won’t be looking over their shoulders in fear, Blinky Bill is an Australian film to be proud of and to happily sit the youngest kid in front of.
‘Blinky Bill the Movie’ Movie Times
Need Other Pleasant Kids Films? You Should Try: Ernest & Celestine, Winnie the Pooh (2011), Arrietty