Blinky Bill the Movie

Animation with an ocker accent.

An intrepid young koala (voiced by True Blood‘s Ryan Kwanten) sets off across the Outback in search of his missing adventurer father in Blinky Bill the Movie, a boisterous Australian animated movie based on Dorothy Wall’s celebrated 1930s children’s books, already the inspiration for a successful eco-conscious 1992 movie and spin-off TV series.

Along the way, he picks up a pair of travelling companions – a timid zoo-raised koala (Robin McLeavy) and a jittery lizard (David Wenham) – and incurs the enmity of a vicious feral cat (Rufus Sewell, giving the villain the obligatory English accent).

The animation is a tad on the bland side. But the characters have a larrikin Aussie brashness that makes the film stand out. Listen out for Australian icons Barry Humphries and Toni Collette among the supporting cast, and for some timely digs at national insularity and intolerance.

Certificate U. Runtime 87 mins. Directors Deane Taylor, Noel Clearly, Alexs Stadermann, Alex Weight

Blinky Bill the Movie debuts on Sky Cinema Premiere on Monday 28 August. Available on DVD from Sony Pictures Home Entertainment.