Blinky Bill dreams of leaving the little town of Green Patch & following in his missing father’s footsteps. When Blinky discovers a mysterious marker that hints at his Dad’s whereabouts, he embarks on an exciting journey. Pursued relentlessly by a vengeful Cat who has a personal score to settle, Blinky and his friends must work together if they ever want to survive the rugged Australian landscape and find Blinky’s father!
Blinky Bill is set to make his cinematic return after a long hiatus from screens, it also seems that the koala will be making his return to small screens with a new TV series set for 2016. The new Blinky Bill film has assembled quite a talented cast to champion his return, with most of the characters portrayed by easily recognisable stars, this is far from a cheap attempt to relaunch the character.
Kwanten makes for a good Blinky, enthusiastic and adventurous while Toni Collette gives a funny performance as some eccentric Emu’s. The wider cast are having a good time, with everyone seemingly thrilled to bring back some awareness to the little aussie icon.
The classic character has definitely been tweaked more than slightly for this reincarnation, with a leaning towards adventurous rather than mischievousness, and the back story has been shifted around quite a bit to serve this story. Purists and fans of the original tale will likely feel a bit disappointed with the substantial changes that reshape this story.
Overall there’s fairly minimal direct conflict on display here – with the film more centred on his journey to find his Dad while running into some spots of trouble along the way. It’s pretty clever in engaging kids without too many adversarial situations, though the environmental message that’s previously been quite a strong association with Blinky has been diluted here.
Focusing on the kids as the audience, you won’t find much in the way of grown up comedic sensibilities snuck in anywhere, rather than balancing a multi-layered approach, it’s definitely kid-orientated and encouraging of sound family values.
The animation is sharp and colourful, more reminiscent of contemporary animated films than the older style Blinky Bill productions. Story-wise things do tend to drag on a little too long, with a few opportunities to wrap up earlier, Blinky overstays his welcome slightly when a few edits could have tightened things.
This film is a good option for entertaining young kids, it lacks the sophistication of something targeting both kids and adults, but as a matinee adventure it delivers a fun film and the aussie setting is a welcome charm and something we should see more of. Just don’t expect classic Blinky.
I’m giving it 6 out of 10 stars, you can catch him in cinemas from September 17th or September 24th depending on your location, for those in WA it’s the 24th.