Just when she's about to lose hope, a red kangaroo arrives. The kangaroo gives Dot a root to eat, and when she eats it, she is able to understand the language of all animals. That barrier overcome, Dot tells the kangaroo her sad story. The kangaroo tells Dot that she has also recently suffered a loss, when she lost her baby joey while escaping from human hunters. Feeling maternal and sympathetic, the kangaroo decides to help Dot find her lost way.A warm relationship forms between Dot and the kangaroo as they travel through the outback and meet many animals while searching for Dot's way home.
Australia has my childhood, and I spent the first few years of my life watching this movie repeatedly on video. The video was lost a little while after that, and it was only recently that I got the chance to watch it again. Boy, this movie has aged, and not in a good way. For people whose standards are defined by Disney, this movie features an alarming usage of recycled animation and short-cuts. The movie tends to be known for its unique look, featuring animated characters on live-action backgrounds that were filmed in the real Australian outback. It's a surreal combination in places, but for me, it helped to create the right atmosphere needed for a story that follows a lost little girl.It's a very simple story and not that much actually happens since massive amounts of on-screen time is filled up with musical numbers by random animals that Dot and the kangaroo cross paths with in the woods. Though the songs are catchy, I think they're probably more appreciated by younger viewers. I know Iappreciated it more when I was a kid, but now I find myself fast-forwarding through a lot of scenes.Still, what charmed me as a child continues to charm me now. I'm referring to the heartbreaking relationship between Dot and the kangaroo, the core of the film itself. The kangaroo doesn't have to help Dot, because like all the other animals in this world she deeply fears humans, but the kangaroo's traumatic loss of her own joey (who may or may not still be alive) makes her the perfect surrogate mother. Her determination to protect Dot is touching and at times scary. Mothers in the wild are willing to do anything to protect their young, which is what the kangaroo displays here."I'll never leave a child alone again."He movie is based on the book by Ethel C. Pedley, and at times this film takes chunks of dialogue directly from the pages. It definitely talks about the same environmental issues, especially about how human intervention in the wild has caused more harm than good.I have to say, this movie has effected me on a personal level more than any other movie or show I've seen in my childhood. The bittersweet ending is unmatched in my personal memory. As is my fear of the bunyip. The bunyip scene terrified the crap out of me as a child, and I'm ashamed to confess that I still can't bear to watch that scene now, even the sound on mute. Aboriginese ghosts are scary for a three-year-old kid, okay.Dot and the Kangaroo was followed by SIX sequels, an achievement that the Land Before Time franchise would follow and surpass years later. I've only seen the first two sequels, Around the World with Dot andDot and the Bunny. I haven't seen the other sequels so I can't say, but these two sequels mostly managed to retain the feel of the first film.