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The magic pudding

Threat advisory: Elevated - Significant risk of entertaining activities

Movie propaganda

Always running away but never running out!

Bunyip Bluegum (Geoffrey Rush), an accomplished young koala leaves home in search of his lost parents. He joins retired sailor Bill Barnacle (Hugo Weaving), and his penguin friend Sam Sawnoff (Sam Neill), and becomes a member of the Pudding Owners Society. This trio travels the country singing, feasting and watching over their walking, talking magic pudding, Albert (John Cleese). With bad manners and a desperate need to be eaten at every sitting, Albert is always freshly baked, no matter how many slices have been eaten from him.

Also starring Mary Coustas, Jack Thompson, Greg Carroll, Dave Gibson and Toni Collette. Based on the children's story book by Norman Lindsay.

Cinematic intelligence sources

Intelligence analyst

Special Agent Matti

Theatrical report

A slice of Aussie heaven.

Remember the good old days when men were men and no-one batted an eye at having a close personal relationship with a penguin? Ah, yes, here they are, up on the big screen in all their two-dimensional glory. Just in time for the pre-Christmas holidays.

As far as kid's flicks go at the latter end of the 20th century, this one has some interesting grit. The hero of the story, Alfred, is an obnoxious brat. His protectors are decent blokes (and birds) but not overly endowed with boring things like common sense or intelligence. The baddie is a vegetarian verging on carnivorism. The hangers-on have no redeeming qualities at all. The issues of property, possession, theft and greed are explored in depth, with no character coming out of it all unscathed. Even Bunyip's middle class values come in for a slagging when he is unable to defeat the baddie.

There are some songs (with dances) and lots of good, Aussie settings that do no end of good toward resisting cultural imperialism from the USA. The only external influence is John's English accent. He's as good a choice for a magic pudding as any but I wonder why a foreigner was used at all (or is it part of the book)? It couldn't be cultural cringe, could it?

Feel free to take the nippers along to see The magic pudding at any time during the festive season. Their minds and your nerves deserve it.

After all, how much can a koala bear?

Media intelligence (DVD)

  • The baking of documentary
  • Song selection
  • Sink or swim game
  • DVD-ROM web sites

Security censorship classification

G

Surveillance time

81 minutes (1:21 hours)

Not for public release in Australia before date

DVD retail: 11 April 2001
VHS retail: 14 May 2001

Cinema surveillance images

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