Dot and the Kangaroo a 1977 Australian film. The book was adapted into a film in 1977 which featured a combination of animation and live-action.


Yoram and Sandra Gross wanted to make an Australian animated feature for the world market. They read a series of books before deciding on Dot and the Kangaroo. Two thirds of the budget was provided by the Australian Film Commission.[1]

The main character, Dot, was voiced by Barbara Frawley. The film also featured Spike Milligan as the voice of Platypus. The movie featured an original soundtrack including several lyrical melodies except Dreamtime by Sue Walker composed by Bob Young, John Palmer and Marion Von Alderstein. The movie backdrop was filmed on location in and around the Jenolan Caves of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia. Although the film uses many of the same elements as other animated children's musicals involving animals, such as many of the Disney classics from the United States, the film is essentially Australian in its use of icons and accents. It also references Indigenous Australian culture in some scenes which depict animation of cave paintings and aboriginal dancing.[2]


The film was a success, being screened around the world and returning its cost within three years.[3] It allowed Yoram Gross to enlarge his production company and market his family films in the United States. Additionally, the film's use of animation set against photographic backgrounds established the style for many of his later films.[4]

Soundtrack Edit

Lyrics by John Palmer:

  • "Dreamtime" - Sue Walker
  • "Quark Ducks"
  • "The Bunyip (Bunyip Moon)"
  • "Platypus Duet"
  • "Click-ity Click"
  • "In The Kangaroo Pouch"

Lyrics by Marion Von Alderstein

  • "I'm a Frog"

Additional lyrics by Bob Young.

Recorded by Maurie Wilmore.


Another eight movies in the series were made by the Yoram Gross studios by 1994. The theme behind all of the films in the Dot series is the negative impact of humanity on animal life in nature.

The complete series of films are as follows:


A DVD version of the film was released on 30 October 2001. In the 1980s, the first 7 films were released on video in the United States, the first three by CBS/Fox Video and the next four by Family Home Entertainment (possibly the only Australian cartoons to be released on home video by the company). In Australia there is a complete series DVD set of all the Dot films.

The various films were shown on The Disney Channel in the late 1980s through the 1990s.


  1. 1.0 1.1 Andrew Pike and Ross Cooper, Australian Film 1900–1977: A Guide to Feature Film Production, Melbourne: Oxford University Press, 1998, 320
  2. Rick Thompson, The Oxford Companion to Australian Film, 1999, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-553797-1
  3. Antoinette Starkiewicz, "Yoram Gross", Cinema Papers, August 1984 p338
  4. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named ReferenceA

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