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1 item from 2016

Oddball and the Penguins movie review: dogs and birds living together

12 February 2016 6:54 AM, PST | | See recent FlickFilosopher news »

Sweet, silly, charming. A true story about an unlikely canine-assisted project to protect endangered birds, goofily fictionalized to engage kids. I’m “biast” (pro): nothing

I’m “biast” (con): nothing

(what is this about? see my critic’s minifesto)

So this really happened: about 10 years ago, a farmer in Australia trained one of his Maremma sheepdogs, which had been guarding chickens, to instead protect a colony of endangered penguins that was being decimated by foxes. It was a huge success, and the colony is now thriving. I suspect some aspects of the true story have been embellished for the delightful Oddball and the Penguins — “a fairy tale that really happened” — but that first dog really was called Oddball, and that farmer really is actually named Swampy Marsh. Here, in the town of Warrnambook on Australia’s southeastern coast, Swampy (Shane Jacobson: The Dressmaker) and his gradeschooler granddaughter, Olivia »

- MaryAnn Johanson

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