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Cane Toads: An Unnatural History (1988)

A documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads through Australia in a botched effort to introduce them as counter pests.

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Nominated for 1 BAFTA Film Award. See more awards »
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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Tip Byrne ...
Himself - Cane Farmer from Tully
H.W. Kerr ...
Himself - Director of the Bureau of Sugar Experiment Stations, 1933-1943 (as Dr H.W. [Bill] Kerr)
Glen Ingram ...
Himself - Senior Curator Amphibia and Birds, Queensland Museum (as Dr Glen Ingram)
Bill Freeland ...
Himself - Wildlife Research Officer, Conservation Commission of the Northern Territory (as Dr Bill Freeland)
E.S. Edgerton ...
Himself - Former Member Cane Pest Board
Pat White ...
Himself - Cane Farmer from Gordonvale
John Oakes ...
Himself - Resident of Cairns
Patrick Cook ...
Himself - Social Commentator
David Sondergard ...
Himself - Resident of Gordonvale
Rob Floyd ...
Himself - Animal Ecologist (as Dr Rob Floyd)
Elvie Grieg ...
Herself - Resident of Redcliffe
Max Ackland ...
Himself - Mulgrave Shire Council (as Councillor Max Ackland)
Brian Hawke ...
Himself - Binding Conservator, National Library
Bob Endean ...
Himself - Associate Professor of Zoology, Queensland University (as Dr Bob Endean)
Mike Archer ...
Himself - Associate Professor of Zoology, University of N.S.W. (as Dr. Michael Archer)
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Storyline

Cane Toads is a documentary detailing the spread of Hawaiian sugar-cane toads (toads which live in the cane fields) through Queensland and then into the rest of Australia following a mis-informed attempt to introduce them to counter pests. Turns out they wouldn't eat the 'cane grubs' but they would multiply like no one's business... and they have no natural enemies in Australia at all, partly due to their poisonous skin. Written by Jay Furr <jfurr@danger.com>

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The story of a bizarre biological blunder, warts and all!! See more »


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Details

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Release Date:

9 June 1988 (Australia)  »

Also Known As:

Természetellenes történet varangyokról  »

Filming Locations:

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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

Mouse sequence filmed during regular feeding routine at Kurunda Wildlife Gardens. See more »

Connections

Spoofs Psycho (1960) See more »

Soundtracks

Cane Toad Blues
by Tim Finn
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User Reviews

A monument to human folly and eccentricity.
8 April 2003 | by (Canberra, Australia) – See all my reviews

"Cane Toads: An Unnatural History" still ranks as one of the funniest movies I've seen. Don't get me wrong: in Australia's tropical North, cane toads themselves are no laughing matter, especially among despairing conservationists. This short film stands as a memorial to human folly in importing the beast from Hawaii in the first place to deal with a sugarcane beetle which in the event it had zero impact on, preferring to lay waste to the local fauna instead. It is also a monument to human eccentricity - less about the despised, amazingly opportunistic cane toad than the reactions it has inspired among the human populace. I still treasure the memory of the local resident who wanted his town council to erect a memorial to the outstandingly ugly amphibian in the main street - presumably on the grounds that nobody could think of anything else worth memorialising there. (Inexplicably, his visionary proposal received scant support.) Overseas viewers may not appreciate that to other Australians, the movie's eccentric cast of characters came as no great surprise. North Queenslanders actually take some pride in being a little different. I'd like to think that the lesson has been learned, but the news that ravenous 400-lb carp are being released into a Texan lake in order to deal with a water weed infestation gives me no confidence.


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