An eccentric chicken farmer, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog Oddball to protect a penguin sanctuary from fox attacks in an attempt to reunite his family and save their seaside town.
The true story about an eccentric chicken farmer (Shane Jacobson) who, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog Oddball to protect a wild penguin sanctuary from fox attacks and in the process tries to reunite his family and save their seaside town.Written by
Destined to become an Australian Classic, 'Oddball' is a very enjoyable family friendly flick which says much about the local film industry and audiences. When a good yarn is well produced and marketed, people will go out and see Australian movies. Whilst not perfect, 'Oddball' is a genre pic - the kids movie that the whole family can watch; with cute animals, a wide eyed and intelligent child, a quirky and memorable leading man and a good versus evil motif. What's not to love? For me, the drawbacks were the casting/writing of an American in a major role. Surely this was not for funding reasons! The actor cast is not even a big name. It could have been written for a corporate Australian type; and there are dozens of great local actors to cast here, even if Alan Tudyk is a competent performer for both the comedic and dramatic moments. He has zero chemistry with the current superstar of Aussie cinema the omnipotent Sarah Snook. This actress is the next Cate Blanchett. World domination awaits her. With already a number of lead and supporting roles under her belt, Sarah has shown why she is the next big thing. This seems an odd choice, pardon the pun, with her career trajectory,but as it will turn out to be one of the biggest box office hits this year, perhaps there was strategy from her and her agents to take this role. The child actor playing her daughter is great, and Shane Jacobson once again ('Kenny') creates an unforgettable screen character. He shows a great ability to straddle both humour and gravitas, often from moment to moment. He is becoming a national treasure. Deb Mailman gets to do very little, but doubles up with narration; and Richard Davies ('Offspring') shows why he deserves more screen time and more work. The hilarious Frank Woodley goes somewhat against type and is terrific. But the obvious stars of the movie are the animals. They are just delightful, although it was not seamless when dog and penguin were spliced into one frame - not quite, for these eyes, anyway. With a movie like 'Oddball' its ending was always going to play out as it did, but there was a lot of fun and tension getting there. It has a very sweet heart to it this film, and I recommend it on that basis.
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