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Skippy and the Intruders

The Intruders (Lee Robinson, 1969) Ed Devereaux, Tony Bonner, Ken James, Garry Pankhurst, Liza Goddard, Ron Graham, Jeanie Drynan, Kevin Miles; family adventure

The title is preceded on screen by Skippy the Bush Kangaroo, and that is sometimes seen as part of the full title.

Pike & Cooper:
This spin-off from the children's television series, Skippy, retained the same central characters: Matt Hammond, the Chief Ranger of Waratah National Park, and his two sons, Sonny and Mark; a young Flight Ranger, Jerry King; and Clancy, a teenage girl who works in Ranger Headquarters. ... In his first feature film, Skippy faced a ruthless gang of criminals who are searching for lost treasure on the ocean floor near Mallacoota on the Victorian north coast. ... Release was delayed until the Christmas holidays at the end of 1969. Handled by Regent Films, it failed to attract the success of the television series and ran for only three weeks in its premiere Sydney release at the Palace Theatre.

Producer John McCallum:
Got the money back on the film but we thought it would be a bigger success in the cinema. If they could see it for nothing at home, the Mums and Dads weren't too keen to take the kids and pay at the cinema. We sold it to the Children's Film Foundation in England and they did well with it. They cut it down to a 60-minute version and played in Saturday mornings in the cinemas. (quoted in Wikpedia from the OCAF)

This is a spinoff from the TV series, 1968, 1969, 1970, and it shows. It feels like a half-hour show that has been unnaturally dragged out to 100 minutes by repetition, delay, and a failure to edit tightly. It starts with a long sequence of three speedboats doing something that doesn't advance the plot much; we see them again before long, doing the same thing. Sonny is locked up for half the length of the film. Skippy's communications are as silly as usual - let's face it: kangaroos can't act. Nor communicate - all his sounds seem to be identical. So Sonny is a remarkably fine interpreter of marsupial speech. ... But it's pointless to go on bashing a children's film for being just that.
It's good to see some Australian actors as their younger selves actually getting work in a feature film. So: props to Lee Robinson for getting it up.

Garry Gillard | New: 24 August, 2018 | Now: 28 November, 2021