Dot and the Kangaroo (film)

    Everything About Fiction You Never Wanted to Know.

    Dot and The Kangaroo is an Australian film featuring animation over live-action backgrounds released in December 15, 1977. Based on an 1899 novel by Ethel C. Pedley. An early success for the Yoram Gross studio, with many sequels (diverging further and further from the original source material).

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    Tropes used in Dot and the Kangaroo (film) include:
    • A Boy and His X/Adventure Duo/Interspecies Friendship: The titular characters.
    • A Friend in Need: Dot got startled by the kangaroo and the kangaroo gives her a root to eat then they befriend each other. The kangaroo sees that Dot had a problem and she wants to know. Dot says that it doesn't look like anything really, she just can't find her way home. The kangaroo has the same thing; she lost her joey. She agrees to help Dot find her way home. In the book, the kangaroo appeared squatting quite close to Dot in front of her and the kangaroo evidently understood that Dot was in trouble and was sorry for her. The kangaroo seemed to have an idea; she gives her some berries to eat then they befriend each other.
    • Actually Pretty Funny: Dot touched the bandicoot and the bandicoot screamed as she accidently made him jump in the water hole. Then suddenly, Dot laughed at him, but the bandicoot doesn't think it's funny. The kangaroo rats also laughed because the bandicoot screamed as Dot made him jump in the water hole.
    • Adapted Out: The kangaroo's joey, the hare (due to being out of place), the bronzewing pigeons, the little boy and his mother, the nightjar, the bower bird, the satin bird and some of the additional bush animals.
    • Adult Fear:
      • Dot is suddenly lost in the gully being scared and then sad as she sits behind a tree and cries until the kangaroo popped out of nowhere and poke Dot in the elbow startling her as they meet each other.
      • Dot's father and grandfather look for Dot as they're worried about her as the promise of Dot breaks. Happened again in her house where it includes Dot's mother as her father and grandfather tell Dot's mother that they can't find Dot anywhere.
    • Agony of the Feet: A dark example of this; Dot stepped on something sharp as she couldn't catch up with the kangaroo after running and walking around in the bush. In the book, Dot scratched her feet along with her bare legs until they bled.
    • Angry Guard Dog: The dingoes.
    • Animal Stampede: All of the animals do this when they say that there's danger.
    • Art Shift: The Aboriginal cave drawings in The Bunyip Song.
    • Artistic Licence Biology:
      • Willy Wagtail is shown to be friendly to Dot, but in real life, willie wagtails are aggressive to humans.
      • The emus are all brown and have yellow beaks; they're even shown without wings. In real life, they are brown with pale blue necks and show through their sparse feathers and the shafts and the tips of the feathers are black. They even have wings.
        • Averted in the book; the emus have their appearences. Including the one Dot and the Kangaroo interacted with.
    • Badass Bookworm: The kangaroo shows Dot on how everything does.
    • Berserk Button: Mr. Platypus dislikes books written about him.
    • Bittersweet Ending: Dot was finally home and tells her parents about where she had been and what she had been doing. She wants to show her parents the kangaroo, but the kangaroo is gone. Dot wants the kangaroo to come back, but the kangaroo didn't. Willy says to Dot to cheer herself up and reminds her that the kangaroo is going home and her home is the bush where she must have her freedom. Dot couldn't help herself and she still wants the kangaroo to come back, then she began to cry over the kangaroo as she will never see her again. After this scene, the credits roll.
    • Big Bad: The aborigines.
      • The bunyip counts this as well during The Bunyip Song.
    • Big Good: The kangaroo.
    • Bloodless Carnage: Dot falls in between two trees but wasn't bleeding and stepped on something sharp (no blood shown); the kookaburra was killing the snake saving Dot's life and not a single drop of blood shown; averted with the kangaroo successfully climbing off the cliff where she got a cut on her arm and bleeding and in the book with Dot having her dress torn to rags and scratching her bare legs and feet till they bled and the kangaroo having her mouth bleeding.
    • Book Ends: The opening and ending scenes feature Dot crying.
    • But Now I Must Go: Played straight in the book, where Dot, the kangaroo and her joey say goodbye to each other. Averted in the film, where the kangaroo just left for her home.
    • Break the Cutie: Dot in the ending.
    • By the Lights of Their Eyes: A pair of eyes appear during The Bunyip Song.
    • Canon Foreigner: The bunyip, Mrs. Platypus, the ducks and the crows.
    • Character Title/Character Name and the Noun Phrase
    • Cloudcuckoolander: Willy Wagtail. (Although that he's a smart bird.)
      • The kangaroo rats are this as well.
    • The Cuckoolander Was Right: Willy saying to Dot that the kangaroo was going home (which is the bush) and must have her freedom.
    • Cowardly Lion: Dot has odiophobia and the kangaroo has cynophobia. (Kangaroos are well known to be prey of dingoes.)
    • Creepy Crows: Played straight during the part where Dot was lost in the gully. Averted with the crow who was one of the animals that are discovering the kangaroo.
    • Crosscast Role: The Kangaroo is clearly played by a male in the live action footage.
    • The Cutie:
      • Dot.
      • Some of the forest animals.
    • Despair Event Horizon: Dot's parents and grandfather are worried about Dot. Her mother even cries over Dot.
      • Dot also had this during the opening credits, when she got lost in the forest and in the ending where she cries over the kangaroo and wants her to come back.
    • Disney Acid Sequence: The Bunyip Song.
    • Disney Death: One of the frogs at the end of the song "I'm a Frog".
    • Disney Dog Fight: The kangaroo anxiously fights with one of the dingoes. (In real life, kangaroos seem to be brave of fighting against dingoes.)
    • Disney Villain Death/Family-Unfriendly Death: One of the dingoes does this.
    • A Dog Named "Dog": A willy wagtail named Willy Wagtail.
    • Downer Beginning/Dream Sequence: During the opening credits, Dot was crying when she got lost in the gully. After the opening credits, Dot thought "Please mother, I won't be long." with "long" echoing. But it turns out that she's dreaming. Dot was actually at her house.
    • Easy Amnesia: The sleepy koala has this twice.
    • Eat the Camera: The bunyip during the song "The Bunyip Song".
    • Expy:
      • Dot is Heidi: They are barefoot and cuties. (Except that Dot has parents and grandfather, while Heidi has a grandfather and aunt.)
      • The kangaroo is Charlotte: They help the protagonists with their goal. (Except that in the end, the kangaroo left without saying "Good-bye" to Dot, while Charlotte dies.)
      • Mr. Platypus is Archimedes: They're grumpy, but helpful.
      • Willy Wagtail is The Aracuan Bird. They are birds and Cloudcuckoolanders.
      • The dingoes are The Hunter Dogs. They're mean and nasty dogs.
      • The three kangaroo rats in the song "Clickety-Click" are The Andrews Sisters. They're singing trios.
    • Family-Unfriendly Violence: The kangaroo got a cut and was bleeding after climbing off the cliff.
    • Feather Fingers: Played straight with the ducks, the kookaburra, Mopoke, the cockatoo and Willy Wagtail. Averted with the other birds.
    • Foot Focus: Dot.
    • Glad I Thought of It: After Dot stepped on something sharp, the kangaroo solved the problem by having Dot getting in her pouch. Dot liked this idea.
    • Grumpy Bear: Mr. Platypus.
    • Hates Being Touched: Dot touched a bandicoot and scaring him and she laughed at him but the bandicoot doesn't think it's funny.
    • Housewife: Dot's mother.
    • "I Am" Song: "I'm a Frog", "Platypus Duet" and "Clickety-Click".
    • Intellectual Animal
    • Kangaroo Pouch Ride: Dot was given a ride in the kangaroo's pouch and she sang a song about it and the song's called "In the Pouch of a Red Kangaroo". In the book it was called "As a Dear Big, Bounding Kangaroo".
    • Kangaroos Represent Australia: While played straight because the setting is Australia, the kangaroo's actress was averted; her actress was British.
    • Kick the Dog:
    • Literal Cliff Hanger: The kangaroo does this.
    • Mama Bear: The kangaroo acts as a mother figure to Dot besides being her guide.
    • Misplaced Wildlife: In the Council of the Animals scene, there was a rabbit. Rabbits aren't native to Australia. The book has a hare. Hares also aren't native to Australia.
    • Never Got to Say Goodbye: Averted in the book; Dot and the kangaroo say goodbye to each other. Played straight in the film; when the kangaroo left for her home, Dot has never got to say goodbye to the kangaroo.
    • Never Say "Die": Averted, especially in the book.
      • The ducks say the word "dying".
        • In the book, the bronzewing pigeons say "dying", "murdered" and "died".
      • Dot says the words "kill" and "killed". In the book, she even says "die".
      • In the book, the kangaroo says "murdered".
    • Never Smile At a Crocodile: At the end of the song "I'm a Frog", the frogs realise that the log was really a crocodile, so they hop for their lives and dive in the water including one of them almost being eaten.
    • No Indoor Voice: The bitterns are known to be little birds with loud voices.
    • No Name Given: The titular kangaroo and the other animals.
    • Nobody Poops: Averted; Dot whispers to the kangaroo, which she responds with "Anywhere you like, dear." as Dot touches her vagina (not seen). It's very obvious what she means.
    • Oh Crap:
      • Dot got lost in the gully and suddenly got scared of the noises.
      • The bandicoot when he saw Dot touching him and then screams as she made him jump in the waterhole.
      • Dot saw the snake and the kookaburra warns her not to move, but Dot made a frightened expression causing the snake to show it's fang teeth. In the same scene, the snake saw the kookaburra as he was about to be killed.
      • Near the end of the song "I'm a Frog", the frogs realize that the log was really a crocodile.
      • During the song "The Bunyip Song", the aborigine saw the bunyip while fishing and the bunyip is about to grab him then the aborigine runs for his life. The start of the song was the aborigines hearing the roar of the bunyip.
      • Dot saw the aborigines doing the kangaroo dance when one aborigine was holding a boomerang and the other is holding a spear like that making it look like that he's about to kill the kangaroo played by an aborigine actor causing her to scream.
      • The aborigines and the dingoes hear the sound of the bitterns believing it to be the bunyip.
    • Ominous Owl: During the part where Dot got lost in the gully. Later averted when the owl named Mopoke was just singing his song for he's a great artist.
    • Parental Love Song: Dreamtime; the opening credits song.
    • Pie-Eyed: Dot got those when thunder strikes and starts to rain.
    • Public Domain Animation: The film was treated as one in the United States, although that it remains copyrighted.
    • Punctuated! For! Emphasis!: One of the bitterns uses this.

    Bittern 2: We bitterns maybe little birds...
    Bittern 1:...but we have (in a deep voice) VERY. BIG. VOICES!

    • Redheaded Hero: Dot. Although with that, she has orange hair.
    • Roger Rabbit Effect
    • Rotoscoping: The kangaroo, Dot's parents, Dot's granduncle, the aborigines and the dingoes.
    • Shout Out:
      • The song "Dreamtime" was similar to "The Journey" from The Rescuers.
      • When Dot got lost in the gully, she heard scary sounds and she got scared just like when Rabbit got lost in the misty forest of the Hundred Acre Wood and heard scary sounds as he got scared from The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh.
        • Another reference from the same film was that the kangaroo told Dot the story of how the aborigines got scared of the bunyip and run away just like when Tigger says to Pooh that Heffalumps and Woozles eat honey stating that Pooh has been warned. This included the song "Clickety-Click" a reference to The Wonderful Thing About Tiggers.
      • The plot was the reference to the nursery rhyme "This Little Piggy".
      • The expression Dot has when thunder and lightning strike looks like that of the face of Betty Boop (but excluding the eyelashes).
      • The opening starts with a note what you would find in a book.
      • The animals running from the music stating that it's danger was similar to the dinosaurs running for their lives from the Tyrannosaurus Rex from Fantasia.
        • Another reference from the same film was that the kangaroo anxiously fights with one of the dingoes and getting herself injured after climbing off the cliff just like when the Stegosaurus fights with the Tyrannosaurus Rex and he wins with the Stegosaurus killed.
      • The dingoes chasing Dot and the kangaroo was similar to the hunter dogs chasing Faline from Bambi and the stray dogs chasing Lady from Lady and the Tramp.
        • Another reference from Bambi was that the kangaroo says to the animals that her joey was gone just like when Bambi lost his mom and she gets shot and killed.
      • The ending was the reference of Charlotte's Web where the kangaroo says to Dot that she has to leave but she wouldn't listen to the kangaroo very closely, quickly reunites with her parents and granduncle and wants to show her parents the kangaroo but she's gone. Dot wants the kangaroo to come back for a minute but she still won't. Willy says to Dot that the kangaroo is going home which is the bush where she must have her freedom and this time Dot listened very closely. Dot tries to cheer herself up; but she couldn't help it, she still wants the kangaroo to come back and then begins to cry over her as she will never see the kangaroo again just like when Wilbur wants Charlotte to come back to the barn with him and Templeton but she won't; she sings the sad reprise of "Mother Earth and Father Time" to Wilbur and then dies causing him to cry over her.
    • Shown Their Work: Mopoke says that he's just a singer at night. This included the song "I'm a Frog", the platypus scene and the bitterns part.
    • Speaks Fluent Animal: Dot. In the book, the kangaroo fed Dot some berries which Dot had to keep eating in order to prolong the effects. In the film, she fed her a root and the effect was permenant, but she must not eat anymore of that and the warning is "If you eat too much, you'll know too much."
    • That Reminds Me of a Song: After Dot got in the kangaroo's pouch, she sings the song "In the Pouch of a Red Kangaroo". The ducks sing a song about themselves being thirsty and frightened called "Quack Ducks". The platypuses show Dot on how it's done with their appearences, what they do and how they're discovered in the song "The Platypus Duet".
    • Those Two Guys:
      • The ducks.
      • The kangaroo rats singing "One Day When I Was Walking". (Inverted to Those Two Girls.)
      • The platypuses.
      • In the book, there were two willie wagtails.
    • Thunder Equals Downpour: It does this near the ending of the Council of the Animals scene.
    • Tomboy and Girly Girl: The titular characters. (Although Dot has no eyelashes, she was averted when Dot behaves like a normal human girl. The kangaroo however plays straight with being the Girly Girl.)
    • Toon Transformation: Inverted to Live-Action Transformation; the kangaroo turns from animated to live-action when she left.
    • Toothy Bird: The kookaburra has this in one shot.
    • Wangst: Dot cries for the kangaroo and wants her to come back in the ending.

    Dot: She's not here. She's gone. Where are you? Come back. Come back. Come back.
    Willy: Dot. Dot, please don't be sad. Your kangaroo must have her freedom. Must live her own life. She's going home and her home is the bush. (begins to leave) Kangaroo must have her freedom. ("freedom" echoing; followed by chirps as the sad music begins to play) (the kangaroo turns live action)
    Dot: Kangaroo! Kangaroo, come back! KANGAROO! COME BACK! OH, KANGAROO! Oh, kangaroo. Kangaroo. (begins to cry) I love you so much. (sobs) Come, come back, please. (cries) Oh, kangaroo. Kangaroo? (Dot weeps as the scene cuts to the end credits)

    • What Happened to the Mouse?:
      • Dot's basket appeared once and never seen again throughout the film.
      • In the end, Dot's parents and granduncle disappear immediately just as Dot was about to have the kangaroo meet her parents before she realized that the kangaroo disappeared.
        • As for the kangaroo in the end, Lampshaded by Willy as he tells Dot that the kangaroo must have her freedom and she's going home.
    • Why Did It Have to Be Snakes?: Dot is shown to have a fear of snakes and she got encountered by it.

    Tropes the sequels have