Dot and the Kangaroo

Dot and the Kangaroo
Dot and the Kangaroo  
Kangaroo ill-01.jpg
Author(s) Ethel Pedley
Illustrator Frank P. Mahoney
Country Australia
Language English
Genre(s) Children's novel
Publisher Angus and Robertson
Publication date 1899
Media type Print (Hardback and Paperback)
Pages 81 pp
ISBN 1419116592
OCLC Number 224601955

Dot and the Kangaroo, written in 1899, is a children's book by Ethel C. Pedley about a little girl named Dot who gets lost in the Australian outback and is eventually befriended by a kangaroo and several other marsupials. The book was adapted into a stage production in 1924 and a film in 1977.[1]


Plot introduction

A 5-year-old girl named Dot is lost in the outback after chasing a hare into the wood and losing sight of her home. She is approached by a red kangaroo who gives her some berries to eat. Upon eating the berries, Dot is able to understand the language of all animals, and she tells the kangaroo her plight. The kangaroo, who has lost her own joey, decides to help little Dot despite her own fear of humans. The book is filled with criticism on negative human interference in the wild in 1884.

Dot and the Kangaroo
Directed by Yoram Gross
Produced by Yoham Gross Films
Written by Ethel C. Pedley (novel)
Yoram Gross (screenplay)
John Palmer (screenplay)
Starring Lola Brooks
Joan Bruce
Barbara Frawley
Peter Gwynne
Ron Haddrick
Ross Higgins
Richard Meikle
Spike Milligan
June Salter
Music by Bob Young
John Palmer
Marion Von Alderstein
Distributed by Hen's Tooth Video
Family Home Entertainment
Release date(s) 15 December 1977 (1977-12-15)
Running time 70 minutes
Country Australia
Language English

Film adaptations

The book was adapted into a film in 1977 which featured a combination of animation and live-action. The main character, Dot, was voiced by Barbara Frawley. The film also featured Spike Milligan as the voice of Platypus. The movie featured an original soundtrack including several lyrical melodies composed by Bob Young, John Palmer and Marion Von Alderstein. The movie backdrop was filmed on location in and around the Jenolan Caves of the Blue Mountains in New South Wales, Australia. Although the film uses many of the same elements as other animated children's musicals involving animals, such as many of the Disney classics from the United States, the film is essentially Australian in its use of icons and accents. It also references Indigenous Australian culture in some scenes which depict animation of cave paintings and aboriginal dancing.[2] The film was a success and allowed Yoram Gross to enlarge his production company and market his family films in the United States. Additionally, the film's use of animation set against photographic backgrounds established the style for many of his later films.[1]


Lyrics by John Palmer:

  • "Dreamtime"
  • "Quark Ducks"
  • "The Bunyip (Bunyip Moon)"
  • "Platypus Duet"
  • "Click-ity Click"
  • "In The Kangaroo Pouch"

Lyrics by Marion Von Alderstein

  • "I'm a Frog"

Additional lyrics by Bob Young.

Recorded by Maurie Wilmore.


Another eight movies in the series were made by the Yoram Gross studios by 1994. The theme behind all of the films in the Dot series is the negative impact of humanity on animal life in nature.

The complete series of films are as follows:

  • 1977 - Dot and the Kangaroo
  • 1981 - Around the World with Dot
  • 1983 - Dot and the Bunny
  • 1985 - Dot and the Koala
  • 1986 - Dot and Keeto
  • 1986 - Dot and the Whale
  • 1987 - Dot and the Smugglers
  • 1987 - Dot Goes to Hollywood
  • 1994 - Dot in Space


A DVD version of the film was released on 30 October 2001. In the 1980s, the first 7 films were released on video in the United States, the first three by CBS/Fox Video and the next four by Family Home Entertainment (possibly the only Australian cartoons to be released on home video by the company). In Australia there is a complete series DVD set of all the Dot films.

The various films were shown on The Disney Channel in the late 1980s through the 1990s.


  1. ^ a b Giannalberto Bendazzi, Cartoons: One Hundred Years of Cinema Animation, Indiana university Press, ISBN 0-253-20937-4
  2. ^ Rick Thompson, The Oxford Companion to Australian Film, 1999, Oxford University Press, ISBN 0-19-553797-1


External links

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