Tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they’re monsters, a group of Australia’s deadliest creatures plots a daring escape from the zoo. Back to the Outback is an upcoming Australian-American computer-animated adventure comedy film directed by Clare Knight and Harry Cripps, from a screenplay written by Cripps, and a story by Gregory Lessans and Cripps. KIDS FIRST! Film Critic Kyla C. comments, “Back to the Outback is a brand new Netflix film with perfectly paced humor and out-of-this-world animation. Hilarious for kids and entertaining for adults, this film is sure to be the perfect movie night adventure.” See her full review below.
Back to the Outback
By Kyla C, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic, Age 12
Has your family been looking for a new movie, but can’t seem to find anything quite right? Well, your search ends here! Back to the Outback is a brand new Netflix film with perfectly paced humor and out-of-this-world animation. Hilarious for kids and entertaining for adults, this film is sure to be the perfect movie night adventure.
Back to the Outback follows Maddie (Isla Fisher) and her fellow “scary” show animals as they decide they’ve had enough of sitting in cages and posing as horrific creatures. They escape from Chaz’s (Eric Bana) cages and venture out; their final goal being to reach their home in the Outback of Australia. Along the way, they meet the cute koala, Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), whose looks conceal his real personality. That is, until he spends time with Maddie and realizes his true self. Their adventure is going fine until Chaz brings his son along on a mission to catch the animals. Will Maddie, Pretty Boy and the rest of the crew find their way to their families, or end up back where they started?
The first stand-out thing about Back to the Outback is the humor. The funny scenes are spread out between suspenseful ones, so there’s always a laugh. Hilarious moments are included even in the action segments, which keeps the film light and relatable. In addition to the funniness, the animation is positively amazing. First, it’s incredibly vibrant and colorful. The colors aren’t so flashy that they are unrealistic, but they are bright enough to always look warm and welcoming, except for the action-packed, dangerous scenes. In addition, the characters and objects seem to pop out of the screen. It feels like you’re actually there! If Chaz is chasing Maddie and her friends down a hill, you’re screaming in terror along with them. That is due to the spectacular, almost 3D animation. To add another positive aspect, the plot is strong. There is an easy-to-follow main plot that kids will find simple enough to understand, but there are also countless subplots that are resolved at the end of the film. These subplots are what create an adult-worthy film. They require some deeper understanding, but you can still watch the movie and have a ton of fun even if you don’t follow every single character’s backstory and subplot.
The message of Back to the Outback is that no one’s ugly, but everyone’s different. One person’s idea of ugly could be someone else’s idea of beauty. This film also conveys the importance of trust within family and friends. Without teamwork and immense trust, Maddie and her friends would never have survived their trip to the outback. The only thing to look out for is action-packed and slightly suspenseful scenes.
I give Back to the Outback 5 out of 5 stars and recommend it for ages 5 to 18, plus adults. You can watch Back to the Outback in select theaters beginning December 3 and on Netflix December 10, 2021.
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