Following on from my review of ‘Dot and the Kangaroo’ (1977), I have since managed to find the time to watch each of the eight sequels that followed. Therefore, I have compiled a full run-down of the sequels to the best of what I can remember from watching them on YouTube. Now I have noticed that there are conflicting claims over the exact dates of release of some of the sequels so there may be the odd mistake or two in this area. Also, I will openly admit that I feel the series starts to gradually decline in one area after another from the 4th film onwards but that is just my personal opinion.
The first sequel to ‘Dot and the Kangaroo’ begins with Dot as a live-action girl (Ashley Ayre) with a brother named Ben (Ben Alcott) at their home in Coolabah. They are just looking after various animals and even an emu’s egg when they inadvertently receive a visit from Danny the Swagman (Drew Forsythe). The aforementioned character sure makes a catchy entrance, strutting into Dot’s neighbourhood, whistling the catchy “Waltzing Matilda” theme. You do not have to be Australian to appreciate a tune like that.
Anyway, young Dot tells Danny all about her adventures in the first film which ends with her wishing to find the missing joey whom her saviour, the red kangaroo was looking for. Danny promises to help Dot to achieve this goal. To do that, Danny disguises himself as Santa and builds a make-shift sleigh with Dot and Ben and tethers Dozey-Face (Anne Haddy) and Grumble-Bones (Ron Haddrick) the kangaroos to their creation. The entire scene is well and truly enlightened by Dot and Ben dancing to the beat of Danny’s rendition of the “Ingenuity” song.
Dot, Danny and the kangaroos embark on a long and perilous journey that takes them from Australia to America via Japan, Russia, Siberia, France and Britain, seemingly mssing Joey at every turn. During this time, the familiar animated Dot (Barbara Frawley) learns of different cultures and how other people around the world mark the special occasion that is Christmas as well as realising how cruel mankind is to animals all over the world. This is particularly emphasised in the Russian Circus scene with the hard-hitting ‘A Circus is a Prison’ song and when Dot and friends go to London and New York.
There are also references to classic fairy-tales such as ‘Goldilocks and the Three Bears’ and many famous landmarks and even an indirect reference to Walt Disney. It is also rather touching to see Dot conversing with a British Lion Statue for solus and singing about feeling lost in a crowd. This is wholly understandable as it was already bad enough watching Dot end up hopelessly lost in the first film. This of course is only the 2nd installment, Dot has much bigger problems to deal with in the later installments, this is still only the beginning. Now Yoram Gross and co. really could have put a bit more thought into the ending and to perfectly honest, there is very little if anything you will see in the later movies that you will not already see in this particular sequel.