Ever wondered what would happen if a snake, a scorpion, a lizard and a spider were stuck together? They would end up like Back to the Outback, which is an animated comedy-adventure film for all ages. In this Netflix original, the four animals plan to reach ‘outback’, a place where they belong to originally. Do they succeed or do they fail, that doesn’t matter, for what matters is that they try!

Set in Australian Wildlife Park in Sydney, the reptiles are fed up with being projected as deadly and decide to run away. In the initial phase of the escape, Maddie, a poisonous snake, Nigel, a scorpion, Zoe, a thorny lizard, and Frank (Guy Pearce), a hairy spider, encounter a koala, Pretty Boy, who happens to be the star attraction of the park. The pampered and spoiled koala joins the gang by accident and thus begins the sea-sewer-road trip to the Outback.

All these animals are kept under the guard of Chazz Hunt (Eric Bana), who is an ordinary zookeeper, but is a ‘Steve Erwin’, the legendary crocodile hunter, in his own mind. Chazz boasts of his marvellous, but false, adventures to lure the crowd coming to the zoo when in real life, he is a coward.

Maddie (Isla Fisher) is constantly reminded to be a snake who could kill 100 people in 10 seconds, while others are also presented as monsters.

The animals escape the zoo to avoid constant humiliation and successfully evade the authorities, however, the hilarious moment arrives when Chazz is persuaded by his son Chazzie, to display the heroics he boasts off, and recapture the fugitives. Besides Isla Fischer, Guy Pearce and Eric Bana, Kylie Minogue and Keith Urban also feature as voice-over actors and have a great time.

Directed by debutants Clare Knight and Harry Cripps, the movie is educational as well as an emotional trip for the kids.

They can enjoy it with their parents, who would also find interesting moments in the movie. For those who think the poster of BTTO seems like ‘another’ inspiration of Madagascar. They are wrong for it resembles Kung Fu Panda more.

One can also sense a lot of Finding Nemo inspiration, and teaches us to ‘Never judge a book by its cover’. The dangerous animals could be the lovable ones, while the ‘pretty one’ might be dangerous from inside.

Published in Dawn, Young World, January 15th, 2022

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