An eccentric chicken farmer, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog Oddball to protect a penguin sanctuary from fox attacks in an attempt to reunite his family and save their seaside town.
The true story about an eccentric chicken farmer (Shane Jacobson) who, with the help of his granddaughter, trains his mischievous dog Oddball to protect a wild penguin sanctuary from fox attacks and in the process tries to reunite his family and save their seaside town.Written by
Whale watching is mentioned in the movie as a competition for funds and location but in fact is a well known attraction and has it's own viewing platform from Logans Beach. If the whale watching centre was placed on Middle Island it would be much further away from the whales and logistically expensive endeavour to build and maintain. See more »
Oddball is pursued in town by the 'Dog Patrol' officer. Australian councils employ Rangers to control animals - roaming dogs, wandering stock, feral cats, etc. - not 'Dog Patrols'. See more »
It was W.C. Fields who said, 'Never work with animals or children.' He may have had a point because the actors in this film become almost irrelevant when Oddball, a beautiful Maremma sheepdog, shares the screen with the fairy penguins.
The film is based on real events. Apparently, Middle Island off the Victorian coast at Warrnambool, used to be home to a thousand fairy penguins until foxes started to snack down on them, reducing the population to just ten of the little guys.
Finally, a chicken farmer, Swampy (Shane Jacobson), and his dog, Oddball, come to their rescue and rid the island of foxes after hunting and trapping had failed.
The film is described as family fare, and Oddball steals every scene he is in, but I think children would be a little restless with the amount of story taken up with the affairs of the adults. Maybe the filmmakers tried to cram in too much. Along with the case for conservation, every character in the film seems to have a back-story. But it's all at the expense of more time with Oddball and the real stars of the show - the fairy penguins.
No doubt the scenes with the penguins would have been hard to do, but the film could have used a lot more of the confrontation between Oddball and the foxes - there are few long shots and much of the action seems either very close-up or off camera. Here and there the film gets to the heart of the matter - the human drama can't compete with the tension in the scene on the island when the fox sticks its head into the fairy penguin's burrow, or when Oddball saves the egg from going over the cliff.
Although no rival to "Babe", "Oddball" is nicely made, and no one will hate it, but I feel that the filmmakers missed the opportunity to make it more memorable than it is.
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