The little known island of Ngaro has long held many a mystery, though this fact has been largely unnoticed by the quiet townsfolk that call it home. That is until Tane, Fridge, and Riley, ... See full summary »
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2   1  
2017   2016  
1 nomination. See more awards »

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Cast

Series cast summary:
Ryan Cooper ...  Bessy / ... 20 episodes, 2016-2017
Laura Daniel Laura Daniel ...  Riley / ... 20 episodes, 2016-2017
Tammy Davis Tammy Davis ...  Tane / ... 20 episodes, 2016-2017
Josh Thomson ...  Fridge 20 episodes, 2016-2017
Glen-Paul Waru ...  Tumeke Space 10 episodes, 2016-2017
Temuera Morrison ...  Jack / ... 9 episodes, 2016-2017
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Storyline

The little known island of Ngaro has long held many a mystery, though this fact has been largely unnoticed by the quiet townsfolk that call it home. That is until Tane, Fridge, and Riley, who call themselves "The Barefoot Bandits", take it upon themselves to investigate all of the secrets the island has to offer.

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Animation

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Details

Country:

New Zealand

Language:

English

Release Date:

2016 (New Zealand) See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

NZD 827,670 (estimated)
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Company Credits

Production Co:

Mukpuddy Animation See more »
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Color
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User Reviews

 
Bumpy Start, Hope It gets better
16 July 2016 | by stphenredmondSee all my reviews

The Barefoot Bandits is a new adventure comedy series by long- standing New Zealand animation studio: Mukpuddy and stars Tammy Davis, Josh Thompson and Laura Daniel as Tane, Fridge and Riley as they explore the island of Ngaro, and investigate each crevice to discover the wonders that it has to offer.

Now this is Mukpuddy's first ever half-hour series on television, as for the majority of their career they've produced short format series' for shows like What Now! And Studio 2 here in NZ.

While it's not my personal favorite, given the cartoons the US have put out recently (Steven Universe, Star vs the forces of evil, Rick and Morty and Gravity Falls etc). I still think it has some good elements.

It has moments of suspense in episodes like Watch This Space and Perfectly Suited. They really know how to throw people off with a big twist at the end of most of their episodes, and it contributes to a lot of the show's comedy, if it's not using toilet humour. That's right, every Episode there is going to be at least one joke or reference that can be categorized as bathroom humour. OK back on track, the twists are nice and add a good chuckle but sometimes the twist at the end doesn't make a lot of sense. In the ending to The Ice Breaker after they used chutney to defrost a massive Iceberg. It's revealed that the Mammoth Man trapped inside the iceberg is really a 40,000 year-old cave man in a Mammoth costume who can talk in complete sentences, knows about modern technology and the culinary arts, which makes no sense what so ever. It also has some heartfelt moments in episodes like The Ghost Dingy, Glow Your Own Way and Show Me Moa.

The show also features an all-star cast of New Zealand actors. People like Temura Morrison (Star Wars prequels, Once Were Warriors), Rhys Darby (Flight of the Conchords, Yes Man and Hunt for the Wilderpeople), John-Rhys Davies (Lord of the Rings and Princess Diaries) and Lucy Lawless (Xena) just to name a few.

The problem is that the some of the characters they portray are very bland and unoriginal or they don't deviate from the actor's previous roles. Rhys Darby who voices Mayor Gobb just does his typical Rhys Darby-isms, be weird, awkward and insecure. Then you have characters like the mother who can't cook, the dad, and others like the homeless fella and the mother that belittles her child. Then there are the villains, they're just as uninteresting and disposable as the majority of the characters. But some of the strange creatures the kids come across are kind of typical for a show like this, like a colony of glow worms that produce shiny little balls. And another thing the stories borrow elements from more famous works like Back to the Future and Scooby-Doo. Just because you're trying to appeal to kids, doesn't mean you can get away with obscure references.

There is also the animation, Mukpuddy have always animated their shows using flash, only as a means for them to cut corners to get their work done and out faster. But that can have a very negative effect on scenes where the animation has to be intense in chase scenes and it's not fast enough to do so. Or fluid enough for a fight scene. It's just that this time around it's prettier to look at. And the CG used in some of the episodes don't mesh well with the rest of the art. Like the space scenes in Never Tumeke with the objects like the alien spaceship and the Orange Rougie look like they were rejected renderings for a PS1 game.

But thankfully those moments are far and few in this series. Overall this show is a little sub-par compared to its overseas competition. It's a show you'll stick your kid down in front of if they want some mindless entertainment. At its current best it can be heartfelt as well as funny, on average it's dull, harmless and awkward, and at its worst it can be insultingly stupid.

But perhaps it's too early to start burning it, who knows maybe it'll be like The Simpsons where it started out kinda shaky and by a couple of seasons in they'll finally start hitting their stride.

The Barefoot Bandits for now gets a 6/10


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