I’m going to be honest, the whole continent of Australia scares me because it seems like every creature that lives there is divinely designed to kill humans. Spiders the size of catcher’s mitts, assassins, snakes whose venom turns your blood into the consistency of Oobleck. But it seems I’m part of the problem: These little guys just want to fit in without being looked at and judged as potential killer creatures. Maddie the snake, Zoe the Thorny Devil, furry spider Frank and Nigel the scorpion look cuddly enough, and so does their annoying tagalong Pretty Boy the koala. Eric Bana’s turn as antagonist zookeeper Chaz looks fun as he and his partner Ben chase the creatures across Australia.
Accidentally drinking urine in the trailer might make some parents frown, but oddly enough, it’s not the first time someone has accidentally drunk urine in a children’s movie. In 2016’s “Angry Birds,” screenwriter John Vitti (who also shoved a poo-eating gag in “Alvin and The Chipmunks”) classified the script by having characters drink from a lake, only to later discover that another bird’s body is water. as his personal toilet. In my day it was just fart jokes.
The vocal talent in “Back to the Outback” includes Eric Bana, Guy Pearce, Isla Fisher, Tim Minchin, Jacki Weaver, Wayne Knight, Miranda Tapsell, Angus Imrie and Keith Urban. The film is produced by Reel FX Animation Studios, Weed Road Pictures and Netflix Animation. Daniela Mazzucato produces, with Melissa Cobb, Akiva Goldsman and Greg Lessans executive producing. The tagline warns that the creatures are “dangerously cute and loose.”
Here’s the recap for “Back to the Outback”:
Tired of being trapped in a reptile house where people stare at them like monsters, a group of Australia’s deadliest creatures plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback.
“Back to the Outback” will be released on Netflix on December 10, 2021.