Western Animation / Blinky Bill
Blinky Bill is the hero of a book series written by Dorothy Wall in the 1930s. The books inspired two TV series: The first one was a live-action puppet show called The New Adventures of Blinky Bill,
which ran on The ABC
from 1984-87 and produced by Richard Smith; the second one was a follow-up to the 1992 animated movie Blinky Bill: The Mischievous Koala
and titled The Adventures of Blinky Bill
. The animated series, by far the most well-known version of the character internationally, was adapted and produced by Yoram Gross and ran for two series from 1993-95, with a third series (retitled Blinky Bill's Around the World Adventures
) airing in 2004.
Blinky Bill is an anthropomorphic koala who lives with his friends in the fictional Australian bush town of Greenpatch. In the film Blinky Bill: The Mischievous Koala
, Greenpatch is destroyed. The cartoon series is set after they found a new home.
The first series had the townspeople trying to get their new homes in order while coping with a family of playful tricksters and bullies, the dingoes. In the second series, a story arc formed in which Blinky and his gang get lost while on a school camping trip and have to find their way home. The third series had Blinky, Flap and Nutsy travel around the world in a hot air balloon/caravan, rescuing animals and being chased by two human brothers named Basil and Cyril Circus, who run... you guessed it, a circus!
It got a CGI
reboot in 2015, starting with a theatrical film. Needless to say, fans were already divided on whether going CGI is good at all. Heck, even the new design is a point of contention
Tropes you'll see in the series:
- AcCENT Upon the Wrong SylLABle: Marcia's name is pronounced incorrectly in the second series credits song.
- Accessory-Wearing Cartoon Animal: Miss Magpie wears academic headgear with a pink scarf and eyeglasses placed on her beak.
- All Danny Dingo wears is sunglasses, while his brother Meatball wears a bucket hat and shoes.
- All-CGI Cartoon: The 2015 reboot starts off with a CGI movie and follows with a CGI TV series "The Wild Adventures of Blinky Bill" in 2016.
- Alliterative Title: Blinky Bill.
- Animated Adaptation: The Adventures of Blinky Bill.
- Animated Musical: Blinky Bill: The Mischievous Koala had songs in it.
- Adipose Rex: Ma Dingo is one of these in the fairy tale episode.
- Adorkable: Flap
- Art Evolution: The Yoram Gross era was like this:
- The 1992 movie had, like other Yoram Gross feature films, animated characters against live-action backgrounds. Even so, the animation was more fluid than in the TV series that followed a year later.
- Speaking of the TV series, the backgrounds were animated instead of live-action. The first two seasons (and the aforementioned movie) were animated on hand-painted cels, whereas the third season utilized digital ink and paint, and the background art was less detailed, yet pretty vibrant. As for the characters, they had a slight redesign. (e.g. Shifty being orange instead of yellow)
- Blinky Bill's White Christmas had the same character designs from season 3, but the background art was similar to the first two seasons.
- Asshole Victim: Danny's schemes would often be undone without Blinky's help.
- Badass Adorable: Let's just say the gang Took a Level in Badass after the Extraordinary Excursion.
- Barefoot Cartoon Animal: Everyone except Mr. Wombat, Blinky and Nutsy's dad (in the second series), Splodge's dad, Daisy and Meatball.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Marcia Mouse
- Break the Cutie: Nutsy in "Blinky Bill's Mothers Day", "Blinky Remembers Nutsy's Birthday" and "Blinky Bill and the Lost Puppy".
- Butt-Monkey: Many characters have their moments. Mayor Pelican and Miss Magpie regularly get on the receiving end of Blinky's pranks.
- Canon Foreigner: Tons of 'em. Neither Flap, Marcia, nor the Dingo family appeared in the original books, and that's only the more major characters the cartoon added.
- The New Adventures Of Blinky Bill puppet show had a few as well, such as Charlie Goanna, Eric Echidna and Sybilla the Snake, plus various (human) park rangers (as the show took place in Bollygum National Park).
- Carnivore Confusion: the dingoes are never shown to eat or hunt any other animals
- Civilised Animal: The animals wear clothes, go to school and even have a currency.
- Clark Kenting: Danny's disguise as El Diablo the Magician. A fake beard, a hat, and he doesn't even take off his Cool Shades. Shifty's disguise as his assistant is no better. It works, at least on the kids, until Meatball comes in and blows it.
- Cool Big Sis: Daisy Dingo
- Cute Little Fangs: The Dingo family
- The Door Slams You: A common gag.
- Determinator: The Circus Bros. chase Blinky across six continents in their efforts to catch him, despite gradually losing the circus animals they had caught over the years. In the final episode, Blinky actually gives himself up, only for Nutsy to rescue him anyway.
- Dumb Muscle: Meatball Dingo.
- Early Installment Weirdness: In the first episode, Flap makes brief cameos. Ruff the Lizard, meanwhile, fills the role Flap would have later anyway. Which is odd, because Flap had a rather large role in the movie.
- Easy Amnesia: Blinky gets it in the movie, after a tree falls on him, so that Wombo can conveniently fill in his backstory via Flashback for the viewers before the main plot continues.
- Every Episode Ending: Nearly every episode of the Yoram Gross series ends with Blinky (or another character) uttering his famous catchphrase: "Extraordinary!"
- Everything's Better with Platypi
- Expository Theme Tune: The first series has a brief recap of the movie:
But then one dark and gloomy night, when all the bush was still,
Some bandits came and stole the trees, to feed their woodchip mill!
And when at last the morning came, the timber trucks moved on,
And there where Greenpatch used to be, the little town was gone!
- Fence Painting: Blinky pulls this on Splodge and Flap in "Blinky Breaks the Drought", with his chores at Gloop's Cafe.
- Five Man Band:
- (series 1)
- The Hero - Blinky Bill
- The Lancer - Marcia Mouse
- The Smart Guy - Flap or Nutsy
- The Big Guy - Splodge
- The Chick - Nutsy (also The Heart)
- (series 2)
- The Hero - Blinky Bill
- The Lancer - Flap
- The Big Guy - Splodge
- The Smart Guy - Nutsy
- The Chick - Nutsy (also The Heart)
- Kid Appeal Character - Marcia Mouse
- Four-Fingered Hands: Every character has them, even the humans.
- But sometimes, during the 1992 movie, they are drawn with either four of five fingers. Season 3 averts this for the humans, but Penelope, though being a poodle, is rarely drawn with five fingers, and the humans are rarely drawn with four fingers.
- "Freaky Friday" Flip / Voices Are Mental: In "Blinky the Hypnotist", Blinky learns hypnotism to switch the citizens' minds and voices with each other, those being Mayor Pelican with Marcia, Miss Magpie with Splodge, and Flap with Mr. Wombat.
- Gentle Giant: Splodge
- Getting Crap Past the Radar: In "A Dog's Best Friend" Flap slides down the banister and gets hit in the crotch by a pole.
- In the 2015 movie, one character asks Jacko if he has "a reptile dysfunction".
- Glad I Thought of It: Mayor Pelican says this word for word after Blinky's (hastily made-up) suggestion of a Fund Run to raise money for a new hospital.
- The Heart: Nutsy is this in general.
- Heel–Face Turn: By the 2nd series, the whole dingo family. Tico the toucan was this in series 3's episode Tico's Choice.
- Humans Are the Real Monsters: As shown in the movie and numerous episodes.
- Inexplicably Tailless: The koalas have no tails. (Even in the scene where Blinky changes into his nightshirt in the 1992 movie)
- Some other animals (including bears, wombats and echidnas) are tailless as well.
- Intergenerational Friendship: Blinky's gang are quite close with Mr. Wombat. In season 3, Blinky, Nutsy and Flap join a group of circus animals. Leo is most likely the oldest one, as he has both a full-grown son and a grandson.
- Kid Hero: Blinky Bill
- The Kiddie Ride: Giant Blinky on Bamboo Technology car!
- Land Downunder
- Lean and Mean: Danny Dingo
- Leaning on the Fourth Wall: Cyril Circus does this in "Paris Au Go-Go".
Cyril: Maybe it's one of those TV shows. Am I on television? Better look your best, Teddy.
- Lovable Coward: Flap Platypus
- Non-Mammal Mammaries: Although most characters are mammals and Miss Magpie who isn't does not have them, Blinky's mother, Daisy Dingo and others present very human looking breasts.
- One-Shot Character: Myrtle in "Blinky Bill's Fire Brigade". She is also in the season finale among the wedding guests.
- The One Who Wears Shoes: Meatball and Daisy Dingo
- Puppy Love: Blinky Bill X Nutsy. Especially in "Who is Blinky Bill?". In this episode Blinky challenges with Algernon Arkwright, who compete on Nutsy's favor.
- Granted, as of the season 1 finale, Blinky and Nutsy are now step-siblings...
- Plucky Girl: Marcia Mouse
- Pronoun Trouble: Meatball gets confused in this fashion when Danny tries to explain his role in the magic show scam.
Meatball: While the whole town is watching the magician tonight, I, uh...
Danny: You sneak in...
Meatball: You sneak in-
Danny: No, not me, you sneak in!
Meatball: That's what I said.
Danny: Alright, then, "I sneak in."
Meatball: Okay. You sneak in-
Danny: No, no, no no no! Okay, okay. While the town is watching the magician, Meatball sneaks in, and?
Meatball: Watches the magician?
Danny: No, no! While the town is watching the magician, Meatball sneaks into their homes and steals their food!
- Scenery Gorn: The destruction of Greenpatch, seen in live action in the movie (with the animated animals running away from the destruction), and briefly in the opening sequence of the TV series.
- Sequel Escalation: Each series got grander and more plot focused. The first series was mostly self contained episodes which could be watched in any order save the last few. Series 2 had more a storyline with the gang lost but again you could watch most episodes in any order. Series 3 meanwhile was even bigger. Blinky traveled around the world in what was easily the most arc based (characters regularly left the group once home so one could easily miss such episodes) and there were actual villains for the first time since the original movie. Plus, the characters were constantly travelling from place to place, so you could one episode and they would be in Antarctica, and if you skip a few the animals are suddenly in Africa.
- Short Film: Yoram Gross made two short films with Blinky's friend Flap. "Flap's Family" where people caught Flap and put him in a zoo, and "Flap's Island" an analogy Noah's Ark.
- Shout-Out: Combined with Parental Bonus in the form of Daisy Dingo, complete with her wearing her namesake's trademark shirt and shorts.
- Cynthia Python is named after Cynthia Leech, one of the animators at Yoram Gross.
- Shout-Out to Shakespeare: The charity play in "Blinky Saves Granny's Glasses" is Blinky's rewrite of Romeo and Juliet. After it gets hijacked by the dingos in an attempt to steal the money, we hear lines from Macbeth.
- Six Student Clique:
- Stock Footage: A good chunk of the first series had loads of recycled animation from the 1992 movie and a few episodes during this series as well. The remaining two series uses stock footage as well (But not from the earlier ones. Also they are used very rarely.)
- Story Arc: Series 1: Rebuilding Greenpatch. Series 2: The Quest Home (albeit beginning midway through) Series 3: Balloon Adventure
- Sunglasses at Night: Danny Dingo
- Surrender Backfire: Blinky Bill himself, of all characters on the last episode of series 3. He wants to get his friends out of danger by giving himself up to the Circus Bros. and get them to extinguish the fire heading for Greenpatch. Ultimately, Nutsy has to rescue him.
- Talking Animal: Pretty much all of them, including some nonmorphic characters.
- Series 3 even has them communicating freely with humans.
- Theme Tune Roll Call: "This is the story of Blinky Bill, and Flap and Nutsy too/And Wombo, Ruff and Marcia, and Splodge the Kangaroo."
- In series three, the tune subverts this with: "Here's Blinky Bill and Nutsy and it's Flap who makes it three. And a mob of circus animals who Blinky helped set free."
- The Power of Friendship
- Trickster Archetype:
- Danny and Daisy Dingo.
- Blinky in the third series against the Cricus brothers.
- Vocal Evolution: Marcia's voice started out as pitch-shifted in the movie, but the shifting was dropped when the series started, so her voice got higher and raspier as the show progressed.
- Flap's voice was raspier earlier on, and Splodge's voice got to lower registers as the show progressed.
- Vomit Discretion Shot: Penelope's seasickness causes her to vomit into a bucket in All At Sea.
- Watch Out for That Tree!: Said word for word by Basil Circus in Panda Pandemonium.
- Weird Currency: Gumnuts, which, according to Mr. Wombat, "don't grow on trees. Not at this time of the year."
- Wham Episode: Blinky Bill and the Earthquake, the titular earthquake is really a mine cave in separating Blinky and the gang from Miss Magpie and their classmates. Then the episode goes on with a crazed Goanana chasing the gang out of the mine disguised as a ghost. Once out of the mine, it's night time. Meanwhile Miss Magpie is crying her eyes out while Wombo comforts her and the gang set up camp for the night, ending the episode with Nusty imagining all their parents worried sick. This sets up the storyarc for the rest of the series in what had up until then been episodic.