Skippy the Bush Kangaroo is Australia's answer to Lassie and Flipper. This Australian television series was created by John McCallum and produced from 1966 to 1968. It tells the adventures of a young boy and his intelligent pet kangaroo. Sonny and Skippy live in the in the fictional Waratah National Park in Duffys Forest, near Sydney, New South Wales. Sonny's father is the park's Head Ranger. The stories revolved around events occurring in the park, including its animals, dangers arising from natural hazards in the Park's environment, and the actions of various visitors to the Park.
The series was shot in northern Sydney at the Ku-ring-gai Chase National Park and the adjacent Waratah Park (now known as Waratah Park Earth Sanctuary). Ninety-one 30-minute episodes were made over the three seasons of production.
In 1969 the feature film Skippy and The Intruders was released.
The series was revived in 1992 as the short-lived The Adventures of Skippy using an entirely new cast.
This series provides examples of:
- A Boy and His X: A boy and his kangaroo.
- Abandoned Mine: "What's that, Skippy? The kids are trapped down the old mine-shaft, again?"
- All Animals Are Dogs
- Animated Adaptation: Skippy: Adventures in Bushtown was this In Name Only, with Skippy (now male) the resident of a Funny Animal universe.
- Beach Episode: The beach episode features a surfing contest.
- The Boxing Episode: In one of the episodes, a boxer and his father sets up a training ring in the park. The episode focuses on how the father has pushed the son into boxing, but the son is thinking that he wants to do something else. The episode ends with Skippy wearing boxing gloves, invoking the Boxing Kangaroo trope, but it is used as a joke and Skippy never actually boxes.
- Cast the Expert: Invoked in-universe. In one of the episodes, a movie director decides to cast heroic pet Skippy as a heroic pet, which results in Skippy saving an actor for real when something goes wrong.
- Character Title
- Evil Poacher: Episodes that don't focus on Sunny being saved from certain death often focus on Skippy being saved (or saving herself) from an Evil Poacher. For added bonus, some episodes have both. In a variant on the theme, one of the recurring villains is trying to kidnap Skippy alive for his private zoo.
- Fake Band: The Bushrangers
- Fur and Loathing: One of the early villains was a woman who tried to trap Skippy in order to skin the kangaroo for her fur coat. While she was shown wearing a bikini instead of a fur coat, she had lots of animal skins and stuffed animals on her boat.
- Girls Have Cooties: The word "cooties" may not actually be used, but Sunny, at least in the early episodes (at the age of 10) shows evidence of this attitude.
- Heroic Pet Story: Skippy is the star of the show and regularly rescues characters in trouble.
- Herr Doktor: Dr Anna Steiner is a German biologist studying koalas.
- Hobos: The episode "The Swagman" features an eccentric old man camping out in the park and offering to do odd jobs for food. Ranger Hammond is hesitant at first because he has had bad experiences with other odd jobs men, but agrees to give him work. It turns out the man is really a wealthy, famous individual that has decided to get back to a life of adventure.
- Home Base: The main characters all live in at the Ranger Headquarters for the park, complete with a helicopter pad.
- Kangaroos Represent Australia
- Loyal Animal Companion: Skippy again
- Missing Mom: The absence of a 'Mrs Hammond' (Sonny and Mark's mother) is explained (in Episode 48) as being due to her death when Sonny was a young child.
- Nearly Normal Animal: Skippy
- Noisy Nature: Skippy's trademark 'tchk tchk tchk' noise was entirely fictional. Kangaroos make no such sounds.
- Parent Service: For a kids show, they have a surprising amount of blatant bikini scenes and Shirtless Scenes.
- Recycled IN SPACE: Lassie DOWN UNDER!
- Timmy in a Well: Not every episode has Skippy save Sunny from certain death, but plenty do.
- Tropey, Come Home: The first episode has Skippy having to find her way home after escaping from being kidnapped.