DVD: Review: The Complete Skippy/The Adventures of Skippy (1967-)
If the above means anything at all to you, then you probably grew up at the same time as myself and were transported via the magic of television to the other side of the world each week and watched in awe as a kangaroo helped to solve mysteries, foil smugglers, and generally make you go “awwww” each episode.
‘The Complete Skippy the Bush Kangaroo’ features all 91 episodes of the original series which were produced from 1967 to 1969. Running across 3 series, these episodes would be seen in 100+ countries as Skippy captured the hearts and imaginations of viewers worldwide. With no violence, no cgi, and a kangaroo as its star, Skippy was far removed from what we have on television today, but it still possesses that certain charm that draws you in as a viewer, no matter what age you are….plus I guarantee that you’ll end up singing the theme tune too.
Set in the fictional Waratah National Park, Skippy befriends Sonny Hammond (Garry Pankhurst…who strangely didn’t further his acting career after this) who is the younger son of Head Ranger Matt Hammond (Ed Devereaux). A bond forms between them, and so begins a succession of highly enjoyable adventures whereby Skippy is usually at the centre of being able to save the day.
With no high-tech special effects to fall back on, close-ups of Skippy’s arms holding things were obvious puppet extensions worked by people off-screen. But this just added another dollop of charm to a series that already had bucketloads of it.
The themes of poachers, deadly creatures and dangerous conditions were often rinsed and repeated, but always added a wrinkle that kept them fresh…even though you just knew that Skippy would win out in the end.
This 14 disc, 91 episode boxset is not only a must buy for nostalgia freaks like myself, but is also a worthy addition to anyones collection who may never have seen it before…especially if you have a young family and you can introduce a new generation to it as well…I bet they will be ‘talking’ like Skippy before you know it and trying to solve their own adventures in your back garden.
‘The Adventures of Skippy’ is a 5 disc boxset which has all 39 episodes of the 1992 series revival.
This series has a now adult Sonny Hammond (this time played by Andrew Clarke), who, like his father before him, has become a Ranger at a Wildlife Park and has his own family.
I have to admit that this series passed me by (as I was of course much older by then and not its target audience anymore) and so it hasn’t got the same charm for me viewing it now. However, while still covering the same themes of poachers, etc, as the original series, it gives it a modern update that reflects the time that it was made.
It’s always a tough act to follow a successful television series with either a sequel or reboot, but The Adventures of Skippy has enough about it to keep you watching all the way through…how can you go wrong with a cute kangaroo!?
Kudos to Umbrella Entertainment for releasing both of these boxsets. If you want to relive your youth, or introduce a new generation to a marsupial hero, then both of these come highly recommended.
If you’re still unsure, spend a minute watching the video below…how can you not want to watch a kangaroo playing the drums!?
“tut tut tut”…”what is it Skip?”…”tut tut tut”…”you want people to buy these DVD boxsets?”…”tut tut tut”…”and so they should”.
Review by Dave (host of 60 Minutes With) from 2 boxsets kindly supplied by Umbrella Entertainment.