The Adventures of Blinky Bill is an Australian animated television series based on Dorothy Wall's books about Blinky Bill, and is a sequel series to the 1992 film Blinky Bill: The Mischievous Koala. The series is produced by the Yoram Gross companies: Yoram Gross Film Studio (from 1993 to 1995) and Yoram Gross-EM.TV (from 2004 to 2005), with the main co-production of EM.TV and WDR. All three seasons of the series and the TV movie were animated overseas by Colorland Animation Productions Co., Ltd. in Hong Kong. Set in Greenpatch, a fictional Australian bushland town, the series presents stories through the activities and misadventures of Blinky Bill, as well as his family and friends.
In the first season of The Adventures of Blinky Bill (1993, 26 episodes), Blinky Bill and his friends rebuild the buildings and the community in Greenpatch, following its destruction by humans. They also come to terms with their new neighbours, the ill-famed Dingo family. The season first aired on ABC Television in 1993. Yoram Gross (with his first studios Yoram Gross Film Studio) co-produced the first series with: EM.Entertainment (Germany), WDR/ARD (Germany), ABC (Australia), and BBC (UK).
In this season, also known as Blinky Bill's Extraordinary Excursion (1995, 26 episodes), Blinky Bill and his friends become lost while on a school excursion in the bush. Finding their way home across different parts of Australia, they have many adventures helping out other animals in need, including a crocodile, penguins, and farm and circus animals.
The second season was a Yoram Gross Film Studio co-production with EM.Entertainment, WDR/ARD and VIDEAL of Germany, as well as the Australian Broadcasting Corporation. It was aired on ABC Television in Australia.
In season 3 (alternatively known as Blinky Bill’s Extraordinary Balloon Adventure and Blinky Bill's Around the World Adventures in marketing), Blinky Bill, Nutsy, and Flap travel around the world in a hot air balloon that takes them on exciting adventures being chased by two humans named Basil and Cyril who are the Circus Bros. The animals he rescued were: Slippery, Leo, Ling-Ling, Tico, Yoyo, and Penelope (who originally works for the Circus Bros.). They went to Antarctica, the African plains, China, the Amazon Rainforest, India and Paris.
The season aired on 10 June 2004 on the Seven Network. The third series was a Yoram Gross-EM.TV co-production with EM.TV (Germany), WDR (Germany), ABC (Australia), and Wavery (Netherlands).
Two spin-off pilot episodes, Flap's Family and Flap's Island, both following the story of supporting character Flap, were developed by Yoram Gross with the assistance of the Australian Film Commission and the New South Wales Film and Television Office in 1996, but both were not picked up.
- Blinky Bill's Ghost Cave (1996)
- Blinky Bill's Extraordinary Balloon Adventure (1997)
- Blinky Bill and the Magician (1998)
- Blinky Bill's Play and Learn (1999)
- Blinky Bill's Cartoon Maker (2001)
Forest industry controversy
The theme of the first series carried a strong anti-woodchip message, with the second line saying "Save us from that woodchip mill", together with scenes of forest destruction. There were also obvious environmental messages in most episodes. Some forest industry groups lobbied the ABC arguing that the opening scene showed illegal wood chipping, which was not fair to the timber industry. In the following two series, these song lyrics and the opening credits sequence were different (the line in the theme became "You'll never catch him standing still"), reflecting the change in storylines and locations.
The Adventures of Blinky Bill received generally positive reviews. It received an average rating of 6.6/10 on IMDB based on 318 reviews.
International television broadcast history
- Junior TV (first two seasons)
- TV Asahi (all three seasons)
- TV Tokyo (all three seasons)
The Adventures of Blinky Bill at Wikipedia