Some of Australia’s deadliest creatures have had enough of their lives in captivity at a Sydney Wildlife Park. Taipan Medusa (‘Maddie’), funnel web spider Frank, thorny devil Zoe and scorpion Nigel are sick of being shown off to humans, who think the creatures are monsters.
Maddie, Frank, Zoe and Nigel decide to escape, hoping to make it back to the outback. Unfortunately, koala Pretty Boy, who’s the world-famous star of the zoo, gets caught up in the escape as well.
Luckily, the creatures have the support of the Ugly Secret Society, an underground organisation of unpopular animals helping each other out. Will they be able to reconnect with their families and mates in the wild, or will the ambitious zookeeper, Chaz Hunt, put them back in captivity?
Voice cast includes Australian stars Isla Fisher, Tim Minchin, Eric Bana, Guy Pearce, Miranda Tapsell, Keith Urban, Celeste Barber and Kylie Minogue.
Animated; Australian wildlife; adventure; family; friendship
Back to the Outback has some violence. For example:
- Zoo animals are handled roughly and verbally abused.
- A mean boy burns ants with a magnifying glass.
- There is a lot of cartoon violence, which includes animals and people wrestling, pushing, hitting and kicking each other.
- Animals are threatened with being clubbed to death. They’re also threatened with a knife, tranquiliser guns and a bazooka.
Back to the Outback has some sexual references. For example, it’s suggested that Frank the spider has a strong urge to mate. He expresses this through flirting with other spiders and doing a courtship dance. There are also several references to mating.
Alcohol, drugs and other substances
Back to the Outback shows some use of substances. For example, a woman in a biker gang gets on her bike while still drinking a martini and then falls off.
Nudity and sexual activity
Back to the Outback has some nudity and sexual activity. For example, 2 cane toads are kept in separate cages, apparently so that they don’t reproduce. Once freed from their cage, they kiss passionately and intertwine their tongues.
There’s no product placement in Back to the Outback.
Back to the Outback has some coarse language and insults, including ‘suck’, ‘dang’, ‘bonehead’ and ‘nuts’.
Ideas to discuss with your children
Back to the Outback is an Australian-American animated movie. It has an Australian voice cast, which is a refreshing change in the mass of American-accented movies.
Back to the Outback does have some stereotypes and clichés, however, including outcast heroes, cranky loners who realise they do need friends, a boy who has lost his mother, and bad guys with difficult childhoods who turn good in the end. And it has quite a lot of comedy violence for a G-rated movie, including a wild car chase, guns, explosions and several ridiculous but nearly fatal situations. But there are positive messages and role models, and it’s suitable for children aged 5 and over, although we recommend parental guidance for children aged 5-6 years.
These are the main messages from Back to the Outback:
- You shouldn’t judge a book by its cover.
- Good friends can become your chosen family.
Values in Back to the Outback that you could reinforce with your children include friendship, determination, courage and kindness.
Back to the Outback could also give you the chance to talk with your children about the importance of being yourself, even if it’s not what people expect from you.