Skippy, the Bush Kangaroo-Volume 1 (1967)

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Released 18-Nov-2003

Cover Art

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Details At A Glance

General Extras
Category Adventure Main Menu Audio
Featurette-Which Way Did They Go, Skip? With Ken James
TV Spots-Skippy Club TV Commercial
Featurette-Skippy's Playground
Audio-Only Track-The Bush Orphan, Told By John McCallum
Gallery-Photo-15
Rating Rated G
Year Of Production 1967
Running Time 170:33 (Case: 200)
RSDL / Flipper Dual Layered Cast & Crew
Start Up Menu
Region Coding 1,2,3,4,5,6 Directed By Ed Devereaux
Eric Fullilove
Eric Price
Max Varnel
Studio
Distributor
Southern Star
Madman Entertainment
Starring Ed Devereaux
Garry Pankhurst
Ken James
Tony Bonner
Liza Goddard
Frank Thring
Elke Neidhart
John Warwick
Case Amaray-Transparent-Secure Clip
RPI $24.95 Music Eric Jupp
Phil Judd
Joy Cavill


Video Audio
Pan & Scan/Full Frame None English Dolby Digital 2.0 (224Kb/s)
Widescreen Aspect Ratio None
16x9 Enhancement No
Video Format 576i (PAL)
Original Aspect Ratio 1.33:1 Miscellaneous
Jacket Pictures No
Subtitles None Smoking Yes, quite a lot!
Annoying Product Placement No
Action In or After Credits No

NOTE: The Profanity Filter is ON. Turn it off here.

Plot Synopsis

    Title of Show : Skippy, The Bush Kangaroo

    Title of Disc : Volume 1 : 35th Anniversary Collectors Edition

    Year of Production : 1967/68

    Country of origin : Australia

    What's included? : 7 various episodes from across the run of the show.

    Episode Length : 25 minutes each

    Details of episodes : 

      1. The Long Way Home - Dr Alexander Stark (Frank Thring), who owns his own private zoo, badly wants Skippy for his collection. He has some of his henchman steal her, but she escapes.
      2. No Time for Clancy - This episode introduces the Clancy character who became a regular. She comes to stay with Matt and the boys as she is the daughter of another ranger who has moved to some faraway National Park but she needs to stay near Sydney for her music lessons. Early on she messes a few things up and the boys don't like her much.
      3. The Honeymooners - A ludicrously overacted woman on her honeymoon wants to steal Skippy so that she can use his fur for a coat. Sonny gets caught alone on a speeding boat.
      4. Double Trouble - Dr Stark is back this time with a Matt Hammond look-alike in tow in order to try and discredit Matt and have him sacked as head ranger.
      5. The Last Chance - An aging movie actor has one last chance at stardom via a movie being filmed in the National Park but Skippy upstages him.
      6. No Trespassers - A young boxer and his father (Chips Rafferty) have set up a secret training camp in the National Park without permission to train for a big fight. The son isn't completely committed to being a boxer and rebels.
      7. The Bushrangers - While everyone is away except Jerry, the ranger headquarters are broken into and everything is cleaned out. Sonny sees a group of strangely dressed men walking through the park and thinks they are bushrangers. Features the Australian pop group of the time, The Executives. Their song at the end of the episode is very funny and was recently shown on the ABC music quiz show, Spicks and Specks.

    Style of Production : Live action

    Premise of show : This classic Australian children's show is based around the lives of the Head Ranger of Waratah National Park, Matt Hammond (Ed Devereaux), his two young sons, Mark (Ken James) & Sonny (Garry Pankhurst), their pet Kangaroo, Skippy and the flight ranger, Jerry King (Tony Bonner). They all live at ranger headquarters and have various adventures involving accidents, trespassers, poachers, wild animals and more. This show was greatly loved and highly successful when it was first shown and for years afterwards in repeat (which is when I must have first seen it).

    Age Group : 3-100

    Related to any other children's shows? : Not really

    Adult's view : I loved this show as a kid and was quite surprised how much I enjoyed seeing it again despite the misogynistic attitudes and virtually constant smoking by baddies. You can see even so many years later why this show was successful. It has some good adventures and quite decent stunts plus a great theme song and at least for the time a quite unique starring animal. Definitely enjoyable for parents and children. I also enjoyed the nicely tongue-in-cheek packaging e.g. Contains non-stop marsupial action!.

    Child's view : My two young boys quickly took to this show. After one episode, my three year old was singing the theme song. He loved the kangaroo and seemed to find the shows interesting despite some of the storylines being a little too old for him.

    Other Releases of this show available? : In addition to this mixed collection, there are also two separate releases of Skippy including all episodes from seasons 1 & 2.

    Overall : It's a classic.

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Transfer Quality

Video

    The video quality is OK, but no more. This is pretty old television so I suppose we can't expect too much.

    The feature is presented in a 1.33:1 aspect ratio non 16x9 enhanced which is the original aspect ratio.

    The picture was not overly clear and sharp being quite soft in places and affected by various artefacts and grain. There was  no evidence of low level noise. There was light grain throughout which was heavier when the camera moved. The picture became quite blurry when the camera moved.

    The colour was decent considering the age of the material, but was not overly vibrant.

    Artefacts included some macro-blocking but not too much, aliasing on fences and grilles, some occasional splodges and specks, some evidence of excessive noise reduction and a number of small jumps.

    There are no subtitles.

     

Video Ratings Summary
Sharpness
Shadow Detail
Colour
Grain/Pixelization
Film-To-Video Artefacts
Film Artefacts
Overall

Audio

    The audio quality is OK considering the age of the material.

    This DVD contains an English Dolby Digital 2.0 mono soundtrack encoded at 224 Kb/s.

    Dialogue was clear and easy to understand and there was no problem with audio sync.

    The music by Eric Jupp is very dramatic and the theme tune is an all time classic. I noticed some minor distortion in the music from time to time.

    The surround speakers and subwoofer were not used.

Audio Ratings Summary
Dialogue
Audio Sync
Clicks/Pops/Dropouts
Surround Channel Use
Subwoofer
Overall

Extras

Menu

    The menu included music but was still and fairly simple. A kangaroo paw was used as the cursor.

'Which Way Did They Go, Skip' (9:54)

    An interesting interview with star Ken James recorded recently where he reminisces about his time on the show, the other cast members, production issues, stunts, how they used the kangaroos and anecdotes such as an amusing one about Frank Thring. Worthwhile.

Skippy Club TV Commercial (0:30)

    A black and white TV commercial featuring Ed Devereaux promoting the Skippy club.

Skippy's Playground - TV Special (24:18)

    A TV special from when the show originally aired featuring a group of young children visiting ranger headquarters and meeting Skippy, playing games and doing activities. Hardly essential but interesting for fans of the show. The hostess has some very big hair!

Audio Adventure - Bush Orphan

    An old Skippy record transferred to DVD. Quite crackly. Runs about 18 minutes.

Stills Gallery

    15 behind-the-scenes stills.

R4 vs R1

NOTE: To view non-R4 releases, your equipment needs to be multi-zone compatible and usually also NTSC compatible.

    This release is available in the same format in Region 2 but not in Region 1.The disc is coded for all regions.

Summary

    Classic Australia children's television.

    The video quality is OK.

    The audio quality is decent.

    A good selection of new and original extras.

Ratings (out of 5)

Video
Audio
Extras
Plot
Overall

© Daniel Bruce (Do you need a bio break?)
Saturday, April 15, 2006
Review Equipment
DVDPioneer DV667A DVD-V DVD-A SACD, using Component output
DisplaySony FD Trinitron Wega KV-AR34M36 80cm. Calibrated with Digital Video Essentials (PAL). This display device is 16x9 capable. This display device has a maximum native resolution of 576i (PAL)/480i (NTSC).
Audio DecoderBuilt in to amplifier/receiver. Calibrated with Video Essentials.
AmplificationPioneer VSX-511
SpeakersMonitor Audio Bronze 2 (Front), Bronze Centre & Bronze FX (Rears) + Yamaha YST SW90 subwoofer

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