A well-written and educational docufilm
There are some amazing creatures out in our world and Kangaroos are certainly among them. With some adults growing as big as two meters, the world’s largest marsupials are famous for their hopping and powerful kicks. Kangaroo Valley then is a movie that hones in on the journey these animals undertake, starting at birth and cycling through the different seasons, ending up at the same spot we began in a lovely nod toward the Circle of Life.
The film takes place in Australia, deep in the heart of a kangaroo valley. The camera hones in on Mala and her mother Lowanna who brave the elements and try to survive. The journey is one rife with tension, and with narration throughout a decent narrative is carved with the pair. To increase the stakes, Kangaroo Valley also explores a rival Dingo pack, with young Miro desperate to prove himself to his pack.
Naturally, this builds up to a big showdown between the pair, playing out similarly to a final showdown in a feature film. It works well here though, and Kangaroo Valley’s light tone also allows for other creatures to come into the limelight too for a much-needed distraction, including Willie the Wagtail. I won’t spoil all the reveals here but these inclusions make this feel like a fun, educational film that kids and adults alike can equally enjoy.
You can tell this has been designed with kids in mind though, give the way these animals are personified, alongside the structure working its way through seasons like chapters in a book, but it certainly doesn’t detract from the experience. In fact, the movie makes good use of its excellent camera work, mixing things up on occasion to show elements like stop-motion night scenes for fungi growing or frost spreading, alongside others for drones displaying an aerial chase.
The music on the whole is really good too, although I must confess the end Sia track that closes the film out feels completely ill-fitting and a bizarre creative choice. It’s a minor gripe but one that could pull some people out the experience.
Despite all that though, Kangaroo Valley is a well written and educational docufilm. It’s not a particularly challenging watch, but it is a compelling one and certainly worth a watch.
Verdict - 7/10