By admin | February 23, 2000

Other than anime, animations from one country are pretty much indistinguishable from one another. In other words, whereas such categories as “French New Wave,” German Expressionist” and “Hollywood Action Films” geographically label various kinds of live action films, a director’s individual style is generally more important in animation than the film’s country of origin. “Macca Strewth,” Dylan Crooke’s engaging Australian animated parody is an exception. This is true not so much because of its look — as bright and colorful as the newer “Johnny Quest” cartoons — but because of the film’s offbeat style of humor and the chacracters’ distinctive dialect. Burly superhero Macca Strewth is attending the Garnet Rodeo, when he learns that a huge gold nugget has been stolen. Almost without trying, he apprehends the culprits — Joseph and Mary in an amusing but blasphemous non-sequiter — and heroically saves the day. Although this tongue-in-cheek adventure spoof packs quite a bit of material into its fast-moving five minutes, much of the humor sails over an American audience’s head, leaving us looking at the pretty pictures. Then again, “Speed Racer” offered us much less than that and it went on to become a cultural icon. Charismatic and undoubtedly Australian, Macca’s a potential gold mine. If Crooke ever pitched “Macca Strewth vs. Crocodile Dundee” to the studios, he’d be a millionare faster than you could say “Regis Philbin.”

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