Netflix has announced a new animated film Back to the Outback that will make its global debut in 2021, and feature a cavalcade of Aussie talent both on and off-screen.
The comedy-adventure marks the directorial debuts of filmmakers Clare Knight and Harry Cripps and stars the voice of Isla Fisher, Tim Minchin, Eric Bana, Guy Pearce, Miranda Tapsell, Angus Imrie, Rachel House, Keith Urban, Celeste Barber, Wayne Knight, Aislinn Derbez, Diesel Cash La Torraca, Lachlan Ross Power, and Jacki Weaver. Daniela Mazzucato produces, and Weed Road Pictures’ Akiva Goldsman and Greg Lessans, who developed the story with Cripps, executive produce the film.
Tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they’re monsters, a ragtag group of Australia’s deadliest creatures plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback, a place where they’ll fit in without being judged for their scales and fangs. Leading the group is Maddie (Isla Fisher), a poisonous snake with a heart of gold, who bands together with a self-assured Thorny Devil lizard Zoe (Miranda Tapsell), a lovelorn hairy spider Frank (Guy Pearce), and a sensitive scorpion Nigel (Angus Imrie). But when their nemesis — Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), a cute but obnoxious koala — unexpectedly joins their escape, Maddie and the gang have no choice but to take him with them. So begins a hair-raising and hilarious road trip across Australia, as they are pursued by a zookeeper Chaz (Eric Bana) and his adventure-seeking mini-me (Diesel Cash La Torraca). Directed by Clare Knight and Harry Cripps, and also featuring the voices of Rachel House, Keith Urban, Celeste Barber, Wayne Knight, Lachlan Ross Power, and Jacki Weaver, Back to the Outbackis an animated adventure that proves just because something’s different, doesn’t mean it isn’t beautiful.
“I have always been touched by stories of hidden beauty,” says director Clare Knight. “Maddie is both uniquely beauty and beast, and to get to present that message in comedy is the icing on the cake.”
Writer/director Harry Cripps added: “Growing up in Australia, I spent a lot of time in the Blue Mountains which has many different types of snakes and spiders, and I always preferred them to the cute cuddly animals, so it’s such a treat to make a film where the heroes are these poisonous but beautiful little creatures. This film is a love letter to Australia’s incredibly diverse and unique wildlife.”
The film will arrive on Netflix in 2021.