Traumafessions :: Reader Heidi O. on Dot & the Kangaroo

Hi all,

I’ve been a fan of this website for some time now, so I thought I might finally contribute a precious childhood memory of my own. As an Australian child of the ‘80s I was made to watch the classic Australian film DOT AND THE KANGAROO in primary school (it is kind of educational in that it has native animals dancing around and singing about how they got their Latin names), and there was one scene involving a bunyip that always creeped everyone out.

Being an unusual child, this scene was my favourite, but I’ll do this traumafession on behalf of all my classmates who weren’t as brave as I was. Anyway, the scene starts with NICK CAVE-esque piano intro playing while animated turtles swim over real-life footage of a creek (or billabong) in the outback. Suddenly a hand emerges from the water, then an arm, then an entire Aboriginal Dreamtime monster. The scene is accompanied by an eerily lilting song called ‘Bunyip Moon,’ and it lulls you into a false sense of calm as the bunyip rampages the bush, chasing people, dingoes and kangaroos through the trees. The whole thing has the feel of a beautiful nightmare as the bunyip curls around the moon, appears in campfires and transforms into a bird.

The true moment of horror is at the very end, when the bunyip’s face starts to ‘decompose’ and transform into a cave painting. That’s two seconds that will stay with you for a very, very long time…


AUNT JOHN SEZ: Heidi, if it’s any consolation to your classmates, they are not alone. Both Mr. Canacorn and Absinthe had similar reactions to that bad ass bunyip.

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11 years ago

Oh I haven’t thought about this movie in years. I guess mom forcing me to watch all those Elvira: Mistress Of The Dark episodes kind of make me immune to the bunyip. It never really scared me.

I was just looking it up and apparently this movie is based on a book writtein in 1899 by Ethel C. Pedley as kind of a protest of humans interfering with wildlife.

11 years ago

I suppose it depends on how old you are but that is pretty fucking creepy.  Great song too.

11 years ago

I love that this is on here!!  I had forgotten all about this but I loved this movie as a kid!  Creepy childhood loveliness!!  🙂