A Guttersnipe Christmas 67 Picture

This is my favorite page in the entire story. Everything turned out just as I’d hoped it would, or as close as possible considering my limited artistic and story-telling skills!

So I did mention Dot and the Kangaroo and the bunyip, right? I might as well talk about this a bit, because this scared the bejeezus out of me as a kid. For those of you not in the know, Dot and the Kangaroo was one of a series of Australian kids’ flicks about a little girl who could talk to animals and have various adventures wherein she did exactly that. Originally, I believe that she got her special animal talking power by eating a certain root but I think they jettisoned that conceit in later entries to the franchise and she just became a sort of savant. ANYWAY, there were about a million of these cartoons and I’m pretty sure that they represent Australia’s sole non-Crocodile Dundee related contribution to global culture for the entire decade of the 1980s. In the first movie, Dot gets lost in the woods and is rescued by a friendly kangaroo, pretty standard stuff. Now the bit that always scared me happens about three quarters through the film when Dot and her companion take shelter from a storm in a creepy cave. Dot notices that the walls are covered in cave paintings, and the kangaroo explains that the cave used to be a meeting place for aborigines until they were driven away by a what they believed was a mythological water monster called a bunyip. Then they launch into a really creepy music video all about the bunyip, featuring unnerving animated cave paintings and that one weird bit with the eyes WATCH THE VIDEO, YOU’LL KNOW IT. I loved this movie as a kid but I was absolutely terrified of the bunyip, to the point that every monster I imagined lurking under the bed or in the closet took that form. Also, I was scared to watch Dot and the Kangaroo alone, because I had a sneaking suspicion that the bunyip could actually pop out at any point during the movie. Sure, I had watched that movie hundreds of times and the bunyip scene always came after the council of the animals scene, but you never know….maybe THIS time, it would be different! Maybe this time, you’ll be watching the introductory credits, all fat and happy and secure, and then BAM there’s the bunyip singing about the bunyip moon and how he’s going to get you so you better hide pretty soon.

Jeez now I’m not sure I’ll be able to sleep tonight after remembering the bunyip…

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