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Every underdog has his day.Sep. 17, 2015 Australia95 Min.
Your rating: 0
8.8 1,593 votes

Video trailer



Alan Tudyk isBradley Slater
Bradley Slater
Sarah Snook isEmily Marsh
Emily Marsh
Deborah Mailman isMayor Lake
Mayor Lake
Terry Camilleri isJudge Burns
Judge Burns


The story of Allan “Swampy” Marsh and his Maremma dog Oddball. Swampy convinced local authorities to allow Oddball to protect a colony of Little Penguins on Middle Island from wild cats and dogs. Oddball succeeds in his campaign and becomes a front runner for Maremma dogs being used to protect other endangered Australian wildlife.

Original titleOddball
IMDb Rating6.4 1,618 votes
TMDb Rating6.2 23 votes

(12) comments

  • david-rector-85092September 29, 2015Reply

    Family Friendly Feel Good Fare

    Destined to become an Australian Classic, ‘Oddball’ is a very enjoyable
    family friendly flick which says much about the local film industry and
    audiences. When a good yarn is well produced and marketed, people will
    go out and see Australian movies. Whilst not perfect, ‘Oddball’ is a
    genre pic – the kids movie that the whole family can watch; with cute
    animals, a wide eyed and intelligent child, a quirky and memorable
    leading man and a good versus evil motif. What’s not to love? For me,
    the drawbacks were the casting/writing of an American in a major role.
    Surely this was not for funding reasons! The actor cast is not even a
    big name. It could have been written for a corporate Australian type;
    and there are dozens of great local actors to cast here, even if Alan
    Tudyk is a competent performer for both the comedic and dramatic
    moments. He has zero chemistry with the current superstar of Aussie
    cinema the omnipotent Sarah Snook. This actress is the next Cate
    Blanchett. World domination awaits her. With already a number of lead
    and supporting roles under her belt, Sarah has shown why she is the
    next big thing. This seems an odd choice, pardon the pun, with her
    career trajectory,but as it will turn out to be one of the biggest box
    office hits this year, perhaps there was strategy from her and her
    agents to take this role. The child actor playing her daughter is
    great, and Shane Jacobson once again (‘Kenny’) creates an unforgettable
    screen character. He shows a great ability to straddle both humour and
    gravitas, often from moment to moment. He is becoming a national
    treasure. Deb Mailman gets to do very little, but doubles up with
    narration; and Richard Davies (‘Offspring’) shows why he deserves more
    screen time and more work. The hilarious Frank Woodley goes somewhat
    against type and is terrific. But the obvious stars of the movie are
    the animals. They are just delightful, although it was not seamless
    when dog and penguin were spliced into one frame – not quite, for these
    eyes, anyway. With a movie like ‘Oddball’ its ending was always going
    to play out as it did, but there was a lot of fun and tension getting
    there. It has a very sweet heart to it this film, and I recommend it on
    that basis.

  • Likes_Ninjas90October 17, 2015Reply

    Oddball is a confused political critique disguised as a mediocre Australian family film

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • ransxDecember 28, 2015Reply

    Awesome Family Movie!

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • tomsviewDecember 29, 2015Reply

    Not enough Oddball

    *** This review may contain spoilers ***

  • eddie_bagginsJanuary 14, 2016Reply

    A cute and cuddly family yarn

    A lovable based on a true story family movie that’s partly filmed in
    one of the worlds most naturally beautiful locations and most livable
    cities (no bias here at all) in the form of regional Australian city
    Warrnambool, Oddball is a film that’s enjoyable for the young and young
    at heart and one of the better Australian feel good stories in some

    A huge success at the local Australian box office in the later half of
    2015, and in particular in the town of Warrnambool where Oddball played
    at the local cinema for 3 months, Oddball’s the type of film even the
    biggest of movie grouches will have fun with despite its slight
    narrative and overacting from a talented cast.

    A dramatization of eccentric chicken farmer and genuine ”oddball” Alan
    ‘swampy’ Marsh, Oddball sees one of Australia’s great larrikin
    characters Shane Jacobson inhabit the overalls of the great bearded man
    who developed the ingenious idea of using Maremma sheep dogs to protect
    a local fairy penguin colony that had been decimated by pesky foxes.

    It’s a unique scenario but not one that exactly makes for thrilling
    viewing and Oddball’s major struggles come from trying to draw dramatic
    tension from a simple idea that just doesn’t have the cinematic
    qualities of other such true tales. Well respected actors Sarah Snook
    (breakout star of Predestination), Alan Tudyk and even Australian
    comedy legend Frank Woodley all feel a little lost with some pretty
    lame supporting characters.

    Oddball flys on the back of Jacobson’s work, young actress Coco Jack
    Gillies likability, the great locations and of course the lovable
    animals that make penguins and fluffy dogs even more adorable than one
    would’ve thought possible.

    A film that’s appropriate for all ages and a tale that has appeal for
    animal lovers the world over, Oddball is a slight yet wholeheartedly
    enjoyable Australian film that’s likely to become a new favourite of
    the youngest members of the family and an Australian film that holds a
    more universal appeal than the average homegrown movie.

    3 Great Ocean Road shots out of 5

  • tricorne-u8January 30, 2016Reply

    A great concept completely ruined by yet more lazy Australiana.

    The precept for this story was brilliant, the casting was predictable
    but the direction was just woefully short of the mark.

    This simple little story about a dog rescuing the day, became entwined
    in an impossibly unbelievable romance, all for the sake of an
    unlikeable single mum and her implausible relationship with a US Event
    Manager!? And somewhere at the end, an unknown hero presents himself
    inebriated but utterly devoid of any character or plot development as
    the not very well developed heroine’s final love interest.

    All this at the expense of her daughter, a canine hero, an endangered
    species and a pathetic portrayal of an eccentric chicken farmer; (no
    offense Shane).

    Well, this is what happens when Australian government officers get
    involved in making feature films! Everything is about Tourism, isn’t

  • aligraham-35973April 12, 2016Reply

    Cute Movie

    Oddball is very well-written and will keep you engaged throughout! The
    film has moments of tears and moments of laughter as our hearts all
    unite to despise the villain and love the hero. Adults and children
    alike will enjoy this production, and more than likely will identify
    with one of its diverse lineup of characters who each did a fantastic
    job portraying their role in the film. Swampy is the widow of a
    wildlife sanctuary manager and has a daughter, Emily, who is trying
    deeply to continue her mother’s legacy on the Middle Island penguin
    sanctuary. Her daughter and Swampy’s granddaughter, Olivia, is a too
    cute proponent of saving the penguins and has a sense of vision and
    optimism that only a child can render. Her and Swampy’s beloved dog,
    Oddball, is the star of her plan. The town’s mayor, judge, and city
    council all play into the roller coaster of events that try to sabotage
    the preservation of the sanctuary, which has an unlikely villain
    working to destroy it’s existence, and the feel-good outcome.

  • maccas75May 14, 2016Reply

    An mediocre family film about an amazing true story

    I was excited about this film ever since learning it was in production.
    Being a Shane Jacobson fan and already knowing about this incredible
    story, I was curious to see how it would translate onto the big screen.

    Shane Jacobson brings a few laughs while playing his most ”Aussie”
    character since Kenny. It’s his family dramas and associated story line
    which at times bog the story down. Perhaps the film chose to focus on
    that aspect in an effort to draw attention away from just how fake the
    Middle Island penguin scenes were. In what is such a beautifully
    natural setting, I felt like I was watching a cheap TV-movie set.

    Alan Tudyk’s character of Bradley was incredibly irritating and
    unlikable – the casting of such an Americanised character in a
    quintessentially Australian tale may grate some viewers. Meanwhile,
    comedic legend, Frank Woodley, plays a character resembling a poor
    rendition of 101 Dalmations’, Cruella De Vil – annoyingly ”comical” for
    adults, kids might still get some laughs.

    While not remarkable, it is an easy-to-watch family movie whose story
    steadily plods along to a predictable conclusion. I can’t help but feel
    this movie could’ve been something really special, but instead becomes
    another reflection of the inconsistency currently plaguing Australia’s
    film industry.

  • Reno RanganJuly 14, 2016Reply

    About a dog and his master who gave a new hope the little creatures.

    An Australian adventure-drama inspired by the true story about the
    wildlife conservation, but it does not follow actual details. Like in
    the real life, it was between father and daughter, unlike grandfather
    and granddaughter in this. So there many other changes were made in
    order to get the film right shape, but the theme remained true to the

    This was the second film after the last week ‘Brothers of the Wind’
    about the wildlife I had watched and I’m very happy with both. A film
    for everyone with the balanced contents between the film characters and
    the message it wanted to tell. I mean it was not about the dog or a
    girl or the penguins, but they all equally shared the parts. I think
    the animals were used well.

    The film focused on a southern Australian small coastal town, where on
    a tiny island the little penguins are living for the centuries. But now
    the numbers are going down due to the fox attacks. So the people are
    worried that the place might lose its special status. Then they decide
    to protect it, but all the effort was in vain until a chicken farmer
    and his mischievous dog named Oddball become the game changer, while
    everyone was in the panic mode.

    It is a modern fairytale, that’s what they say in the opening. Because
    fairy tales do not have any violences and so in this the fox attacks
    were merely a concept to develop the plot. In reality those were
    obviously heartbreaking if you are an animal lover. The good thing is,
    the film does not have them like a Disney Nature film. So those who
    seek facts, logics and strong appeal in a film, I would advise them to
    stay away from it or you can just put away your adultness to have a
    good time with it.

    ”If you want the biscuit you gotta risk it.”

    This film was not based on a rare concept, but definitely very rare on
    what it deals with. Like as my knowledge I don’t remember seeing a film
    or a documentary film about these little penguins. So it is totally
    worth, but disappointment was it was a human perspective story. About
    the human’s intervene while nature fighting among themselves to
    extinction. Fox hunts penguins and that’s a natural order, but when the
    balance was disturbed, the human’s involvement to restore it is not
    questionable as we’re the dominated species on the earth.

    Most of the cast was Aussies and a couple of them were internationally
    recognised. Predictable story, especially the ending is not a
    complicated part. Somewhat fun, but most of the time the drama takes
    over like the struggling relationship between father and daughter.
    Sometime innovative ideas come when one in a such scenario. The film
    explored on that basis to tell a decent tale.

    The kid was good, along with the dog, and the farmer who was also known
    as Swampy, the only one who tried very hard in the comical role to keep
    rhythm up. In a few scenes the camera work was great, the aerial view
    of the seaside was lovely. It was nominated for the best cinematography
    in the last Australian Academy Awards, but did not win.

    This is not a massive hit film or well recognised in the rest of the
    world. Even if you watch it today, you will go to forget it tomorrow.
    Then you might be wondering why it should be watched. Well, it is one
    of the finest family films of the recent time and a message deliverer.
    In one film many plots were covered, like a man-dog,
    father-daughter-granddaughter relationship, midlife crisis, wildlife
    conservation; this film was full of sub-plots and yet it makes an
    overall decent film. I won’t recommend it, but definitely not a waste
    of time.


  • chrislythgoe777September 19, 2016Reply

    Great family film based on real events

    Oddball, is a great family film that really is engaging because of the
    true nature of the events. The cinematography is wonderful and bright,
    the actors are believable and the film combines small elements of
    conflict with comedy that pulls the film onward seamlessly. Dogs,
    penguins and lighthouses are always a winning combination and somewhat
    unique. This film is much more than just one neatly defined genre. It
    is a documentary, drama, comedy, action, suspense all rolled into one.
    I had the pleasure of speaking with the producer after a screening and
    what sets this film apart from many is the sheer level of dedication in
    regards to time and overcoming weather challenges to bring this film to
    the public eye and it is indeed a treasure that will leave you wanting
    to learn more and perhaps even become an advocate.

  • J Darin WalesSeptember 21, 2016Reply

    Awesome little film!

    This is a great little film! I wasn’t sure what to expect before I saw
    it but it turned out to be quite the very pleasant surprise. The acting
    was good, with apparently really well-known Australian actors who would
    equal ”A-Lister’s” in the United States. I particularly enjoyed the
    performance of the young actress Coco Jack Gillies–she was really good
    for such a young performer.

    I will show this film to my children as soon as I can. I think they
    will easily be able to grasp the idea that some things are worth
    fighting/sacrificing for. This film has something for everyone… kids
    and animals with a sweet story keeps the kids entertained and the adult
    issues plus the animal drama keeps the adults engaged. I highly
    recommend this film to anyone wanting to see a great family film. Deals
    with loss, divorce (indirectly), forgiveness, honor, etc. Just a really
    nice film!

  • faaus72May 2, 2017Reply

    Entertaining family fare

    Oddball is, if a bit formulaic, well done and rewarding.

    The intertwined elements of family-love, nature’s treasures and a
    heartwarming dog combine for our pleasure.

    The location of the story is one of magical beauty.

    The characters are well-drawn and believable.

    The fact that it’s based on a true story makes it even more special.

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