The Magic Pudding
An old man, a young anthropomorphic koala, a South Pole penguin and Albert, a magic sentient walking and talking bowl of pudding with an attitude are searching for koala’s missing parents. However, sinister forces want the pudding.
This whimsical, animated, book-based movie features voice talents of Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Hugo Weaving, and John Cleese. The movie is set in Australia, and one of the characters is a wombat, Buncle, native to the country. Buncle is obsessed with eating the pudding that he and his companions come across. In this wildly imaginative movie, the pudding is alive and has a name– Albert! He doesn’t want to be eaten and manages to get away from Buncle. Buncle has a patch over one eye, but he always keeps the one eye open, searching for Albert. Buncle and his nephews continue to pursue Albert throughout the film.
Thwarting his plans are Buncle’s original companions, a cowboy sort, named Bill Barnacle and a penguin named Sam. Their story begins when their ship, the Saucy Soup Taureen, sinks. Yet, they survive and shortly afterwards, they discover the pudding, or Albert. Buncle swipes him with the intent of eating him, but Albert manages to escape. Buncle states, “I’ll eat anything!” and even goes after Bill and Sam at one point.
Bill and Sam’s entourage enlarges when they meet a koala bear named Bunyip, who wears a bow tie and was separated from his parents when he was just a boy (or cub)! He sets out to find them.
The adventures that ensue are reminiscent of Alice in Wonderland, with several unforgettable characters and a trip through lands like none ever seen before. In one scene, a speeding carriage bumps Bunyip, who is okay, but says, “That was most unexpected!” A lot of unexpected things happen to the characters as the film progresses.
Featured in this lively adventure are peppy songs, like one that focuses on what they want and what they need– the magic pudding. Several other vehicles bump into each other and more than a few characters kick or hit one another. One character pulls Bunyip’s bow tie. But Bill, at first not sure of Bunyip, suggests he becomes part of “the noble society of pudding owners.” A comedic scene features the story of Adam and Eve and Bill is seen in nothing but a fig leaf!
It’s suggested that the infamous, delicious pudding came from the tree of knowledge, from its leaves after the leaves fell from the tree. Another interesting part of the movie is a riddle that must be solved that goes, “You must listen very carefully, where 2 gums meet but stand alone, there’s plenty of water, but it’s dry as a bone.” Rest assured the riddle is solved by the movie’s conclusion. We won’t say if Bunyip finds his parents or not, and what happens to Buncle’s pursuit of Albert the pudding, but we will say the movie has a happy ending. The movie focuses on the importance of team work, and when a dam breaks and a town is flooded, several characters pitch in to help out with sand bags.
Although the movie features animated violence, a lot of it is portrayed in funny ways, and no character is seriously wounded. The themes of teamwork and the importance of family are nicely illustrated in the movie. The film merits our Dove seal for All Ages.
The Dove Take:
The Magic Pudding has its magical moments, and children of all ages will be enraptured while viewing this enchanting film.