Film ID:
NEFA 20690

JUST SO STORIES: THE SING-SONG OF OLD MAN KANGAROO

1981

Visitor Tabs

Description

An animation by Sheila Graber based upon a story by Rudyard Kipling from the Just So Stories for Little Children series. This film explains how the Old Man Kangaroo got its long legs.

The film begins with each of the animals featured in Rudyard Kipling’s Just So Stories appearing on screen one by one; the whale, camel, rhino, leopard, armadillo, kangaroo, crab, cat and butterfly.

Title: Just So Stories

Title: By Rudyard Kipling

The camera pans in on Old Man Kangaroo looking at the camera. He closing his eyes and the film fades into a starry sky moving in on the planet earth. The images splits to focus on the continent of Australia. 

The images splits again to reveal a rocky outcrop in the middles of a desert. From behind the outcrop the grey woolly Old Man Kangaroo appears and climbs on top. He scratches his ear before beginning to dance on top of the rock.

 Sitting in a tree overlooking the rock sits a koala bear and her young, a cockatoo, a lizard and a frog with their eyes closed. As he continues to dance they each open their eyes and look down on Old Man Kangaroo.

The film cuts to totem pole with the image of a figure carved in it. Sitting asleep on the ground beside the totem is Little God Nqa. The sun rises in the sky and a face appears which smiles down on Little God Nqa. Old Man Kangaroo walk up to Little God Nqa and begins speaking. He puts his arms into the air over his head and moves them as hands on a clock.

Standing and looking angry Little God Nqa points at Old Man Kangaroo to go away. Lifting his nose in the air and closing his eyes Old Man Kangaroo turns and walks away. Little God Nqa shrugs.

Back on the rocky outcrop Old Man Kangaroo dances again watched by a kookaburra and two emu’s.

The film cuts to show a shield resting against a tree. Beside it is a boomerang. Sitting nearby is Middle God Nquing eating. He picks up two rocks and begins hitting them together. Old Man Kangaroo comes to stand beside Middle God Nquing. Again he puts his arms into the air over his head and moves them as hands on a clock.

Middle God Nquing jumps up and throws his boomerang which flies off screen and comes back flying just over Old Man Kangaroo’s head. Again Old Man Kangaroo turns and walks away.

Back on the rocky outcrop Old Man Kangaroo is seen dancing again. A green parrot looks down without much interest. Looking at the camera the parrot shrugs.

The film cuts to show toes on a foot. The camera pulls back to reveal the Big God Nqong reclining in a lake with is arms behind his head. Sitting on the bank beside him is a large clock. The clock strikes 10’o clock and a snake appears from inside. The snakes forked tongue moves in and out of its mouth ten times marking the hour before going back inside the clock.

Old Man Kangaroo comes to stand beside Big God Nqong with a flower in his mane. He puts his arms into the air over his head and moves them as hands on a clock. 

Looking angry Big God Nqong gets out of the water and holds Old Man Kangaroo in his hand.

The film cuts to Yellow-Dog Dingo laying asleep on the ground. He opens his eyes and looks at Old Man Kangaroo dancing on a nearby hill. Yellow-Dog Dingo licks his lips while looking at Old Man Kangaroo, revealing sharp teeth.

Yellow-Dog Dingo gets up and chases Old Man Kangaroo through the desert, over a mountain, through the salt-pan, reed bed and blue bums in which sits a koala bear and her young. Old Man Kangaroo comes to a stop looking tired.

With a grin Yellow-Dog Dingo walks through the desert and up the mountain. The film cuts back to Old Man Kangaroo running through the ti-trees, the mulga and through long and then short grass. He stops with his hind legs aching. Yellow-Dog Dingo continues to walk through the ti-trees and mulga towards the long grass.

The film cuts to show Old Man Kangaroo standing at the edge of the Wollgong River. He looks around with worried expression. Yellow-Dog Dingo approaches following the river’s edge. Getting up on his hind legs Old Man Kangaroo hops over the river and then across the screen.

Old Man Kangaroo jumps high into the sky revealing stars around the earth below. He falls towards the outline of Australia and lands in the desert in the middle. He hops again with his face coming close to the camera.

Yellow-Dog Dingo looks up bemused and licking his lips. He follows Old Man Kangaroo hopping in front. Old Man Kangaroo comes to a stop in front of a clock showing 5 o’clock. The clock is being held by Big God Nqong. The snake appears again from the clock and sticks out its forked tongue at Old Man Kangaroo five times before going back inside.

The film cuts to Yellow-Dog Dingo looking tired with its eyes closed and tongue hanging out. He lays down on the ground and falls asleep. Also looking tired Old Man Kangaroo drops his shoulder as he speaks to the camera. Big God Nqong looks down and speaks with Old Man Kangaroo.

Looking tired Old Man Kangaroo speaks to Big God Nqong and grabs his own throat. He looks back at his real legs and tail which has changed since the film started.

Big God Nqong looks down and pokes at Old Man Kangaroo who begins to hop. He turns and hops away jumping on top of the sleeping Yellow-Dog Dingo. Yellow-Dog Dingo speak from underneath Old Man Kangaroo his tail slapping Yellow-Dog’s face.

Back in his bath Big God Nqong looks down and speaks with Old Man Kangaroo and Yellow-Dog Dingo standing on a sandbank. The image of the two of them on the sandbank morph into a view of the Australian continent. The film changes again to show Yellow-Dog Dingo chasing Old Man Kangaroo through the desert and of a cliff.

The film ends on a view of Old Man Kangaroo appear alongside a montage of other Just So Stories animals.

End Credit: Music by Brenda Orwin

End Credit: Narrated by Sylvia Welsh

End Credit: Animated and Directed by Sheila Graber

End Credit: Co-produced with Marble Arch Films