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WIGGLES MOVIE, THE

SYNOPSIS:
Thinking The Wiggles have forgotten her birthday, Dorothy the Dinosaur goes on an adventure with Wally, a failed magician, to see if her friends Wags the Dog and Henry the Octopus have remembered this special day. Wally accompanies Dorothy as he wants to find some extra magic to win the Magic Club competition and live up to his ancestors’ tradition. The Wiggles visit their special friends Wags the Dog, Henry the Octopus and Captain Feathersword to tell them not to reveal the big surprise birthday party being organised in the circus tent in the park. Dorothy and Wally’s adventures climax at the Magic Club competition which has repercussions on the surprise party later that evening.

Review by Louise Keller:
How refreshing it is to find a film that promotes good food, honesty, integrity and safety! Fresh, colourful and bright, The Wiggles Movie blends reality with fantasy seamlessly, and elevates music to a level that is as important to the narrative as the script. The film is basically a vehicle for the most successful children-friendly band in Australia, The Wiggles. Three members of the group, Anthony Field, Murray Cook and Greg Page, are qualified pre-school teachers, who got together while creating musical projects for the Early Childhood Education unit at Sydney’s Macquarie University. Field, a member of the band The Cockroaches, met its keyboard player Jeff Fatt, who subsequently joined the group. The formula assembles a simple story line, well established distinctive characters and toe-tapping songs with accessible lyrics and melodies that make you want to hum along.

Like ABC’s Playschool, The Wiggles Movie is designed to be entertainingly educational for pre-schoolers, promoting clarity through simplicity and uncluttered enthusiasm in word, music and action. These characters encourage eating fresh fruit, wearing sun block, believing in oneself, and - wait for it – they even promote the notion that maths can be useful!!

As we weave our way through reality into surreal fantasy, we are charmed by such characters as Wags the Dog, Captain Feathersword and in a delightful underwater sequence, we are privy to a routine by Henry the Octopus and his Underwater Big Band, complete with shell microphones and back-up vocals by catfish with glitter lipstick. (In this scene, the Wiggles are wearing colour co-ordinated goggles, sun-block, flippers and sunhats.)

The unbridled enthusiasm of the cast transmits to the audience, and as if compelled by some unknown energy, some youngsters at the preview screening were drawn to the screen for the final party scene, like bees to honey. How sweet it is.

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WIGGLES MOVIE,THE (G)
(Australia)

CAST: The Wiggles, Tony Harvey, Leeanee Ashley, Carolyn Ferrie, Paul Paddick

DIRECTOR: Dean Covell

PRODUCER: Hilton Fatt

SCRIPT: Greg Truman

CINEMATOGRAPHER: Scott Preston

EDITOR: Marc van Buuren

MUSIC: The Wiggles & John Field

PRODUCTION DESIGN: Andrew Horne, Deborah Szapiro

RUNNING TIME: 84 mins

AUSTRALIAN DISTRIBUTOR: Fox

AUSTRALIAN RELEASE: December 18, 1997







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