Netflix announced today that the new animated film Back to the Outback will make its global debut in Fall 2021. The comedy adventure marks the directorial debuts of filmmakers Clare Knight and Harry Cripps, and stars the voices of Isla Fisher (Rango), comedian Tim Minchin, Eric Bana (Munich), Guy Pearce (Memento), Miranda Tapsell (Top End Wedding), Angus Imrie (The Kid Who Would Be King) and Diesel Cash La Torraca (Little Monsters).
Daniela Mazzucato produces, and Weed Road Pictures’ Akiva Goldsman (A Beautiful Mind) and Greg Lessans, who developed the story with Cripps, executive produce.
Tired of being locked in a reptile house where humans gawk at them like they’re monsters, a ragtag group of Australia’s deadliest creatures plot a daring escape from their zoo to the Outback, a place where they’ll fit in without being judged for their scales and fangs. Leading the group is Maddie (Fisher), a poisonous snake with a heart of gold, who bands together with a self-assured Thorny Devil lizard Zoe (Tapsell), a lovelorn hairy spider Frank (Pearce), and a sensitive scorpion Nigel (Imrie). But when their nemesis — Pretty Boy (Minchin), a cute but obnoxious koala — unexpectedly joins their escape, Maddie and the gang have no choice but to take him with them. So begins a hair-raising and hilarious road trip across Australia, as they are pursued by zookeeper Chaz (Bana) and his adventure-seeking mini-me (La Torraca).
The movie also features the voices of Rachel House (Moana) as Jacinta the great white shark, Grammy winner Keith Urban as Doug the cane toad, Celeste Barber (The Letdown) as Skylar the koala, Wayne Knight (Jurassic Park) as Phil the platypus, Aislinn Derbez (La Casa de las Flores) as Legs the redback spider, YouTuber Lachlan Ross Power as Tasmanian Dave, and Academy Award nominee Jacki Weaver (Silver Linings Playbook) as Jackie the crocodile.
“I have always been touched by stories of hidden beauty,” says director Clare Knight (editor, The LEGO Movie 2, Kung Fu Panda trilogy). “Maddie is both uniquely beauty and beast, and to get to present that message in comedy is the icing on the cake.”
Adds writer/director Harry Cripps (Penguin Bloom), “Growing up in Australia, I spent a lot of time in the Blue Mountains which has many different types of snakes and spiders, and I always preferred them to the cute cuddly animals, so it’s such a treat to make a film where the heroes are these poisonous but beautiful little creatures. This film is a love letter to Australia’s incredibly diverse and unique wildlife.”
Back to the Outback will be animated by Reel FX (The Book of Life), with music from Ruper Gregson-Williams (Aquaman) and original songs by Tim Minchin (Broadway’s Matilda).