If you like films based on true stories or a film that’s perfect for the whole family to enjoy then you need to watch Oddball and the Penguins – the amazing true story of how a Maremma sheepdog became guardian to an endangered colony of little penguins.
“Off the coast from the small town of Warrnambool lies Middle Island, a sanctuary once home to thousands of the world’s smallest penguins. But since foxes learned to cross the shallow channel to the island, penguin numbers have plunged. And if they fall below ten, park ranger Emily Marsh will be out of a job. This shocks her father, eccentric chicken farmer Swampy Marsh. His wife ran the sanctuary, but when she passed away, Emily stepped in, while Swampy retreated to his farm. Emily’s nine-year-old daughter Olivia is the glue that keeps the family together.
And at the centre of everything is Oddball, Swampy’s rambunctious Maremma sheepdog. After Oddball goes on an off-leash run that nearly destroys Main Street, tensions rise. If the sanctuary closes, Emily plans to take Olivia and move away with Bradley, an American tourism consultant. So now Swampy might lose his daughter and granddaughter as well.
The solution comes when Swampy rescues an injured penguin from the island and discovers to his amazement that Oddball – who can’t bring himself to guard chickens – is an expert at guarding penguins. With two weeks until the final penguin count, Swampy and Olivia devise a crazy plan – train the rambunctious and unpredictable Oddball to protect the penguins and save the sanctuary, while somehow keeping the operation a secret from everyone.
Will Emily discover the truth? What about the suspicious Dogcatcher? And who is the shadowy person trying to make sure the sanctuary closes?
What follows is a rousing adventure as Oddball, Swampy and Olivia manage to save the penguin preserve, their family and the town itself.“
When released in its home country of Australia the film took over $10m AUD at the Box Office. The film is shot entirely along the Australian coast near Melbourne. It features brilliant and heart-warming performances by all the cast – I think that the animal cast members stole the show.
Oddball & the Penguins is out now on DVD, On Demand and Digital HD.