Little Johnny: The Movie

  • Year:2011
  • Rating:MA
  • Director:Ralph Moser
  • Cast:Bev Killick , Genevieve Morris, Kevin “Bloody” Wilson
  • Release Date:April 01, 2011
  • Distributor:Instinct Australia
  • Running time:77 minutes
  • Film Worth:$15.00
  • FILMINK rates movies out of $20 - the score indicates the amount we believe a ticket to the movie to be worth

While some jokes fall flat, this delivers a lot of laughs and also surprisingly charms audiences with its simple animation and sweet coming-of-age story.

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Little Johnny jokes have become a global institution. No matter what part of the world you're from, you've heard at least one of them, even if their origin remains a mystery. This animated comedy finally reveals the truth: the quick-witted Johnny and his misadventures originated from the small town of Gallangatta, in Victoria.

The film follows our redheaded hero as he causes mischief in the classroom, shocks adults with his potty mouth, hangs out with his laidback Uncle Kevin, and tries to win the heart of Little Mary, the prettiest girl in school. It all leads to a wacky billy kart race down a hill, in true sports underdog movie fashion.

The thin plot is just an excuse to string together an endless amount of jokes, some of which will definitely sound familiar. There is something for everybody: from sight gags to double entendres to the politically incorrect - there are pointed jabs at Arabs and the Soviet Union. Underneath the toilet humour, however, is a surprisingly charming coming-of-age story, with Johnny becoming the hero of his small town.

Audiences weaned on CGI and Pixar films might find the animation dated, even primitive: hand-drawn character models animated by computer. This is all part of its charm: the simplistic, retro style recalls the cartoons of old, such as the Warner Bros. shorts, an obvious influence. This can cause nostalgia for an animation style which sadly can barely be seen nowadays.

The cast all do a capable job: Genevieve Morris plays Little Johnny, and the gravely voice of the cranky Barbara from the ANZ commercials is a perfect fit for the irrepressible little boy. The real standout is singer and comedian Kevin "Bloody" Wilson, who gets the lion's share of the best lines as Uncle Kev, always willing to help and give dubious life advice to his beloved nephew.

The humour in Little Johnny is hit or miss; some jokes work while others fall flat. However, with the sheer amount of gags being thrown fast and furiously at the audience, you are bound to have at least one good laugh. It's also packed to the gills with references to other movies, TV shows and cartoons which are fun to discover and point out.

This modest little comedy's only aim is to make people laugh, and on that count, it delivers. Everyone has heard some of these jokes before, and the film is a harmless reminder of why Little Johnny and his escapades have stood the test of time all over the world.

 

Little Johnny: The Movie premieres at the Greater Union Theatre in Melbourne from April 1-24 as part of the International Comedy Festival. For more information and updates on the film's release, head here.

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