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:: Little Johnny the Movie

Move over Ginger Meggs there is a new redheaded Aussie larrikin on the scene, the foul-mouthed Little Johnny arrives on the scene in a flurry of ‘f**ks’ and ‘c**ts’ and shows that politically incorrect jokes still have a role in today’s society. Little Johnny The Movie may not be the best film of the year but it will guarantee you a guilty laugh or two.

This animated mocumentary explores the origins of the famous Little Johnny jokes that have been making people all around the world laugh for decades. Apparently, these jokes are all about one source. A foul-mouthed redheaded boy called Little Johnny (voiced by Genevieve Morris) that lived in the Australian town of Gallangatta during the 1960s. During the course of the film we learn that he picked up most of his abusive language from his Uncle Kev (Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson) while pining for Little Mary (Eloise Grace) who is dating his arch enemy, Jason (Peter Kent). However, when Little Johnny hears about a local billy-cart derby he decides that if he can win that he will win the affections of Mary.

Many harsh critics will be quick to jump on the old-style animation seen in Little Johnny The Movie and will highlight that companies like Pixar have seen us move on from such a style. But to be honest they are missing the point completely. It is obvious that director, Ralph Moser has deliberately made the film look like this, not only to celebrate the fact that it is set in the 1960s, but also as a tribute to the old-style Warner Bros. cartoons… the character of Rooster is an obvious shout-out to Foghorn Leghorn.

And while the animation and storyline didn’t jar with me, two things certainly did. Firstly, the closeness to the old Ginger Meggs comic series. If the similarities between Ginger and Little Johnny aren’t obvious then the ones that revolve around the storyline certainly are. Little Mary is very similar to Ginger Meggs’ Min Rogers while Jason and his billy-cart pedigree are very similar to Ginger’s nemesis, Billy Corgan. My other major concern is that feels that the filmmakers are hoping the character of Little Johnny will in fact ‘shock’ the audience. However, in these days and times most people have seen South Park and Family Guy and most likely won’t even a bat an eyelid.

Little Johnny The Movie works nicely as a film, and you have to credit the filmmakers for creating a film that will have its audience laughing. My only concern is that it will struggle to find an audience. Those who love the drunken larrikin Dad/Uncle jokes of Kevin ‘Bloody’ Wilson will love it, but I can’t see it being a film that exactly packs out cinemas. You will laugh, but don’t except anything brilliant.