Kamloops Film Festival in review: Oddball

Each year, The Omega reviews the films presented at the Kamloops Film Festival. The festival runs through March 11.

Family movies can be more than what they appear to be on the surface. We’ve seen this with films like Zootopia, which offer surface-level fun for kids but offer a little more for adults paying attention. Oddball was not this kind of movie.

Directed by Stuart McDonald, this Australian film follows Oddball, a dog who just can’t seem to do anything right. The story surrounds a small seaside town in Australia that seems to be more concerned with its tourism industry than the declining population of penguins that once inhabited the land.

Following Shane Jacobson as Swampy, a chicken farmer whose daughter has taken up the penguin conservation efforts of his deceased wife, Swampy soon discovers that his dog Oddball, who is constantly creating chaos around town, is better at protecting the few remaining penguins than his own chickens.

Devising a plan with his young granddaughter played by Coco Jack Gillies, the two decide to train Oddball to protect the penguins from the foxes that prey on them.

This seemingly linear movie takes a turn for the weird because it cannot decide who the real villain is. Is it the dog catcher? The town’s judge? The whale watching guys or the head of tourism? This movie is completely indecisive and at times make no sense.

The film is somewhat redeemed by the penguins and the adorable Oddball, but still unfortunately takes a backseat to the plot.

This film is probably great for kids who don’t need anything more than a temporary distraction, but for anyone looking for more, it’s just not there.