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Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tail Tale
File:Footrot Flats
Poster for Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tail Tale
Directed by Murray Ball
Produced by Murray Ball
John Barnett
Pat Cox
Written by Murray Ball
Tom Scott
Murray Ball
Starring John Clarke
Peter Rowley
Rawiri Paratene
Fiona Samuel
Peter Hayden
Music by Dave Dobbyn
Editing by Michael Horton
Dennis Jones
Distributed by Kerridge-Odeon
Release date(s) 1986
Running time 71 min
Country New Zealand
Language English

Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tail Tale (also called Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale) is a 1986 New Zealand animated film, based on cartoonist Murray Ball's popular comic strip, "Footrot Flats". It was New Zealand's first feature-length animated film.



Wal's girlfriend, Cheeky, is driving along the highway and is driven off the road by the Murphys who are flying in a helicopter. Later, the Murphys terrorize Wal Footrot's property (voiced by John Clarke), leaving The Dog to drown in a sheep pit. As he is in the sheep pit, he has a flashback of when he was a little pup: how he was united with Wal for the first time, and how he met Jess. Soon, Wal wakes The Dog up and Cooch and the dogs manage to foil the Murphys who were planning to capture Cooch's deer.

Later, Wal finds Rangi and Pongo playing Catch with a football, and so he comes in to teach them how to play Rugby. After a while, Rangi and Pongo tell Wal about an All Blacks selector coming to watch an upcoming Footy match, and Wal daydreams about being an All Black. Next day, Wal works out and decides to go on a date with Cheeky a few days later. Wal takes her to a caravan restaurant that sells fast food. The Dog bursts in on them, thinking that Cheeky is trying to poison Wal, but ends up ruining the dinner after Cheeky vows never to see Wal ever again.

Wal leaves The Dog tied up outside as punishment, and The Dog is later attacked by rats but luckily rescued by Horse. It begins to rain heavily, and Jess is knocked out of her box and is lost somewhere near the Murphy's. While Wal tries to move the bull and Rangi and The Dog try to move the sheep, Rangi notices that Jess is gone and tries to get help from Wal who refuses, claiming he has a "date with destiny". Rangi and The Dog decide to go looking for Jess themselves but are later separated, so Rangi decides to go and get help from Wal, while The Dog goes and looks for Jess, literally following her in her footsteps. As the storm starts dying down, Cooch goes to feed his deer, but notices his stag is missing.

Next day, Rangi still tries to get help from Wal, but Wal wants his "big chance" to become an All Black, and so he, Rangi and Pongo just drive down to the football field. During the drive AND the game, Rangi tries to come up with a plan to get Wal to the Murphys, and when one of Wal's players are sent to the hospital wing, Rangi chooses to play with Wal, as to steal the ball and get Wal to follow him to the Murphys. Luckily, Rangi "does" get the ball, and runs to the Murphy's house in order for Wal to follow. Good news is, Wal does follow him, but only because Pongo mentioned that the Murphys stole Cooch's stag after eavesdropping on their conversation.

Meanwhile, The Dog finds Jess under attack by rats, led by their leader, Vernon the Vermin. Soon, while running away from the vicous dogs, The Dog kills Vernon with a log. Rangi hitches a ride on the top of the Murphy's van and later arrives at the Murphy's farm. Rangi is captured by Irish Murphy and locked in a shed. Irish decides to kill The Dog, Jess and Horse by following them to the river with a gun. Wal and Pongo arrive, Pongo goes and help Rangi, Wal chases after Murphy and Wal's goose chases after Wal. Spit Murphy tries to help by taking the helicopter, but it's destroyed and Spit is captured by Pongo and Rangi. Irish manages to shoot Horse, as The Dog claims Horse had been hit by a ballistic missile, and Wal swings in to get Murphy. First he falls in a mud pit, then he saves Murphy from drowning and lastly, gets bitten "on the freckle" by his goose, who had followed him all the way out here.

The Dog saves Jess from croco-pigs, with the unconscious Horse on the raft. Later, they float to a bridge, where Wal, Pongo and Rangi and attempt to bring them up. Fortunately, Rangi manages to get hold of Jess, but misses The Dog and Horse. They pick up Cooch and decide to try down the beach, but no luck. They all left, but Jess wanted to stay. As they left, Jess started barking, so Wal, Cooch, Pongo and Rangi turned back and it turns out that The Dog and Horse (recovered by waking up and pulling the bullet out of him) were still alive and arrived at shore.

The movie ends with The Dog and Jess with puppies, as Major (Wal's pig hunting dog) meows.


Featuring songs and music by New Zealand musician Dave Dobbyn, the Footrot Flats soundtrack spawned two hit singles: "You Oughta Be in Love", and "Slice of Heaven" (featuring Herbs) which was a massive hit in both New Zealand and Australia.


When screened in Los Angeles, California in 1987, Charles Solomon gave Footrot Flats: The Dog's Tale two and a half stars out of four. "The raunchy humour," he said, "may surprise American audiences accustomed to the sanitized jokes of Saturday-morning kidvid."[1]

The Rotten Tomatoes approval rating for this film is currently N/A.

See also


External links



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