‘Kangaroo Valley’ Review: Up, Close And Personal With The Kangaroos In Australia

Documentaries are a great source of information for those who want to skip reading the black letters on the white pages. They offer a great deal to learn from, along with a good dose of entertainment as well. Documentaries, when narrated well, can keep the viewers hooked throughout. Wildlife, real-life stories, crimes, history, science, philosophy, and many other fields have documentaries for every age and taste. Humans have always been fascinated with the wildlife and its mysteries. The animals have their own system of survival, and it is quite astonishing to see their systematic way of living. It is not every day that one comes across a documentary about the kangaroos of Australia that is narrated and presented like a story. If that’s what you are looking for then “Kangaroo Valley” on Netflix is a good option.

“Kangaroo Valley” is mainly focused on Mala, a newborn Eastern Grey kangaroo joey from a secret valley in Australia. It covers a span of over twelve months and shows Mala’s growth from a bumbling newborn to a young kangaroo learning the ways of the wild. The animals in the documentary are presented like characters in a story. There are Lowana and Bamir, Mala’s parents; a young dingo named Miro; a wombat named Warrin; a young joey named Biru; and also, a wagtail bird named Willie. Bamir is also the king of the Kangaroo Mob.

As Mala learns to stay out of her mother’s pouch, she faces a few obstacles as well. She learns about the outside world and the changes that come with each season, and she also learns to protect herself from danger. As “Kangaroo Valley” progresses, the audience is shown how the kangaroos adapt to seasonal changes. In spring and summer, they are at leisure owing to ample food and pleasant weather. During winters, it gets difficult for them to survive as the frost finds its roots deep within the ground, making much of the vegetation inedible for the mob. There are dangers on the ground as well as from above. An eagle circles the land, deciding on its prey. As the other wild animals notice the predator in the sky, they alert each other. The ravens and magpies drive the eagle away successfully, protecting their four-legged friends on the ground. There is a lone wombat named Warrin living under the lands that the kangaroos frequent. The wombat is shown to only eat and dig burrows in the land all day. The wagtail bird is a quirky little creature. In spring, when the kangaroos shed their fur, the bird flits in the air to catch pieces of the fur and build a warm nest for itself.

The dingo pack is notorious for hunting the mob, especially young joeys. One dingo specifically in focus is Miro, a young one and also the offspring of the leader of the pack. The rules of a dingo pack are stringent, and a male dingo must prove to be a good hunter in order to lead the pack and also survive in the wild. Miro has had several unsuccessful attempts at hunting, so he was let go from his pack. After a few months on his own, he comes back, and this time he decides to hunt Mala, who is also of his own age and relatively younger than most of the kangaroo mob. He chases her to the lengths of the wild land, but Mala makes a lucky escape. In addition to showing the life of a kangaroo mob at a glance, “Kangaroo Valley” also offers a glimpse into the vegetation and the changes it goes through in a year. Millions of fungi grow in the valley, and they let out a glowing light. Glowworms in deep caves brighten the area with their luminescent light. At night, the creatures produce new skin hues by absorbing ultraviolet light.

The location of this valley of the kangaroos is not disclosed in the documentary, but one can safely assume that it must be a protected sanctuary, for it is home to thousands of indigenous Australian wildlife creatures. The documentary is just an hour and sixteen minutes long and manages to keep the audience attuned to nature and its wonders. Sarah Snook’s narration is quite engaging as well. If you’re a person who likes to watch wildlife documentaries, then “Kangaroo Valley” is a must-watch to have on your list. Coming from a director who has worked with David Attenborough, the shots taken for the documentary are very pleasing to the eye. Thankfully, there are no gory scenes of dead animals or carcasses lying around, so “Kangaroo Valley” is a documentary that you can safely show children as well. It might just become an entertaining lesson in geography and wildlife for them. The story-like narration, quirky sound effects that lighten the mood, the sounds of nature, and also the natural landscape shown in “Kangaroo Valley” are something that will make a casual viewer look for such wonderful documentaries on wildlife.

“Kangaroo Valley” is a 2022 Documentary film directed by Kylie Stott.

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Nandini Iyengar
Nandini Iyengar
Nandini has grown up on a healthy diet of books, movies and shows. Hailing from a multicultural background, Nandini has tried indulging in art from different corners of India that came naturally to her. Taking the influence further, she delved into foreign languages and indulged in content from across the globe. When she is not watching anything on her laptop, she can be found daydreaming or picking her pen to write a few words of fiction.

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