I had managed to completely erase this bit of scarring from conscious memory until a Cracked writer had to go dig it up. The 1977 Australian children’s movie “Dot and the Kangaroo,” which I vaguely remember watching in what would have been the early 1980′s on cable TV (probably HBO), mostly consisted of singing cartoon animals like koalas and the eponymous kangaroo.
It also had a musical sequence, in a style unlike anything else in the movie, about the mythical bunyip. Try to watch this from the perspective of an 8 year-old:
Of course, growing up in the middle of a big city in Texas like I did, the bunyip didn’t exactly pose a great threat to me:
The bunyip, or kianpraty, is a large mythical creature from Aboriginal mythology, said to lurk in swamps, billabongs, creeks, riverbeds, and waterholes. The origin of the word bunyip has been traced to the Wemba-Wemba or Wergaia language of Aboriginal people of South-Eastern Australia. However, the bunyip appears to have formed part of traditional Aboriginal beliefs and stories throughout Australia, although its name varied according to tribal nomenclature. In his 2001 book, writer Robert Holden identified at least nine regional variations for the creature known as the bunyip across Aboriginal Australia. Various written accounts of bunyips were made by Europeans in the early and mid-19th century, as settlement spread across the country.
Dammit, though, that shit is terrifying to a kid.