Britain is on a roll with live-action / CGI versions of their classic storybook characters that have been around for decades. Paddington is a delight, Peter Rabbit was far better than I anticipated, and Christopher Robin looks like it will be a heart-wrenching success too.

So what other stories of this ilk are available to mine for box office success? Australia has a few that they’ve tried out in full animated form a couple of times. One is called The Magic Pudding, which is a tad grotesque and very dated. Another is Blinky Bill, a happy go lucky Koala. Those didn’t exactly set the world alight.

New Zealand, though, has Footrot Flats, a long-running comic strip from the 80s drawn by the late Murray Ball, about a farmer named Wal, and his faithful sheepdog (who was the main character in most of the strips). Accompanied by Cooch Windgrass, the neighbouring farmer with a more holistic approach, and young Pongo, Wal’s niece who helps out on the farms, and a wide cast of additional characters, both human and animal, it has a huge scope of tales available to tell in a distinctly Kiwi way.

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There was an animated movie in the early 90s, and it was quite cool, but time for a new approach.

Taika Waititi may be an obvious choice as director, as he’s flavour of the month still, but he’d nail it so damned perfectly.

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I’d cast it too. This is Erik Thomson, he’d be a fine Wal Footrot.

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Bret McKenzie could play Cooch.

Lucy Lawless would play Wal’s glamorous girlfriend Cheeky Hobson.

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Animal Logic could do the dogs, cats, and sheep that make up most of the farm.

Why isn’t this happening? Whyyyyy?