yoram_gross yoram_gross

The Man Behind “Blinky Bill”: A Documentary on Yoram Gross

For those of you wondering who Yoram Gross was, your questions are about to be answered. The man behind the Australian series Blinky Bill and Dot and The Kangaroo is the subject of a brand new feature length documentary, Blinky and Me. According to press materials:

The untold story of Australian animator Yoram Gross comes to life in this new film that follows the artist and his family through his childhood in Nazi-occupied Poland, to Israel, where he began creating animated art films, all the way to Australia, where he found his fortune and happiness through animated features for children and the popular film series Blinky Bill, for which he received the highest honor in Australia. Gross continues to create even today, with his 85-year-old youthful enthusiasm.

After a few months on the festival circuit, the documentary opens to the public on Friday September 7th, at the Laemmle’s Playhouse 7 in Pasadena. See the trailer here.

  • I’m from Australia, and I’m really glad that there’s a documentary about an animation filmmaker from Australia.

  • Interesting. I came across some original artwork from BLINKY BILL at an auction recently, but since there wasn’t any detailed information on the lot, I couldn’t identify the character at all… Now I know.

  • Tony McCarson

    I know him! he is the creator of “Dot and the Smugglers”, one of the animated films I watch on Betamax in the 1980s. I also watched 3 more “Dot” films (“Dot and Keeto”, “Dot and the Whale” & “Dot in Hollywood”) on The Disney Channel from 1991 to 1993.

  • Aaron – The Blinky Bill animated series is a hideous bastardisation of the original works by New Zealand author and illustrator, Dorothy Wall.
    Although old fashioned, they have 6,006 times the charm of a single frame of the awful Yoram Gross series.

    • Julian

      Eh, it’s not the worst thing I’ve seen. Although, I agree the original illustrations look better. Personally, I just find it interesting considering this is the first time I’ve heard of any of this. I didn’t know Australia had much of an animation industry.

    • Inkan1969

      I’ve never seen the “Dot” movies, and I don’t really want to badmouth Mr. Gross. But I have to agree that the “Blinky Bill” TV series had some pretty awful looking production values.


      At least the version that made it to the U.S.

      • Chris Sobieniak

        It certainly lacked the live-action photos/footage that had made those Dot movies what they were.

    • Well, no wonders for that :)

      Usually illustrations from children books (like the ones of Dorothy Wall) are way better than possible animated features based on them. Think also that traditional animators tried to find solutions to work in the easiest way as possible, so that’s why there has been a “re-drawn” of the charachters: not so appelling as the original, but easy to animate and to merchandise!

  • It doesn’t really, although there are more opportunities to work independently there than here.

    There are also some big VFX houses that are doing big animationy things.

  • Thanks for the heads up, Jerry. Looking forward to learning about the man behind “Dot and the Kangaroo”, a childhood favorite.