'Back To The Outback': release date, voice cast, and all about the cute animation

'Back To The Outback' sees cartoon creatures on a big Australian adventure!
'Back To The Outback' sees cartoon creatures on a big Australian adventure! (Image credit: Netflix)

Back To The Outback is a new animated movie on Netflix which definitely takes its cue from the story in Pixar's Madagascar. For this film follows a group of Australia's deadliest creatures, locked up in the reptile house of a Wildlife Park and tired of being gawped at by humans, who plan a daring escape. It also features a top cast of mostly Australian actors including Isla Fisher and Guy Pearce.

So here's everything to know about Back To The Outback on Netflix.

'Back To The Outback' release date

Back To The Outback arrives in select cinemas in the US, UK, and Australia in early December then launches on Netflix on Friday 10 Dec. 2021 which is the movie's worldwide release date. The one-off animation is 95 minutes long and is launched just in time for the Christmas TV season.

'Back To The Outback' poster.

'Back To The Outback' poster for the Netflix film. (Image credit: Netflix)

'Back To The Outback' trailer

"Welcome to the Australian Wildlife Park!" booms the voice as the Back To The Outback trailer begins. We then take a look at some of the creature heroes we'll be meeting in this Netflix animation. Take a look at the Back To The Outback trailer below.

'Back To The Outback' plot

Leading the critter gang in Back To The Outback is Maddie (voiced by Isla Fisher), a poisonous snake with a heart of gold, who joins forces with lovelorn spider Frank (Guy Pearce), sensitive scorpion Nigel (Angus Imrie) and self-assured Thorny Devil lizard Zoe (Miranda Tapsell). But when their nemesis, a cute but obnoxious celebrity koala called Pretty Boy (Tim Minchin), unexpectedly tags along, the escapees have no choice but to let him join on their mission. As the creatures finally break out of the zoo and head for the outback, however, they end up being pursued by zookeeper Chaz (Eric Bana) and his mini-me (Diesel La Torraca). So will they end up finding a new home in the wild?

The 'Back To The Outback" creatures on a daring escape.

The 'Back To The Outback" creatures on a daring escape. (Image credit: Netflix)

'Back To The Outback' voice cast — Isla Fisher, Guy Pearce and Tim Minchin

The Back To The Outback voice cast has a suitably Aussie flavour, with Isla Fisher leading the way as poisonous snake Maddie. Isla is well known to British audiences as she made her name playing Shannon Reed in the Australian soap Home and Away from 1994 to 1997, which still remains popular in the UK today. This led Isla to the US and Hollywood, starring in films such as Scooby Doo in 2002,  Definitely Maybe (2008), Rise Of The Guardians (2012) and The Great Gatsby in 2013. Isla Fisher is the author (opens in new tab) of two young adult novels and the Marge in Charge book series (opens in new tab), and is married to comedy movie star Sacha Baron Cohen. They have three children.

Isla's co-star in Back To The Outback also started his career in an Australian soap popular in Britain. Guy Pearce played hunky Mike Young in Neighbours from 1986 to 1989. His break into movies came with his role as a young drag queen Felicia in the 1994 movie The Adventures of Priscilla Queen of the Desert. His Hollywood stardom cemented, Guy went on to star in movies such as L.A. Confidential (1997), Memento (2000), The Time Machine (2002), The King's Speech (2010), Prometheus (2012), and the Marvel action movie Iron Man 3. On television, Guy recently starred alongside Kate Winslet in Mare of Easttown

Tim Minchin, who voices the pampered koala Pretty Boy in Back To The Outback, is an acclaimed comedian, actor, composer, songwriter, pianist, and director who was raised in Perth, Australia. He's the composer and lyricist of the award-winning Matilda The Musical on stage. He played rock star Atticus Fetch in the US series Californication and plays Lucky Flynn in the TV series Upright.

'Back To The Outback' is a big adventure for the creature friends.

'Back To The Outback' is a big adventure for the creature friends. (Image credit: Netflix)

'Back to the Outback' cast — who else is starring

Also among the Back To The Outback voice cast is Hollywood actor Eric Bana (Munich, The Other Boleyn Girl), who is the voice of Chaz, the zookeeper. Chaz also has a mini-me voiced by Diesel La Torraca. Among the critters is a sensitive scorpion Nigel voiced by Angus Imrie, and a self-assured Thorny Devil lizard called Zoe voiced by Miranda Tapsell.

In 'Back To The Outback', zookeeper Chaz (Eric Bana) has a mini-me assistant.

'Back To The Outback' baddies... zookeeper Chaz (Eric Bana) has a mini-me assistant. (Image credit: Netflix)

More about 'Back To The Outback' from its directors

Back To The Outback co-director Clare Knight says of the movie: "It’s a take on celebrity culture. Pretty Boy has been pampered, he’s had everything given to him and he’s got a camera on him 24 hours a day," she explains. "He needs to break out and go on this journey to change and find some empathy. This film is a big ensemble who’s who of Australian actors and Tim has a fun humour and these snarky one-liners that are perfect for Pretty Boy."

Back To The Outback's other co-director Harry Cripps adds: "We wanted to make film where the deadly creepy crawlies are the good guys," he says. 

"Australia’s a great country to make this kind of movie because it’s got super cute animals like koalas and kangaroos, but it’s also got some of the deadliest creatures on the planet. I hope viewers will come away with a big smile on their faces and a take-away message about not judging others just by the way they look and approaching people with an open heart and an open mind."

Nicholas Cannon
TV Content Director on TV Times, What's On TV and TV & Satellite Week

I'm a huge fan of television so I really have found the perfect job, as I've been writing about TV shows, films and interviewing major television, film and sports stars for over 25 years. I'm currently TV Content Director on What's On TV, TV Times, TV and Satellite Week magazines plus Whattowatch.com. I previously worked on Woman and Woman's Own in the 1990s. Outside of work I swim every morning, support Charlton Athletic football club and get nostalgic about TV shows Cagney & Lacey, I Claudius, Dallas and Tenko. I'm totally on top of everything good coming up too.