Australian Screen

Australia’s audiovisual heritage online

The Silver Brumby (1994 - 1996)

Children's series
39 episodes x 30 minutes

Series synopsis:

Set in the majesty of the Australian high country, and based on the characters created by Elyne Mitchell in her much-loved Silver Brumby books, this series follows the adventures of the magnificent silver colt Thowra (John Higginson), son of the mighty Yarraman, who is destined to become king of all the wild horses. Intelligent and courageous, Thowra, his friends Storm (Doug Tremlett) and Boon Boon (Rebecca Gibney), his half brother Arrow (Rhys Muldoon/Stephen Whittaker), and the bush animals including Benni, the wise kangaroo (Charles ‘Bud’ Tingwell) have to outwit the Mountain Men who want to capture the wild horses and take away their freedom.

Curator’s Notes:

Created and produced by John Tatoulis and Colin South (Media World), this is a very appealing, very Australian animation, based on the classic Australian stories by the renowned author Elyne Mitchell (1913–2002). The spirit and substance of Mitchell’s work, has been captured in this high quality animation. It was developed as a spin-off from Media World’s highly successful, award-winning live action film The Silver Brumby, starring Australian actor Russell Crowe.

This series was written by Judy Malmgren and Jon Stephens who first collaborated on the script for the award-winning feature film, The Silver Brumby, which was apparently inspired by Malmgren’s love of horses.

The 39-episode series, produced over four years, was described by producer Colin South as ‘the first fully-animated series using Australian stories, themes and locations to be wholly produced within Australia’. The program was broadcast on Network Ten in Australia and has gone to air in over 30 countries around the world including England, Italy, Spain, France and Germany.

For The Silver Brumby, the studio produced traditional hand-drawn line art animation and hand-painted backgrounds which were digitally scanned, painted and composited. At the time, the creation of the Animation Works Studio was important in revitalising the Victorian animation industry. As there was no large animation studio in Melbourne, Media World Pictures describes the process of assembling a team of 45 animators to work on the series as a huge challenge. Animators were recruited from around Australia and internationally. Some of the senior animators were international filmmakers, and many had worked for the studios of Walt Disney, Hanna Barbera and Yoram Gross on award-winning animation series including Winnie The Pooh and Blinky Bill.’ The studio has since gone on to produce other animated children’s television series The New Adventures of Ocean Girl, and Dog Star, and the adult animation John Callahan’s QUADS!.

Titles in this series

The Silver Brumby – Friends of the High Country 1996

In this, the first episode of 39 in The Silver Brumby series, Thowra (John Higginson) meets the beautiful Boon Boon (Rebecca Gibney) who is greatly taken by him. Unfortunately, she is The Brolga’s (John Stanton) daughter so the young couple ...