Aussie actress Rose Byrne teaches us how to say 'G'day' in new short film


Byrne voices Ruby, the curious Kangaroo in the film. — Photos: Tourism Australia

A kangaroo and a unicorn travel across Australia and experience big and seemingly impossible adventures together.

Well, their travels only seem impossible because the kangaroo and unicorn are ... toys. But somehow, they manage to visit some of Australia’s biggest attractions by boat, car and, er, hat.

This is the premise of Tourism Australia’s newest promotional video, a short film called G’day that premiered last weekend (you can watch it on YouTube). The film features two CGI characters – Rose the toy kangaroo and Louie the “magical” unicorn – who meet in a souvenir shop on the Great Barrier Reef and go on a tour of Australia using Louie’s wonderful “magic”.

Some of the places they visit include the Sydney Harbour where they also check out the Sydney Bridge and Sydney Opera House, and the Nitmiluk Gorge and Uluru in the Northern Territory, where they learn about the Indigenous Australian people and their cultures.

They also drink several cups of flat white coffee in Melbourne’s famous laneways.

Ruby the kangaroo and Louie the unicorn enjoying some flat white coffee in Melbourne.Ruby the kangaroo and Louie the unicorn enjoying some flat white coffee in Melbourne.

G’day is part of Tourism Australia’s global promotional campaign, “Come and Say G’day”, which aims to boost international arrivals to the country.

Directed by Australian filmmaker Michael Gracey of The Greatest Showman fame, the short film features the voices of Australian actress Rose Byrne as Ruby and US actor Will Arnett as Louie.

Coincidentally, Byrne is Tourism Australia’s current global ambassador. In a press statement, she says: “Having the opportunity to voice Ruby was such an honour – she’s a representative for what it means to be an Aussie – she is warm, welcoming, but also endlessly curious and seeing Australia for the first time. I’m so excited to be able to help welcome travellers to our beautiful country.”

Meanwhile, Gracey says that he thought the script was “a brilliant concept” the first time he read it.

“A kangaroo souvenir, who has never been outside her box – let alone outside the store – faced with her one opportunity to see Australia, with the help of a little unicorn. It’s an uplifting adventure story of two buddies, against the stunning backdrop of Australia’s landscapes,” he says in a press release.

As for why Arnett chose to work on this film, he says the answer is simple: “Having been to Australia a few times, the main takeaway is that I adore everything about Australia and Australians; the welcoming characters you meet who instantly become your mate, the opportunity for adventure in one of the most visually stunning places in the world – I think the film does a brilliant job of showcasing all of this, and I’m really happy to have played a part in inspiring the world to see it for themselves.” ​​

The musical score was written by Australian composers Jonathan Dreyfus and Amy Andersen, and features legendary Indigenous Australian musicians including William Barton, Frank Yamma, the Marliya Gondwana Indigenous Girls Choir and Iwiri Choir.

A reworked version of the 1982 hit song, Down Under by Aussie band Men At Work, can also be heard in the nine-minute film.

The cover was done by up-and-coming Australian band King Stingray, who sings in English and Yolnu Matha, one of the Indigenous Australian languages.


Big winners

In other news, the winners of the 8th Annual World Spa Awards were recently announced. In the Asia and Malaysia category, two luxury brands in Johor were crowned the big winners.

The Anantara Spa (Anantara Desaru Coast Resort & Villas) was voted Asia’s Best Resort Spa for 2022, while the Asia’s Best Wellness Retreat award went to One & Only Desaru Coast, which houses Chenot Spa. These two brands also won the same awards in the Malaysia category.

Meanwhile, Malaysia’s Best Hotel Spa for 2022 went to The Spa at Mandarin Oriental Kuala Lumpur.

The World’s Best Spa Destination award went to United Arab Emirates’ Dubai, while the Best Spa Destination in Asia went to Vietnam.

Other major awards include the World’s Best Hotel Spa (Mandarin Oriental Jumeira in Dubai), World’s Best Resort Spa (The Ritz-Carlton Spa at The Ritz-Carlton Maldives in Fari Islands) and World’s Best Wellness Retreat (Palazzo Fiuggi in Italy)

The World Spa Awards celebrates and rewards excellence in wellness tourism through an annual awards programme. Voting is done online among industry experts and consumers.

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