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Cane Toads: An Unnatural History

1988 / 47m - Australia
Cane Toads: An Unnatural History poster

Surprisingly funny. Not so much a wildlife documentary, but an amusing look at humanity and all its quirks. The story of the cane frog is relatively well known - a foreign species brought in to help with battling beetles that ended up overtaking an entire ecosystem - but the different angles found by Lewis make this documentary worth the while.

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The cane toads had few natural enemies and those that did try to kill it immediately died by its poison. In no time the frogs swamped large parts of the country. What they didn't do was help with the beetles (oh the irony), but they became so ubiquitous that people started to adopt them as a mascot for the region.

Lewis found some pretty hilarious people to interview. Some of them kept the animals as pets, others cooked them into drugs, even others ran them down with their cars. This could've been an awesome mockumentary, but it's so much better knowing these are real people being interviewed. Also props to Lewis for recognizing the comedy potential of the material and adding to it with the soundtrack and camera work (though some things were staged). Good stuff.