In the unforgiving wilderness of the Australian Alps roams a stallion like no other: the Silver Brumby, revered by all, including his greatest enemy, man. One horseman determines to challenge the might of the horse who, according to legend, could never be tamed.
The fantasy element of this film comes through the strong anthropomorphism in the treatment of the horses and the way in which the story of Thowra and The Man is framed as a fable.
Set in the Australian high country and based on the characters created by Elyne Mitchell in her Silver Brumby books, this series follows the adventures of the silver colt Thowra, son of the mighty Yarraman. Thowra is destined to become king of all the wild horses. Intelligent and courageous, Thowra, his friends Storm and Boon Boon, his half brother Arrow, and the bush animals, including Benni the wise kangaroo, have to outwit the Mountain Men who want to capture the wild horses and take away their freedom.
(Source: Australian Screen)
'The underdog is a familiar figure in Australian popular culture. Yet Australian studies scholarship has tended to focus on the related, but somewhat broader, concept of egalitarianism. The figure of the underdog therefore remains a popular trope, rather than an object of serious study. This article seeks to critically engage with constructions of the underdog, arguing that this figure underpins some of the most significant narratives of Australian identity and is ripe for further analysis. I build on the work of American anthropologist James Wertsch, and what he has described as schematic narrative templates, to position the underdog narrative as an Australian iteration of his schema. In particular, I focus on narratives that feature the horse as significant. Touching on key cultural texts including “The Man from Snowy River” and the Silver Brumby series to illustrate this schema, I then draw more deeply on constructions of the racehorse Phar Lap to argue the template’s use in framing a nationally significant historical narrative. I contend that the underdog schematic narrative template and what I have termed the Australian “horse discourse” function to mutually reinforce the legitimacy of both, creating powerful sites for the expression of nationalism.' (Publication abstract)
'I am walking quietly through the forest. As I reach the edge of the trees there is a snort and a staccato of hoofbeats, and four horses materialise only metres in front of me: a foal, two mares and a dark stallion. The stallion, ears pricked, tosses his head and prances forward. As I crouch to pick up a branch, the stallion wheels and gallops off with the group. They hurdle an old stock fence, and almost as soon as their hoofs touch down, another big grey stallion comes towards them over the hill.' (Introduction)
This Exhibition is a collection of extensive teaching resources for classic Australian children's texts. The resources are aimed at upper primary school and lower high school teachers. The collection forms part of Anthony Shaw's Learning with Literature program.