Cane Toads Invade Sundance!

Susan and I are both eager to see filmmaker Mark Lewis’s Cane Toads: The Conquest, which has received good reviews at the Sundance Film Festival. This film, in 3-D,  is a follow-up to his cult favorite of 25 years ago, Cane Toads: An Unnatural History.

Here’s a description of the film from the website:

Shot against the harsh and beautiful landscape of northern Australia, Cane Toads: The Conquest tracks the unstoppable journey of the toad across the continent. Director Mark Lewis injects his trademark irreverence and humor into the story as he follows a trail of human conflict, bizarre culture and extraordinary close encounters.

Filmed with high-resolution 3D technology, Cane Toads is the first Australian digital 3D feature film.  Custom designed equipment allows viewers to get up close and personal with these curious creatures like never before. The unique viewing experience is like being immersed in the world of the toad.

Cane Toads were introduced to Australia in 1935 to control sugar cane larvae. Unfortunately they didn’t do that—instead this adaptable toad has thrived without natural predators and now numbers in the millions. The toads are poisonous when eaten by other animals, including native species and pets. They’ve caused other problems as well (for example, they eat the insects that other animals, such as skinks, depend on). Clearly, the importation of cane toads into Australia has been a huge ecological disaster.


Cane Toads: The Conquest isn’t a conventional animal documentary.  According to the film’s website:

[Cane Toads] is a truly poignant environmental cautionary tale on the issue of invasive species and human folly. Some will see this story as a tragedy, some a comedy of errors, and still others a heroic journey across a harsh yet beautiful continent. As the world wrestles with the idea that we have irretrievably altered our own ecosystem, these bulbous creatures may be the ultimate metaphor for the inevitable path upon which we have set ourselves.

For more information, watch Anne Thompson’s interview with Mark Lewis on her blog TOH! Thompson on Hollywood. Susan I and hope a major distributor picks up the film so we can see it in our area!