“I wondered what an Aussie superhero would look like,” Australian creator/animator Michael Cusack tells Supanova of his thought process when he got into the superhero realm in 2015. These wonderments led Cusack to create Disney+’s new adult animated series, Koala Man.
Koala Man is about a middle-aged Aussie dad named Kevin (voiced by Cusack) whose only superpower is a burning passion for following rules and snuffing out petty crime in the town of Dapto. Think Bruce Wayne without the money, and Dapto is Kevin’s Gotham.
While this series follows Kevin’s quest to clean up his hometown, it also follows his family, who think he is going through a mid-life crisis. His wife, Vicky (Sarah Snook), worries about their marriage while also being forced to acknowledge her self-worth. Their daughter, Alison (Demi Lardner), is on the path to becoming popular in school and will do anything to attain the title. Meanwhile, their youngest son, Liam (Cusack), is the opposite and feels out of place in his family and Dapto.
Cusack got to collaborate with Rick and Morty co-creator Justin Roiland again, after previously working on Bushworld Adventures together in 2018. Roiland served as an Executive Producer on Koala Man, while Dan Hernandez and Benji Samit (Pokemon: Detective Pikachu) were on the writing team.
“[Justin] was a real mentor,” Cusack enthuses, praising Roiland and pointing out that he was the driving force behind Koala Man making its way to Hulu. Cusack also felt comfortable asking him questions throughout the process.
Aside from its strong creative team, Koala Man is filled with a star-studded cast. Starting Hugh Jackman, Miranda Otto, Hugo Weaving, Jemaine Clement and more.
“Aussies and Kiwis working together was just natural,” Cusack sums up when Supanova noted the mix of the cast.
What makes Koala Man truly unique, aside from its humour and emotional connection, is the surrealism Cusack that injects into average Aussie situations, like taking out your bins on the right day (or checking if your neighbours have taken out their bins).
The show slowly eases the audience into Kevin’s mundane suburban life. Then suddenly, you are on a ride, watching Kevin try and defeat an alien life-form coming for Dapto. It’ll be interesting to see how the Aussie humour fares internationally.
Those who know Cusack’s early work will be pleased to know that Damo and Darren will appear in this series, since Dapto is their hometown.
Koala Man is available to stream on Disney+