This is a printer friendly page
Free for educational use
Video clip synopsis – Norman Lindsay’s The Magic Pudding is one of our best-loved children’s books and the central character, one of our great Australian anti-heroes.
Year of production - 2004
Duration - 4min 9sec
Tags - animation, artists, audiences, children, creativity, heroes and villains, icons, larrikins, media, media text, see all tags


The Magic Pudding Illustrations

How to Download the Video Clip

To download a free copy of this Video Clip choose from the options below. These require the free Quicktime Player.

download clip icon Premium MP4 themagic_pr.mp4 (30.6MB).

ipod icon Broadband MP4 themagic_bb.mp4 (14.4MB), suitable for iPods and computer downloads.

Additional help.

About the Video Clip


The Magic Pudding is an episode of the series National Treasures produced in 2004.

The Magic Pudding
How did bohemian artist Norman Lindsay, famous for painting provocative nudes, end up producing one of Australia’s best-loved children’s books? Cartoonist James Kemsley reveals the legend behind the creation of the first great Australian anti-hero – Albert the never-ending pudding – as Warren Brown takes a look at Lindsay’s original illustrations at the State Library of New South Wales.

National Treasures
Take a road-trip of discovery with the irrepressible Warren Brown – political cartoonist, columnist and history “tragic” – as he reveals a fascinating mix of national treasures drawn from public and private collections across Australia. On its own, each treasure is a priceless snapshot of an historic moment. Together, they illustrate the vitality and uniqueness of the Australian experience.

National Treasures is a Film Australia National Interest Program. Produced with the assistance of the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Curriculum Focus


Outcomes from this module
Students will learn:

  • the importance and relevance of the Magic Pudding to Australian children’s literature
  • compare the style of the Magic Pudding illustrations to to those in contemporary children’s books
  • compare the book text with the animated text
  • create a cover for a DVD, game, web page or CD based on the Magic Pudding.

Curriculum links
National: The Statements of Learning for English- Year 5

Year 5 Reading
Students read and view texts that entertain. They read and view imaginative texts. These texts contain characters, settings and plots developed in some detail, and may contain topics and issues that extend beyond the immediate plot. Students understand that the main ideas in imaginative texts are developed through interconnecting plot, character and setting. They identify how language is used to portray characters, people and events in particular ways (eg to create a positive or negative perspective).
Students have the opportunity to draw on their knowledge of texts and language to clarify meaning. They know:

  • the function of the different stages of imaginative texts (eg in stories an orientation sets the scene and introduces and describes characters, a sequence of events can build up complications and resolutions to create tension and suspense)
  • that figurative language (eg simple similes) conveys images of settings and characters

Year 5 Writing
Students write texts for known readers to entertain, inform and persuade in print and electronic mediums. They write imaginative texts that may include stories, simple poems and scripts. They understand that writers can explore their own ideas and feelings through the characters and situations they create in imaginative texts. When students write imaginative texts, they describe characters and settings and use dialogue. They develop a storyline of sequenced events with a problem and a resolution and include details relevant to the storyline. They create an ending that draws together elements of the storyline, sometimes in a resolution.

Year 5 Speaking and listening
Students understand that speaking and listening provides opportunities to clarify ideas and understandings on a topic, to give simple arguments and to seek the opinions of others. They understand that people, places, events and things can be portrayed in particular ways.

This is an extract only. Go to The National Curriculum Statements for English
Teachers and students should consult their state’s curriculum and learning programs.

Background Information


The Magic Pudding is a children’s book by Norman Lindsay, published in 1918.

It is the adventures of the koala Bunyip Bluegum in search of his missing parents. One of his companions is a magic pudding, which magically renews itself whenever part of it is eaten. A gang of pudding thieves stalk the magic pudding, who is protected by his companions.

When Bunyip Bluegum finds he can no longer live with his uncle’s annoying whiskers, he sets out to find his own place in the world. Rather quickly he meets Sam Sawnoff (a penguin) and Bill Barnacle (a man with a long white beard) and their pudding, Albert. Albert can taste like steak and kidney pie, or plum duff, or any number of things. Albert is rather cranky and his goal in life seems to be to get people to eat as much of him as possible.

The pudding owners are in constant conflict with a couple of pudding thieves, who frequently succeed in stealing Albert for short bursts of time, until they are set upon and beaten up by the Society of Pudding Owners.

The story is a variation on the ‘three wishes’ theme common in fairy stories.

Classroom Activities


WARNING- the opening sequence of this clip contains nudity. Teachers are recommended to download clip and play from Warren Brown’s narration to camera that commences “Like all kids I grew up loving the Magic Pudding”.

  1. Understanding the video clip
    1. What is The Magic Pudding?
    2. Why was it created?
    3. Why has it been a popular book?
    4. How do the illustrations show the skill of the artist Norman Lindsay?
    5. What is meant by an ‘antihero’?
    6. Who is an example of an antihero today?
    7. Why does the character of the Pudding appeal to many people?
  2. Exploring issues raised in the video clip
    The Magic Pudding was published in 1918; it was created as an animated film in 2000.
    1. Allocate a chapter of the book to a small group. The task is to report on it by referring to the story, characters, language, attitudes and values, etc.
    2. Now watch the animated film and compare these features. Also discuss the filmic elements: voices, animation, music, language and style.
    3. What are the main strengths and weaknesses of the two different media?
    4. Write a comparison OR a review.
  3. Divide students into groups and alocate a media form to each:DVD, CD, electronic game, webpage, print or TV commercial, etc.
    Each group is to design a cover, front page or storyboard a commercial for the Magic Pudding. When the task is completed, display and discuss how each form of representation of the book differs and why.

Further Resources


For more National Treasures information and video clips go to the Investigating National Treasures website

To view the Magic Pudding illustrations in details go to The NSW Government National Heritage Collection

To obtain the 2000 Magic Pudding animated film go to The ABC Shop

To learn how to create a storyboard go to The Australian Children’s Television Foundation Animation Teaching Kit