Based on the classic novel by Colin Thiele, about a boy raising pelican chicks in the Coorong wetlands of South Australia, Storm Boy in 1976 became a landmark film in Australia's outreach to the international cinema scene. In 1977 it won AFI Best Film and established two Australian cinema legends, David Gulpilil and Mr. Percival.
Gulpilil went on to become one of Australia's most respected actors, but Mr. Percival, though quite young at the time, left the stage to raise a family with his partner Alto. Mr Percival fathered seven chicks, a most repectable batch. He retired in '88 to Adelaide Zoo and though he suffered from arthritis he led a quiet life, liked by his keepers, till old age took him at 33. A memorial is being considered and I would think so too.
So lets look back on a special time with Mr. Percival, one that remains significant in Australian film history. If this is your first encounter with this gentle and most natural performer, I ask you, how can you not look at pelicans quite the same way.
Now let us now raise a glass of sardines to the memory of Mr. Percival.