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Pingu2003Logo

The show's logo from 2003 and onwards

Pingu is a British-Swiss stop-motion claymation children's show created by Otmar Gutmann. The main character is a penguin called Pingu, who lives in the South Pole along with his family & friends.

The show was produced by Trickfilmstudio, later known as the Pingu Filmstudio and The Pygos Group in 1986-2000. HiT Entertainment and Hot Animation took over these roles in 2003.

History

In the early 1980s, Otmar Gutmann worked in his small film studio together with the graphic artist Harald Mücke to compete for advertising television. One of their shorts was Hugo. Gutmann decided to make more out of it, so he pitched a pilot to Swiss television DRS, under the name "Pingu: A Pre-School Children's Story ", in 1986. The pilot was accepted by the publisher and it became a full series, the first few episodes were produced in the late 1980s are the series itself premiered in 1990. The pilots were later released on DVD as bonus features on Japanese DVD releases. 

The show was broadcasted on SF DRS and RTSI in Switzerland, around the same time, the BBC acquired British broadcast and home video rights to the series in the United Kingdom, They used to show Pingu occasionally on CBeebies right up til the end of 2015. Now the fifth and sixth seasons are repeated on 5STAR's Milkshake! slot. In the late 1990s, when Nickelodeon UK was showing CBBC shows, this show was part of them. 

Carlo Bonomi originally did all the voices in the first four seasons and Marcello Magni and David Sant took over until the last episode to date.

In the mid 1990s, due to the new soundtrack and voicing made for Season 3, Seasons 1 and 2 were redubbed and were given new music, these versions of the show started circulating outside of the United Kingdom, and became more common in the early 2000s when HiT Entertainment purchased the show.

In 1997, the first and only Pingu TV special was aired, Pingu at the Wedding Party, the special is about Pingu going to one of his cousins' wedding, it marked the first time Carlo Bionomi had somebody else voice as well as him, and also has a soundtrack composed by Andy Benedict, it was later released on DVD in 2004.

On 29th October 2001, Hit Entertainment bought the rights to The Pygos Group for over £15.9m. At the same time, Season 5 and 6 were green-litted and they were produced by Hot Animation. They needed someone who could speak Penguinese as well as Bonomi did, so David Sant sent to they his CV. He shared Pingu with Marcello Magni, who also had a background in physical theatre. Steve Cox went over to Gutmann’s studio in Switzerland and brought back everything they could find, right down to Biros that had run out. The puppets were all falling apart, so they made moulds and recast them out of resin. They used “replacement animation” rather than stop-frame [1], a technique which was also used in the "Puppetoons" short films.

The new series was also shown on BBC, and lasted for 2 seasons, after the airing of the Season 6 episode Pingu and the Abominable Snowman, Pingu ended abruptly without any announcement.

The show was succeeded by The Pingu Show, a spin-off series in which Pingu lives in his secret whale-shaped funhouse. It was packed with brand new sketches, two classic episodes from Pingu and Penguin Facts with Professor Pingu, the chance to learn more about the amazing world of penguins. It was narrated by Marc Silk. It had in total of 78 episodes.[2]

In 4th September 2017, NHK announced that Pingu will be returning to television for the first time in ten years, on a new television series called Pingu in the Cityairing in Japan on October 7th, 2017.[3] The series is made by Polygon Pictures.

Characters

Pingu Main characters

From top left to bottom right. Grandfather, Father, Mother, Robby the Seal, Pingu, Pinga.

Main Characters

The main characters who are in the the series are.

  • Pingu - Pingu is the main character in the series. He has a sister, grandfather, mother and father, and many friends aswell! He is about 5 years old. His best friend is Robby the Seal, and is often playing with him. He sometimes can be very naughty, but tends to sort things out when he realises the errors of his ways.
  • Pinga - Pinga is Pingu's sister. She was introduced in the episode The New Arrival when she was born. She is only 3 years old and goes to playgroup.
  • Robby the Seal - A young seal in the series. He plays with Pingu and often gives a fish to Pingu whatever he is going fishing. He was introduced in the episode Pingu Goes Fishing.
  • Pingu's Mother - She always gives Pingu & Pinga a cuddle to keep them safe.
  • Pingu's Father - A Post Penguin. His son Pingu likes to help him deliver the mail.
  • Grandpa - Pingu and Pinga's grandfather. He is in his 60's and he always helps Pingu with his day's activities. He was first introduced in Music Lessons.

Secondary Characters

  • Pingo - Pingu's second best friend. He and Pingu sometimes can argue or do silly things or play good games.
  • Pingg - Pingu's third best friend and Pingo's best friend.
  • Pongi - Pingu's fourth best friend, who rarely was introduced in the episode Ice Hockey. Since in the episode Pingu on the School Excursion, he has often been depicted wearing glasses.
  • Pingi - Pingu's girlfriend. She was introduced in Pingu's Admirer and likes it when Pingu greets her by kissing her flipper.

Minor Characters

  • Pengy - Pingu's fifth best friend.
  • Punki - A local party clown, He has a tuft on his head and often wears striped trousers.

Seasons

Specials

Other Broadcasts

Pingu has been broadcasted in several countries and on different channels since it's debut.

Pingu first aired in the United States on a morning omnibus program titled Small World, as part of Cartoon Network's Sunday morning lineup. The program featured various animated shorts produced internationally, and ran from 1996 until the show's discontinuation in 2001. The series didn't air the the US from then until 2005, when reruns of the series returned to the country on PBS Kids Sprout, but was removed sometime in 2010. Pingu no longer airs in the United States.

In India, Pingu was aired by Doordarshan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since 2000, it is aired by Hungama TV and Animax.

In Japan, Pingu currently airs as part of NHK's children's program Nyanchu's World, and also on Cartoon Network Japan. The show is extremely popular in Japan, as a result, tons of Pingu merchandise was produced like video games, exclusive licenses, etc. Pingu and Pingi have also been featured in the music video in Ore Pause - My Love Song.

In Australia, episodes of Pingu originally aired as a segment on the children's programme, The Book Place on the Seven Network from 1991 to 1996 and later aired on ABC Television as a stand-alone programme from 1997 to 2016.

Pingu aired in New Zealand on TV3 from 1997 to 2006, and on Four beginning in 2011.

Pingu was also aired in Malaysia on TV3, as a part of the morning television programme.

In Canada, Pingu Airs on TVOKids, CBC Kids, Knowledge Network and Treehouse TV. Pingu has been a mainstay of the children's programming blocks on TVOntario since the mid-1990s. It can still be seen on TV in that country since APTN airs "The Pingu Show" as part of its morning children's programming block "APTN Kids", and the show is available in English and French language versions. Some of the controversial episodes, such as "Pingu Quarrels With His Mother" and "Little Accidents", have aired uncut on APTN Kids. In British Columbia, Pingu is aired during commercial breaks on Knowledge Network.

In Korea, it did air there but it's unknown what channel it aired on, however, unlike most territories, which retained the original penguinese language, this version was redubbed with Korean voice actors.[4]

Awards

This section is under construction. You are welcome to assist in its construction by editing it as well.


  • Winner - 37th Berlin International Film Festival - Kleinin Baren, 1987
  • Winner - Palmares (France) - 1989
  • Winner - 6th Indian International Children's Film Festival - Silver Elephant Award, 1990
  • Winner - Prix Walo - Radio-, TV- and Filmproductions, 1994 

Trivia

  • In the Radio Times' poll for the most favourited children's programme at the BBC in 2014, the series won second place for the best programme of the 1980's, just below "Postman Pat".
  • As a sidenote, the sound effect of walking is made by the artist slapping his arm during the recording session.
  • This show featured as one of Helen Skelton's earliest TV memories in BBC1's "The TV That Made Me" with video clips from Pingu Goes Fishing.
  • A clip of the Pingu intro appeared in a John Lewis advert.
  • In Japan, there were a few Pingu events called Fun! Fun! Pingu. Some events had the original models displayed. [5]

Gallery

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/jan/11/how-we-made-pingu-childrens-tv-animation
  2. http://www.hitentertainment.com/hitcatalogue/pdfs/PinguShow.pdf
  3. http://www6.nhk.or.jp/nhkpr/post/original.html?i=11509
  4. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=thNsAfmm5xw
  5. http://www005.upp.so-net.ne.jp/elilin/pingu/index.html

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