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Pingu Show
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

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Between 1982 and 1983, 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". The pilot was accepted by the publisher and it became a full series. 

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.

When Hit Entertainment bought the rights in 2001, 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.

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 did not air in the US from 2002 until 2005, when reruns of the series returned to the country on PBS Kids Sprout, but was removed during 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. Toys in the likeness of Pingu characters also featured in Japanese KFC restaurants as part of their Kids' Meal.

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 program.

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.

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".
  • 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. [2]
  • There is also a Pingu slot machine called "Pingu's Ice Block" made by Capcom. [3] [4]

References

  1. https://www.theguardian.com/tv-and-radio/2016/jan/11/how-we-made-pingu-childrens-tv-animation
  2. http://www005.upp.so-net.ne.jp/elilin/pingu/index.html
  3. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EDw4f10yKbI
  4. http://www.am-j.co.jp/newmachine/200602/002.html

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