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Toonhound presents...






British TV series

     Pingu - copyright  HIT Entertainment / The Pygos Group


Pingu     (2004-2005)

HOT Animation for HIT Entertainment
stop-motion animation
      episodes: 52 x 5mins


    Yes, yes, we all know that Pingu the magnificent gabbling penguin is in
    fact a Swiss tv hero. He was created by Otmar Gutmann in 1984, and back then,
    he went by the name of Hugo. "Hugo" starred in several short episodes that were
    subsequently combined into one short film. But in 1986 he got a name change
    and was given titular billing in a pilot created for Swiss TV And from there came
    international stardom. In all, 104 five-minute episodes (or four seasons, if you
    prefer) and a 20 minute Pingu special were filmed at Trickfilmstudio in
    Switzerland and sold around the world. But what you might not know is
    that HIT Entertainment acquired the rights to the character in 2001, and
    as Pingu's twentieth anniversary loomed large, they decided to commission
    52 all-new episodes that were brought to life right here in the UK, by the team 
    at HOT Animation. Which means that Pingu's series five and six qualify 
    for inclusion at Toonhound...

    Pingu is a delectably - and deceptively - simple creation. This young penguin
    has lots of mini adventures with his family and friends around their South
    Pole home. There's no dialogue or narration, just an ongoing stream of
    Penguinese chatter to accompany the onscreen antics. Oh, but the
    way in which everything comes together, well, that's the magical part.
    Pingu is, by turns, irreverent, indignant, sometimes rude, and even
    quite rude on occasion, but he's always full of plucky charm. He's
    forever getting up to mischief and running amok, but he's soon brought
    down to earth by his chiding parents.

    A great part of Pingu's appeal lies in the method of his animation. Most modern
    stop-motion series utilize scaled puppets which are then manipulated, frame
    by frame. But Pingu is filmed using a series of interchangeable solid models,
    and the animators really go to town with the technique. The penguins adopt
    great stretching poses, and when they get excited their beaks transform
    into tootling trumpet shapes. The penguins' walk cycle involves them shuffling
    their feet forward in an exaggerated way, and slapping the "toes" of each
    foot down, in turn, as they reach their extreme. Better still, this unique walk is
    accompanied by a fabulous "flick-flack" noise on the soundtrack!

    What a playful series this is. Pingu's japes and games often create havoc
    for the other penguins around him. All-too often he finds himself on the end
    of a ticking off from a disgruntled relative of stall holder, and there's no
    better sound in the animated world than that of a narked penguin, trumpeting
    its vexation at Pingu and his pals. There's some wonderfully irreverent
    humour here, we get to see penguins - um - "exposed" in their outhouse,
    and in "Stinky Pingu" there's a magic moment in the bathtub, with Pinga
    which leaves this reviewer chuckling every time he sees it. You might want
    to tell us that it's not big and it's not clever, but actually, Pingu is very big
    indeed. He's a hit with kids and adults alike, as witnessed by his star
    appearance in this video for Eskimo Disco. And what's more,
    this production is far too clever by half... Noop! Noop!...


    It may sound a bit like gobbledygook, but Pingu's lingo is a lot more
    specific than that. It's actually based on a gabbling European clown language
    known as Grammelot which dates right back to the 16th century, and
    has been spoken by many a mimic and carnival character in its time.
    Originally, Pingu's words were ad-libbed by Carlo Bonomi, but two new
    voice artists - Marcello Magni and David Sant - were brought in for
    the HOT production...


    Pingu's Polunddrum

    Okay, so Pingu and friends are penguins, and they live at the South Pole.
    So how come they live in igloos? - After all, an igloo is a decidedly Inuit
    creation, and as every schoolboy can tell you, the Inuits are native to
    the North Pole on the other side of the world...?

    And, hang on. Pingi's favourite toy is her rabbit soft toy. But there aren't
    any rabbits at the South Pole, so how do the penguins know what they
    they look like?

    Oh dear. Perhaps we should stop before everything unravels...


    know your penguins - er - and others...

    Pingu's family

    Pinga - she's Pingu's white-downed little sister, hatched from a teaspoon...
    Mother - has accentuated eyebrows, and likes hats and knitting...
    Father - he's a postman, with a snowmobile and he likes knitting too...
    Grandfather - is tall, he wears big round glasses and plays the accordion...

    Pingu's penguin pals

    Pingi - she's Pingu's girlfiend...
    Pongi - is a short beaked penguin with bookish glasses...
    Pingo - has a long beak and likes sledging and playing tricks on Pingu...
    Pingg - is the smallest of the three penguins...
    Punki - has tufts on his head, and he sports stripey trousers...

    Pingu's other pals

    Robby - he's a seal living in a nearby pool, and he's Pingu's best friend...
    Bajoo - he's a rather affable abominable snowman, who only appears in
                in the very last episode of Series 6...
HOT Animation episodes

    Series Five                               Series Six
    Pingu's Bouncy Fun                     Pingu's Sledge Academy
    Pingu Finishes the Job                 Pingu and the Hose 
    Pingu Digs a Hole                        Pottery Pingu
    Pingi's Valentine Card                  Pingu and the Litter
    Pingu Wants to Fly                     Mother's New Hat 
    Pingu's Windy Day                      Poor Pingu
    Pinga's Lost Rabbit                      Pinga in a Box
    Pingu's Moon Adventure               Pingu and the Present    
    Pinga Sleepwalks                        Pingu and the Toyshop 
    Pingu the Snowboarder                Pingu and the Paper Mache  
    Pinga Has Hiccups                      Sore Tummy Pingu
    Like Father Like Pingu                  Pingu Gets Carried Away
    Pingu's Ice Sculpture                   Pingu and the School Pet
    Pinga's Balloon                           Pampering Pingu
    Pingu and the Knitting Machine     Green Eyed Pingu
    Pingu's Balancing Act                  Pingu Wraps Up
    Pingu Gets Lost                          Pingu and the Fish Flute
    Pingu and Pinga Go Camping         Pingu Boogaloo
    Stinky Pingu                              Pingu and the Daily Igloo
    Pingu and the Band                     Pingu and the Rubberband Plane
    Pingu and the Snowball                Pingu and the Braces       
    Pingu's Stick Up                         Pingu's Big Catch
    Pingu and the Doorbell                Pingu and the New Scooter 
    Pingu Plays Tag                         Pingu and the Paint
    Pingu's Pancakes                       Pingu Makes a Big Splash
    Pingu's Bedtime Shadows            Pingu and the Abominable Snowman


    Pingu on DVD

    In the UK there are six individual releases covering the
    HIT/HOT productions:

    UK DVD Pingu: Bouncy Fun
               Region 2 / nine episodes / HIT Ent. / reissue / April 2007
    UK DVD Pingu: The Snowboarder
               Region 2 / nine episodes / HIT Ent. / November 2004

    UK DVD Pingu: Stinky Pingu
               Region 2 / eight episodes / HIT Ent. / April 2005

    UK DVD Pingu: Pingu's Sledge Academy
               Region 2 / eight episodes / HIT Ent. / July 2005

    UK DVD Pingu: Pingu and the Toy Shop
               Region 2 / eight episodes / HIT Ent. / November 2005

    UK DVD Pingu: Boogaloo
               Region 2 / ten episodes / HIT Ent. / April 2006

    Alternatively, there are two box sets you might want to consider:
    UK DVD Pingu Box Set - 1
               Bouncy Fun / Stinky Pingu / Sledge Academy

    UK DVD Pingu box set - 2
               Snowboarder / Toy Shop / Pingu Forever (original series)

    Finally, if you just want a quick fix, indiviual episodes are
    included on a number of these HIT compilations...


    a HOT Animation production
     for HIT Entertainment Plc

    originated by Otmar Gutmann, Erika Brueggemann

    series directors:       Liz Whitaker, Nick Herbert
    producer:                 Bella Reekie (Series V)
                                   Bella Tomlinson (Series VI)
    series producer:       Jackie Cockle
    exec producers:       Theresa Plummer-Andrews
                                   Jocelyn Stevenson
    writers:                    Rupert Fawcett, Olly Smith, Leigh Manning,
                                   Ross Hastings, David Haworth, Tim Compton,
                                   Kate Nowakowski,
Sam Babrovskie,
                                   Peter Reeves, Sally Lever, Dave Ingham,
                                   Frank Sidebottom
    script editors:           Anne Starkey, Tim Compton
    music:                      Keith Hopwood

    puppets:                   Mackinnon & Saunders Ltd
           Leigh Manning
    sets:                        The As and When Men, Horseshoe Bend
    costumes:                Corrigan & Betty
    directing animators:  Will Hodge, Jud Walton, Paul Couvela, 
                                    Steve Cox, Kevin Walton, Oliver Putland
    series design
     & art direction:
         Sam Babrovskie
    asst to art director:    Lynne Ainsworth, Sam Gaughran
    props & set dressing:  David Haworth, James Taylor,
                                     Daryl Marsh, Chris Sievey,
                                     Gavin Robinson, Sharon Taylor,
                                     Debbie Tingle, Andi Johnson,
                                     Hilary Utting, Joe Vettese
    set research
     & development:
        Matt Sanders
    replacement props:    Daryl Marsh
    props master:            Nigel Place
            Les Eaves
    storyboard artists:     Les Eaves, Vincent James,
                                    Matt Plant, Victor Georgiev,
                                    Justin Exley
    cycloramas:              Tim Farrington
    original lighting:         Sam James
    lighting camera:        Shirlaine Forrest, Roger Robinson
    asst camera:             Paul Jones, Jamie Kennerly
    picture editor:           Jane Hicks
                    Adam Taylor, Sarah Faust
    dubbing/online:         422 Manchester
    senior prod asst:        Melissa Rogers
    prod assistants:         Angela Farnworth, Lizzie Radcliffe,
                                    Zeph Blair, Laura Dimaio (Series V)
    prod supervisor
     for HIT:
                     Laura Dimaio (Series VI)
    head of production
     for HIT:
                     Karen Davidsen
     co-ordinator for HOT:
 Kate Nowakowski
    voices:                       Marcello Magni
                                     David Sant


      On the web
      This is Pingu's official site....

      Pingu at YouTube
      And this is his official video channel...

      HIT Entertainment
      Here are Pingu's producers...

      HOT Animation
      Here are his animators...

      Mackinnon & Saunders
      These chaps built the puppets...

      Pluto Music
      And this is Keith Hopwwod's place...

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© The Pygos Group / HIT Entertainment Plc / F2008