Pingu is a Swiss-British stop motion clay animated children's comedy television series created by German television producer, animator, and director, Otmar Gutmann, the first four seasons were produced from 1986 to 2000, and the last two were produced by HiT Entertainment from 2003 to 2006.
Enjoyable theme songs from both the first four seasons and seasons 5-6.
Speaking of the theme songs, six words: "The Pingu Dance" with David Hasselhoff! What an amazing opportunity given to the American actor who went onto be a guest star for The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie
Pingu's catchphrase "Noot Noot!" or "Nug Nug!" in the UK, is very catchy and pretty humorous. His catchphrase became so iconic to the point of becoming an internet meme.
The 2016 Japanese reboot Pingu in the City is very good. It is one of those rare reboots where a UK cartoon character becomes so popular in Japan, that any Japanese animation team would decide to bring the series that was from the UK back into modern day television, and it was done very well, and the concept alone stands out amazingly.
The CGI animation in Pingu in the City is very good as it takes the interesting approach of making the CGI resemble stop-motion animation similar to Bob The Builder: Ready Steady Build.
It is one of the longest running stop-motion kids shows as it ran from 1986 to 2006, for a total of 20 years.
What makes the show unique is that the characters never speak English, substituting it for a fictional penguin language, which is not just clever, but allows the viewer to think of what the penguins are saying themselves. This is one of the rare cartoons (or maybe if you call the first cartoon in the UK, despite being made in Switzerland during production)
This did lead to a number of fan-made series dedicated to translating the episodes.
Enjoyable music soundtrack.
Great character designs.
Really fun and enjoyable episodes.
Charmingly likable and fun protagonist.
Enjoyable voice acting from Italian actor now currently working for the Milan Centrale Railway Station, Carlo Bonomi, who did all of the voices.
Season 5-6 was a massive improvement to the classic series, due to character redesigns and higher quality animations.
The fifth and sixth seasons were almost as enjoyable as the first four.
It spawned a twenty two minute television special episode, "Pingu at The Wedding Party" (which was available in the UK only, and can be uploaded on YouTube).
The classic run, while great, can have its own hiccups, especially with its characters:
Even though it's for kids, the episode "Pingu and the Doctors" shows blood to the point it could be something off of an adult cartoon. That was used when Pingu accidentally broke his beak.
Pingu's parents do abuse him in some episodes. One episode was when Pingu refused to eat his dinner in "Pingu Runs Away", he rocks his chair and ends up pulling all the food off the table. His parents are so furious that Mother approaches him and ends up spanking him, Pingu goes crying to his father asking for a hug (implying he was asking for sympathy), only for him to reject it (implying he believed Pingu deserved what he got). In "Pingu Quarrels with his Mother", she slaps him across the face, but in that instance, immediately regrets doing so, even if Pingu wasn't better himself. This scene was enough for it to be cut out when the episode was released on VHS in the UK.
The first two seasons were unnecessarily redubbed with Carlo Bonomi re-recording his lines and the music also being reworked too in later releases.
Pingu's father can be a jerk. In "Grandfather Comes to Visit", he was really mean to Pingu and Pinga and rude to Grandfather (yelling at them for Grandfather's magic trick), showing that he was a really bad host. Another example, in "Like Father Like Pingu", he was just a show-off and tried to hog the glory of Pingu's large catch.
Pingu's sister, Pinga, can be unlikable sometimes. She frequently cries and throws temper tantrums a few times (e.g. "Pingu and the Gift"), either to avoid facing the consequences or just to get what she wants. However, she is not as bad as how D.W. from Arthur is, as the intention in the show was to make the kids and parents in this series act closely realistic as possible, which was made the series work.
Pingu sometimes treats Pinga as the punching bag in a few episodes.
Numerous confusing plot holes that don't make any sense. In "Pingu and the Baker", Pingu steals a tart, returns home and is caught, but why couldn't he finish the tart before he arrived home? Another example in "Little Accidents" is if Pingu couldn't reach the toilet to use it, how did he go all the other times?
Pingu's mother forced him to chop wood, which is incredibly dangerous.
Like The Ren & Stimpy Show, it had some censorship issues (especially in the UK and the US when it was first brought to the States), even when broadcasting on Cartoon Network in 1996 before moving to PBS Kids Sprout in 2005, four years after its hiatus from US broadcast.
"Pingu's Lavatory Story" (called "Little Accidents" in the UK) has a disgusting scene where Pingu pees all over the floor, which was the obvious reason why the episode was banned.
An episode called "Pingu's First Kiss" where Pingu and Pingi kissed together, which the US banned the episode due to beak-to-beak contact.
The walrus/seal/sea lion that appeared in "Pingu Dreams" is scary, because of the walrus/seal/sea lion, it caused the episode to be banned from television viewing.
It had a share of some bad episodes, but not too many to find.
Pingu's Mother's modern voice actress makes her sound stuck up and snooty, which is not her character.
While the stop motion is good, it still clearly cuts corners to save money. Character models are frequently reused for background characters, sometimes a prop can shift positions between frames and the character animation can be stilted from time to time.
"Pingu & the Doll" is banned from US television possibly due to the episode with Pingu playing as a Native American stereotype.
Despite being British, the series's first four seasons were made in Switzerland from the Late 1980's-2000.
Season 4 was the last season of Pingu to air in the 20th century, and to last to be the classic series.
Before Pingu, Carlo Bonomi recorded some railway announcements in Italy for the Milan Central Railway Station, they remained in use from 1985-2008.
Seasons 5-6 were animated by HOT Animation, the same animation team behind Bob The Builder and The Rubberdubbers.