Avenger Penguins

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Avenger Penguins
Also known as Hell's Penguins
Genre Animation
Comedy
Developed by Granada Television
Written by Jimmy Hibbert
Phil Jackson
Malcolm McGookin
Roger Stennett
Stefan Redfern
Rob Rackstraw
Directed by Jean Scott
Jean Flynn
Voices of Jimmy Hibbert
Lorelei King
Mike McShane
Rob Rackstraw
Composer(s) Phil Bush
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 2
No. of episodes 26
Production
Executive producer(s) Mark Hall
Brian Cosgrove
Producer(s) Ben Turner
Running time 22 minutes
Production company(s) Cosgrove Hall Films
Distributor Fremantle Media
Broadcast
Original channel ITV Network (CITV)
Picture format 4:3
Original run 22 September 1993 (1993-09-22) – 9 December 1994 (1994-12-09)

Avenger Penguins is an animated series produced by Cosgrove Hall Films in 1993. It was animated by Alfonso Productions, a Spanish based animation studio also responsible for bringing Cosgrove Hall's show Fantomcat to life. It aired largely on Children's ITV and was originally to be called "Hell's Penguins". It has the distinction of being the last Cosgrove Hall cartoon to be animated using hand painted animation cels, as all 2D animated series from the studio thereafter would use computers for the ink and paint process; with the animation drawings scanned and then digitally coloured.

The story revolves around three bike riding Penguins that inhabit Big City, uniting to protect it and its citizens from the evil Caractacus P. Doom, an insane and reclusive criminal scientist. The Penguins attempt to prevent Doom's schemes but find themselves often hampered by their own miscommunicating and occasional scraps with other biker gangs infesting Big City, such as The Stink Brothers, a canine squad of Hell's Angels. As with most Cosgrove Hall cartoons, the series poked fun at the popular concepts of having creatures performing inhuman action feats and stunts in an animated medium, made popular by the then enormously successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles franchise. The core the show's themes is heavily and coincidently similar to Biker Mice from Mars, although with the two shows being aired at exactly the same time, and from two different parts of the world that hadn't any connections whatsoever with each other, it is completely difficult to determine who ripped off who. It's very likely that neither ripped off each other and that the two shows having similar concepts is simply a coincidence.

The cast, like Danger Mouse and Count Duckula had with David Jason, boasted a star talent in a major role, this time in the form of Mike McShane as the Penguin's un-coordinated but brash leader Marlon, as well as the villainous Doom. To show how the series was mocking the often rushed animation style of the original TMNT series, two supporting characters known as "The Badly Drawn Brothers" were always left with the design construction lines still showing out of deliberate neglect.

Pop culture references were found in abundance in many of the episodes and in the characters, Doom himself is patterned on an elderly Orson Welles, Harry Slime (who talks like Peter Lorre) in the meantime is based somewhat on Harry Lime, a character from the movie The Third Man. The season 2 episode, "The 23rd Century" also served as a parody of Star Trek.

The entire series was released on a three disc DVD box set in March 2006.

Voices[edit]

[citation needed]

  • Mike McShane (Marlon/Mr. Caractacus P. Doom/Blue Badly Drawn Brother/Baracuda Stink/TV Joe)
  • Jimmy Hibbert (Bluey/Harry Slime/Bella/Brown Badly Drawn Brother/Poodle Stink)
  • Rob Rackstraw (Rocky/Doc/Cecil Stink/Irv)
  • Lorelei King (Dolores Divine/Ms. Leatherclad Fullarain/all other females except Bella)

Episodes[edit]

Series One (1993)[edit]

# Title Air Date
1 "The President is a Fish!" 22 September 1993
Doom is going to replace the president with a clone. Marlon and Rocky are captured running into Doom's tower and the two of them with the president are turned into fish, but Bluey comes to their aid.
2 "The Hog Jamboree" 29 September 1993
As Marlon enters the Hog Jamboree, which Doom has rigged. Bluey manages to reprogram Doom's seeker missile and win the Jamboree.
3 "The Quantum Mechanic" 6 October 1993
Doom uses Bluey's brain to create mind monsters from Bluey's favourite show, Quantum Mechanic and Googerplex. Bella manages to turn Quantum against Doom and save the penguins.
4 "Big City, Little City" 13 October 1993
Doom sends Slime to an orbiting satellite to shrink Big City's population and replace them with monsters. After evading the monsters, the penguins head to Doom's salleite and terminate Doom's shrinking effects.
5 "Computer Chaos" 20 October 1993
Doom brings some video game villains to life, sucks Marlon and Rocky into the game and tries to squich them. Bluey the computer nut comes to the rescue.
6 "I Married an Android!" 27 October 1993
Doom creates an android to brainwash Marlon into a life of suburban bliss and blandness so that Rocky and Bluey are leaderless and uninspired.
7 "Cat Pig-Cat of Iron" 3 November 1993
Irv's 'nephew' Billy Neptune comes to stay with the Penguins. He seems convinced that he is a super-hero but manages to save the three biking birds in the end when Doom captures them.
8 "Nightmare at Tea-Time" 10 November 1993
Mr. Doom's nightmare machine invades the penguins dreams but eventually turns on its master. (This episode references Planet Cute from 'The Vampire Strikes Back' an episode of 'Count Duckula')
9 "Star Struck" 17 November 1993
A movie fan alien visits a film set where Doom and Slime are trying to kill the penguins who are there as stuntmen. (Spot the references to 'E.T.','Star Wars' and 'Blackadder'). 1st appearance of Dolores Devine.
10 "The Labyrinth of Doom" 24 November 1993
The Avenger Penguins and The Stink Brothers eneter an underground motorcycle challenge along with Carberetta Gasoline a tough lady biker who starts of working for Doom but eventually changes her mind and becomes friends with the Penguins.
11 "The Wild, Wild, Wild, Wild West" 1 December 1993
Professor Boring (a cheery fellow) and his wife Euphoria (a depressed woman) have their time machine's transanium crystal stolen enabling Doom to send Harry Slime back to the old west to stake claims on all the gold.
12 "A Winter's Tale" 8 December 1993
Doom sacks Slime and sends him out into the cold where he befriends a fairy. Together they get revenge on Doom who is seeking to make the penguins homeless.
13 "The Revenge of Doom" 15 December 1993
After a year trapped on Mars, Caractacus P. Doom returns to seek revenge and challenges the penguins to a contest.

Series Two (1994)[edit]

# Title Air Date
1 "The 23rd Century" 16 September 1994
The Avenger Penguins are brought to the future to head to the Doomstar of Doom's descendant Lucidious Q. Doom and stop her firing the freezing ray on the globe.
2 "Mommy's Boy" 23 September 1994
When Rocky's mother visits and drags him out to the shops, this give 'Dave Penguin' a perfect chance to take his place.
3 "Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Penguin?" 30 September 1994
Doom replaces Slime with the more efficient, but traitorous Miss DeMeanor. Slime and Doom hatch a plan with the Penguins to get her to leave.
4 "Surprise Fate" 7 October 1994
The Penguins appear as guests on a dating show. Doom rigs the contest so Marlon wins a date with escsped loony, Annabelle the Animal, who has a desire to eat anything that's black and white, for example PENGUINS!
5 "High Doom" 14 October 1994
The old Doc relates a tale from the Wild West, where Beauregarde Doom and his gang try and rob a bank and some penguin lawmen try to escape Humungously Big Mad Joe.
6 "The Jewel in the Crown" 21 October 1994
With Marlon and Bluey trapped at a sleazy night-club where Doom is negotiating a deal for a diamond. Rocky, Slime and Dolores Devine travel (by accident) to an ancient temple.
7 "A Christmas Carol" 28 October 1994
Charles Dickens famous tale gets the Penguin treatment. Doom realises he must restore power to the city after he blacks it out.
8 "Fishfinger" 4 November 1994
Rocky is hired by the President to infiltrate Zigmund Fishfinger's (Doom's) lair and rescue Miss Leatherclad-Fullerain. Marlon and Bluey sneak along for this James Bond style romp.
9 "Disgusting or What?" 11 November 1994
Mr. Doom under-estimates the power of his latest invention, a monster composed of the most horrbile garbage in the city. Meanwhile, Marlon is trying to emulate his favourite movie hero.
10 "Rock 'n' Roll Penguins" 18 November 1994
Much of the episode has the characters bursting into song. Doom is going to blow up the penguins with their own bikes, but Slime has not made the preparations for that.
11 "The Computer of Doom" 25 November 1994
Bluey's addiction to computer games comes in useful when Doom invades the international computer network with a virus. (look out for a 'Back To The Future' reference)
12 "Sherlock's Penguins" 2 December 1994
The Avenger Penguins travel to London to tackle Caractacus P. Doom's cousin, Professor Moriarty, who has leased a drug into the water supply which causes everyone to act like a total cad.
13 "Beauties and the Beasts" 9 December 1994
After Slime's failure to get the penguins, Doom creates two ladies who can switch between pretty and ugly, but they blow themselves up. Then Slime takes over Doom's place.

DVD and VHS releases[edit]

  • In United Kingdom, the entire two series were released on DVD in March 2006 released by Delta Media PLC. Previously the company Arena released 3 videos in 1995, each tape contains 3 episodes.
  • In Australia, there were six videos from Reel Entertainment releasing all the episodes of series 1 and one episode of series 2. Each of them contained 2 episodes.

International Broadcasts[edit]

Credits[edit]

  • Executive Producers for Cosgrove Hall: Mark Hall and Brian Cosgrove
  • Executive Producer for Granada: Edward Pugh
  • Vocals: Paul Young
  • Business and Finance Manager: Phil Slattery
  • Production Co-Ordinator: Laura Cosgrove
  • Animation Director: Carlos Alfonso (Alfonso Productions)
  • Storyboard: Keith Scoble, Ian Whitworth, Neil Graham, Wayne Thomas, Richard Nye, Jean Flynn, Jez Hall, Ben Turner, John Martin, Stephen Simpson, Vince James, Jean Scott, Jose Solis
  • Designers: Andy Roper, Jon Doyle, Maggie Riley, Alastair Fell, Mike Whaite
  • Layout: Jose M. Zumel, Rafael Diaz, Jose C. Rueda, Jose Machin, Tom Bailey, Jon Doyle, Andy Roper
  • Backgrounds: Roberto Garcia, Andres Hernandez, David Jaratz, M. Jose Traver, Carlos Fernandez, Javier Mota, Angel Chicharro, Pedro Alvarez, Carlos Blanco, Manuel Martin, Jose M. Zumel, Edwardo J. Valero, Juan Carlos Moreno, Pedro Machin, Higashi Taruma, George Popov, Maggie Riley, Beverley Bush, Pete Hillier, Mike Hill
  • Animation: Alberto Conejo, Manuel G. Guliana, Segio Alfonso, Vicenia Rodriguez, Juan Torres, M.Carmen Gonzalez, Francisco Alvarez, Basilo Gonzalez, M. Elana Marquez, F. Eugania Gomez, Edward Sasu, Bujor Stefanescu, Igancio Amero, Miguel Alamlnlos, Francisco Alamlnos, Tierry Tarres, J Antonio Sorrano, Dimiter Tanev, M. Angel Romero, Francisco Tens, Angel Rodgriquez, Mariana Ruada, Valentia Caim, Carmen Chanza, Angel Jerlego, Rafael Diaz, Borja Montero, Paca Morano, Luis Varela, Manolo Doctor, Jesus Barbara, Claire Gray, Alastair Fell, Mair Thomas, John Offord, Meryl Edge, Barry Hales, Hugh Workman, Mike Whaite, Jose Solis
  • Colourist: Joan Jones
  • Xerox & Registration: Alex Alfonso, Fernando Santiago, Julio A. Gracia, Enrique Bagan, Agustin Sepulveda, Paulino Martin, Fernando Santiago, Juanjo Mora, Evandro Setmanavicius, Tony McAleese
  • Painting & Checking Supervisors: Carmen Sangrador, Maribel Lopez
  • Paint & Trace: Susana Diez, Herminia Burgaleta, Asuncion Tomas, Elena Garcia, Loli Pina, Concha Galabuic, Julia Xalma, Mari Mar Rodriguez, Gloria Vidal, M. Jose Alvarez, Pili Quesada, Angeles Sanz, M. Carmen Rivas, Elvira Hernandez, Toni Ucar, Inma Guerrero, Nines Canalejo, Pinar Sancho, Maria Teruel, Alicia Fleming, Kena Herrero, Eva Amat, Monica Bosquet, Begona Alonso, Angeles Vacas, Lola Sanchez, Elisa Torres, Francisca Vicent (Colour Crew)
  • Key Animation: Claire Grey, Alastair Fell, Meryl Edge, John Offord, Mair Thomas, Michael Whaite, Ian Whitworth, Manuel G. Galiana, Sergio Alfonso, Ignacio Meneu, Javier Galdos, Carmen Chenza, Baltasar Pedrosa, Pedro Jorge, Luis Varela, Luis Martinez, Thierry Torres, Rene Arza, Miguel Palomero, Borja Montoro, Mariano Rueda, Eduard Sasu, Alberto Campos, Ventura Rodriguez, Ignacio Amero, M. Elena Marquez, J. Antonio Serrano, F. Eugenio Gomez, Julio A. Mayo, Yolanda Perez, Aranta P. De Mezquia, Jesus Pena, Jesus E. Minguet, Pedro Molina, Vicente Rodriguez, Antonio Gimenez, Angel Jariego, Valentin Cain, Paca Moreno, Francisco Tena, M. Angel Romero, Manolo Doctor, Abraham Meneu, Oscar Velasco, Francisco Aluarez, Angel Rodriguez
  • Assistant Animation: Judy Pilsbury, Craig Whittle, Jennie Langley, Tim Window, Helen Smith, Helen Michael, Bill Tapp, Alan Lee Moult, Les Brooksbank, Julio Altozano, M. Isabel Fernandez, Sandra Sasu, Andres Ruiz, Juan Serrano, Paulino Giner, Asier Agirre, M. Carmen Gonzales, Belen Mota, M. Luisa Ruiz, M. Jesus Rodriguez, J. Carlos Francisco, Samuel Ruiz, Manolo Garrido, Enrique Morente, Lourdes Santos, Elena Arnaiz, Sacramento Martinez, J. Carlos Rueda, M. Jesus Rodriguez, Marta De La Rosa, Belen Mota, Juan Armijo, Raul Castillo, Luis Amor, Maria Morcillo, Ismal Arrais, Silvia Abellan, J Felix Garrido, Sagrario Cruz, Roberto Fernandez, Carmen Nunez, Mike Coles, Nichola Marlborough, Robert Brown
  • Checking: Alex Alfonso, Roy Huckerby
  • Rostrum Camera: Peter Kidd, Victorio Gonzalez, J. Manuel Guerrero
  • Computer Operations: Phil Atack
  • Production Manager: Julio Diez
  • Camera: Victorio Gonzalez, Juan Manuel Guerrero, Peter Kidd, Phil Atack
  • Video Line Test: Phil Atack, Eva Montero, Maite Alonso and Pepe Garcia
  • Film Editing: FLIX
  • Dubbing Mix: John Wood
  • Digital Sound Editors: Darren Cox and Simon Hall
  • Copyright MCMXCIII, MCMXCIV Cosgrove Hall Films Limited, Granada Television Limited
  • A Granada Programme For ITV

External links[edit]

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