reissue Pingu print title card for Series 1 and Series 2.
|Genre||Children's stop motion comedy|
|Created by||Otmar Gutmann|
|Written by||Silvio Mazzola|
|Starring||Carlo Bonomi (series 1-4)
Marcello Magni and
David Sant (series 5-6)
|Composer(s)||The Pygos Group|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of seasons||Original series: 4
Revived series: 2
|No. of episodes||Original series: 105
Revived series: 52
157 (total) (List of episodes)
|Running time||Approximately five minutes|
|Production company(s)||Trickfilmstudio Otmar Gutmannn SRG/ZRG/Telepool/Editoy (1986-1996) The Pygos Group (1998) HiT Entertainment (1998-present) Hot Animation (2003-2006)|
|Distributor||SF DRS (1986-2000), BBC Two (2003 - 2006)|
|Original channel||BBC Two, CBBC (1986-2001), CBeebies (2002-present)|
|Original run||May 28, 1986– March 3, 2006|
Pingu was a BAFTA award-winning British-Swiss stop-motion claymated television series created by Otmar Gutmann. The series was produced by The Pygos Group and Trickfilmstudio for Swiss television, and centers on a family of anthropomorphic penguins living at the South Pole. The main character is the family's son and title character, Pingu. The show was made by HiT Entertainment and HoT Animation, British companies, from seasons 5-6.
The show originally ran for fourteen seasons from 28 May 1986 to 9 April 2000 on SF DRS. In 2001, there were 2 Pingu episodes made (one of them being "Pingu & the Doll") that did not air during the original run. The episodes were run later, in 2000, as part of a Pingu marathon. HiT Entertainment's request for more episodes convinced Pygos to bring back the show in 1998, with two more series. Of note, season 1 (1986-1990) and season 2 (1991-1994) were run consecutively but took 4 years for each season to complete, while season 3 (1995-1996) and season 4 (1998-2000) took 2 and 3 years to complete - the show was not cancelled in between. To this day, Pingu maintains a cult following, and enjoys occasional reruns on Cbeebies in the United Kingdom.
The program is set in Antarctica and centres around penguin families who live and work in igloos. The main character, Pingu, belongs to one such family. He frequently goes on adventures with his little sister, Pinga, and often gets into mischief with his best friend, Robby the Seal.
One reason for Pingu's international success is its lack of real spoken language: nearly all dialogue is in an invented "penguin language" consisting of loud honking noises, though occasionally words in Swedish, English and other languages are discernable. This was initially retroscripted by Carlo Bonomi, who created all the sound effects for the series. This feature allows people of different linguistic backgrounds to be able to follow the story.
These are some of the characters appearing in Pingu.
Pingu family 
- Pingu is the title character of the series. His catchphrase is "Pingu!" (more commonly heard as Noot noot!) when he makes a megaphone-shaped beak to indicate how he's feeling, or to simply gain attention. Pingu can also change his shape (such as morphing into a ball) and increase or decrease his height.
- Pinga is Pingu's sister. She first appeared in the episode "The New Arrival" and has a similar appearance to a baby emperor penguin, which is also seen on other younger penguins throughout the show.
- Mother and Father are Pingu and Pinga's parents. Father is a postman who constantly smokes pipes in early episodes, but quits later on. He has a motorized sledge to deliver the mail with help from Pingu. Mother spends most of her time cooking and does all the work in the home. Mother sometimes gets help from Pingu and Pinga, and she always gives them a cuddle when they have learned a lesson. Mother and Father's given names are never revealed.
- Grandfather is Pingu and Pinga's paternal grandfather. He is an expert accordionist, as demonstrated in the episode "Music Lessons". He is also a former professional weight lifter. He first appeared in the episode "Music Lessons".
Pingu's friends 
- Robby is a grey seal. His name means "seal" in German (which is originally spelled with an e at the end). In the first four seasons, he is bluish-grey, but then light grey in the last two seasons. He first appeared in the episode "Pingu Goes Fishing".
- Pingo is a somewhat daredevilish penguin. He has a long beak that is essentially flat at the bottom but slightly rounded on the top and a head that is wider and taller. Despite his daredevilish behaviour, he often persuades Pingu to do wild and silly things with him.
- Pingg is Pingu's other penguin friend. He also has a long beak, but a shorter head than Pingo.
- Pongi is a penguin who wears glasses and has a short round beak. He first appeared in the episode "Ice Hockey".
- Punky is a penguin who first appeared in the episode "Pingu Delivers The Mail". He has a tuft on his head and wears striped trousers. Punky only appears in a handful of episodes.
- Banjo is Pingu's other non-penguin friend. HiT Entertainment reveals him as a "strange newcomer" to the Antarctic in the appearance of an abominable snowman. He debuted in 2005, and appeared in the final episode, "Pingu & the Abominable Snowman". He also appeared in the 7-11 music video and "The Pingu Show".
- Pingi is Pingu's girlfriend and Pinga's best friend. She has thick, white eyelashes and a somewhat mushed beak. She first appeared in the episode "Pingu's Admirer". Pinga is sometimes envious of her despite Pingu paying more attention to her.
- The Schoolmaster is Pingu's teacher. He lives in a nearby school and rings the bell when it is time for school to begin or end. He first appeared in the episode "School Time".
Production history 
A total of 157 five-minute episodes were originally made, from 1986 to 2000, and then again from 2003 to 2006. The episodes were written by Silvio Mazzola and were directed and animated by Otmar Gutmann using clay animation, at Trickfilmstudio in Russikon, Switzerland.
In 1993, David Hasselhoff released (in Switzerland only) the single "Pingu Dance",[dead link] a rap song based on the Pingu shorts and featuring samples of Penguinese. A portion of this song is used as the theme to Pingu in international airings, and was also heard in the new version of the "Pingu Looks After the Egg" episode and replaced the "Woodpeckers From Space" song from the original version. The original theme remains in some international airings, including on BBC's Cbeebies.
A special twenty-minute episode, "Pingu at the Wedding Party", was also produced in 1997, and introduced a family of green penguins.
In 1997, HiT Entertainment bought the United Kingdom rights to the series, including the original 105 episodes, for £15.9 million and updated all the classic episodes in 2002 with new music and voice tracks (though some original dialogue clips and the sound effects were mostly the same.) The original cartoon title card of the show was replaced with a claymated inspiration of the intro, which was initially used on new episodes around 1995, and the music is half of the Pingu Dance single. Carlo Bonomi reprises his roles, and these versions are the only versions broadcasting today. Later, HiT decided to bring back the show, and produced a further 53 episodes, created at Hot Animation Studios in 2004, continuing in stop motion but using resin casts of the original clay puppets which had deteriorated by this time. Cbeebies airs only the original version of Pingu with the original cartoon title card (series 1 and 2) from 53 episodes, and shows 13 episodes from series 3 with the claymated inspiration intro. Contrary to some sources, there was never any CGI used in these later episodes. When Bonomi's non-English language became a problem, he was replaced with new voice actors Marcello Magni and David Sant. Magni and Sant, Italian and Spanish actors based in London, both have a mime and clowning background and were already aware of the clown language of "Grammelot" on which the penguin language was based. In 2006, after the last episode aired, Pingu finally ended its 20-year run on TV.
Pingu first aired in the United States on Cartoon Network's Sunday morning omnibus program Small World, which featured various cartoon shorts produced internationally, from 1996 until the show's discontinuation in 2001. The show returned to America in 2005, when episodes began to air on PBS Kids Sprout. On 11 April 2010, HiT Entertainment removed Pingu from the Sprout schedule due to low ratings.
Pingu has also been a mainstay of the children's programming blocks on TVOntario since the mid-1990s.
In 2006, Pingu was featured in a music video for Eskimo Disco's first single, "7-11".
In India, Pingu was aired by Doordarshan in the late 1980s and early 1990s. Since 2000, it is aired by Hugama 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 the UK, Pingu was featured in the Children In Need 2009 video by Peter Kay, which contained many other popular characters. This was shown on live television across the UK, and then sold on both CD and DVD.
A Japan-only game made for the Nintendo DS, Pingu no Waku Waku Carnival ("Pingu's Wonderful Carnival") was made by Square Enix and released in November 2008. This game is a series of mini games starring Pingu and his friends, including one in which Pingu's mother and father bake a heart-shaped cake, with the gameplay style resemblant to that of Cooking Mama.
Other video games based on the series are 'Pingu's 'Barrel of Fun! for the PC in 1997 and Pingu and Friends in 1999, (both of which were developed in the UK by BBC Multimedia, and were then released in USA in 1999 and 2001, being distributed by Infogrames), Pingu for the Game Boy in Japan in 1994, and Fun Fun Pingu for the PlayStation also in Japan in 1999.
In Canada, the show aired between programs during lunchtime hours on YTV from 2004 until 2006. 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 Mom" and "Little Accidents", have aired uncut on APTN Kids. In British Columbia, Pingu is aired during commercial breaks on Knowledge Network.
Episode lists 
- Derivation of episode titles
- No official episode title appears on screen, so the lists were initially created from the titles used on various official DVD releases. The main episode titles for series 1 to 4 were taken from the official Japanese DVD releases and the alternative titles from the official European DVD releases. Episode titles for series 5 and 6 were taken from the European DVD releases.
- Changes have subsequently been made to these titles to bring them more into line with English usage and practice (e.g. to correct spelling and grammar) and to relate them to the titles used on UK DVDs produced by HIT Entertainment. Alternative titles have also been appropriately added, amended, etc. Title data have also been supplemented with information from other sources, such as the titles used by the BBC for television broadcasts and on video tapes.
- BBC broadcasts
- In the UK, the BBC appears never to have broadcast any of the normal 5-minute episodes from the latter half of series 3 (3.14 – 3.26) or from series 4 (4.1 – 4.26). However, all the episodes from the latter half of series 3 (3.14 - 3.26) have been featured on BBC produced videos. Of the episodes that have been broadcast, all have been broadcast since 4 September 2006 inclusive.
- Since 2007, in addition to standalone episodes the BBC, Nick Jr and APTN in Canada have been showing The Pingu Show ("Pingu welcomes viewers to his secret whale-shaped funhouse for a show packed with brand new sketches, two classic episodes, narrated by Marc Silk and the chance to learn more about the amazing world of penguins in Penguin Facts").
DVD and VHS releases 
- "Pingu's Lingo, or How to Get By in Penguinese, by Tony Thorne". Retrieved 2008-08-18. (.doc)
- "Frequently Asked Questions about Pingu". Archived from the original on 2008-03-10. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- www.david-hasselhoff.com |
- Madonna 1998 swedish talk show interview part 2, at 2:45
- An article by Ed Caesar, in the London Independent, 19 December 2006.
- "Pingu sold for £16m". Business (BBC News). 2001-10-29. Retrieved 2007-07-21.
- http://www.square-enix.co.jp/pingu/ (Pure Dreams [Pingu])
- "BB — CBeebies Programmes — Pin — Episodes". Retrieved 2009-01-22.
- "BBC — CBeebies Programming— The Pingu Show — Episodes". Retrieved 2009-01-22.