Pingu - On Thin IceWaddling around like a claymation Charlie Chaplin in a penguin suit, little Pingu the penguin always manages to get himself into comically slapstick situations involving clever claymation tricks and lots of snow. A Swiss cartoon created in 1986, Pingu is only now beginning to make his way over to the United States. And on this new eight-episode DVD collection, Pingu and his family are sure to make their way into the hearts of American audiences.

Though the claymation is original and distinctive, it’s the squawky “Penguinese” language that the characters speak that is most endearing. Sounding like a mix between the mumbling Rowan Atkinson does as Mr. Bean and a few Asian tongues jumbled together, voice actor Carlo Bonomi manages to give expression to a broad range of emotion and storytelling without using any understandable words.

Starting with the cleverly executed “Pingu and the Snowball” – featuring a tumbling snowball that collects Pingu and everything in town as it rolls on its out of control path – this DVD collection manages to strike a perfect balance between madcap Three Stooges fare and cartoony kid-friendly humor. Each episode is only five minutes long and are typically based around a specific gimmick, such as the hiccups, ice sculptures, snowboarding, or a luckily unravelling red scarf.

The characters are limited: most notably including Pingu himself, his mother, his father, his younger sister Pinga, as well as his friend Robby the Seal and Pingi, his girlfriend. Though many may remember Pingu from a few decades ago when the show originally aired, now everyone can get a good look at this lovable penguin and his friends and family in Antarctica.

Zach’s Rating: A
Perfect For: Parents who want to have as much fun as their kids watching a cartoon
Stay Away if: You’re on penguin overload after the recent glut of penguin films
Watch For: The impressive ice cavern set in “Pingu Gets Lost”


To purchase Pingu – On Thin Ice, visit Amazon
For more information, visit Pingu’s homepage

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