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Pingu was a Swiss stop-motion Claymation children's television series created by Otmar Gutmann, produced by The Pygos Group, and distributed by Hit Entertainment and Hot Animation. The series depicted the adventures of the titular Pingu, a Bratty Half-Pint little boy penguin somewhat echoing Dennis the Menace living at the south pole.
Episodes of the series lasted for five minutes and consequently were fairly bare-bones in terms of plot; the general trend in them was of Pingu encountering a problem or getting into trouble in some way and then the issue being resolved. A typical plot of an episode would be Pingu having his ball stolen by one of his friends, getting upset about it, and then the friend feeling sorry for him, making up with him, and them then sharing the ball.
Characters aside from Pingu in the series included his aforementioned friends, Pingg and Pingos; a seal named Robby, whom was his best friend; Pingi, his girlfriend; Pingu's mother and father; and his little sister Pinga.
By far the most notable aspect of the show was its lack of coherent speech; rather than German, English or some other real European language, characters spoke a nonsensical babble that was a composite of bits and pieces of many different languages that on the DVD and video cases is sometimes dubbed "Penguinese". However, owing to the simple plots and some thoroughly entertaining tongue-in-cheek body language, one hardly needed dialogue in order to discern what was happening.
Another notable aspect of the show was many episodes of it being decided as containing objectionable subject matter (predominantly in the form of Nightmare Fuel) and consequently being banned in some countries. See below for more details...
The series lasted for six seasons constituting 156 episodes between 1986 and 2005. The original series lasted from 1986 to 1998, was then on hiatus for six years, and then had a reboot in 2004 lasting til 2005. Said short later run was due to the even more bare-bones plots than the old seasons and an unfortunate extraction of all witty cleverness that had permeated said old ones. Cute and entertaining as it was, it looks like the last nail in the coffin has been hammered for this show...
- Abusive Parents: In one episode, Pingu's mother slaps Pingu in the face for insubordination.
- An Aesop: Most episodes have one.
- Annoying Younger Sibling: Pinga, in some episodes. In other episodes, however, they appear to be best of friends.
- Alternative Foreign Theme Song: The Japanese version has "Pingu Rap" for the opening theme and "Seeds of Happiness" as the ending theme.
- Banned in China: See Nightmare Fuel and Toilet Humour, below.
- Bigger on the Inside The igloos in the series are much bigger inside than out.
- Bratty Half-Pint: Pingu, obviously, and to a lesser degree all of the children characters in the show.
- Evil Laugh: The Walrus/Leopard Seal.
- Everything's Better with Penguins
- I Am Not Weasel: The evil walrus from Pingu's Dream is actually a leopard seal. He's probably mistaken as a walrus because of his mustache.
- Men Are Uncultured: In the episode Pingu and Pinga at Home, mum and dad go to the opera. Dad falls asleep.
- Rubber Man: Pingu (and oddly, seemingly no one else) seems to be able to bend and stretch and squash himself into any shape he desires.
- Sibling Rivalry: Pingu is Jealous. Watch it above.
- Somewhere an Ornithologist Is Crying: The penguins in the show have teeth.
- Speaking Simlish
- Species Surname: Species first name, really. All the penguins are named variations of 'Pinguin', and 'Robbe' is German for 'seal'.
- Stock Yuck: The very first episode, Hello Pingu, involves Pingu getting annoyed at having to eat his spinach.
- Tertiary Sexual Characteristics: Female characters such as Pingi are identified by exaggerated eyelashes.
- Toilet Humour: By far the most controversial and widely banned episode of the show is Pingu's Lavatory Story. The episode depicts Pingu drinking too much lemonade at the local pub and rushing home only to find the toilet occupied by his father. Pingu rings the doorbell so his father has to come out and answer it and he then rushes into the bathroom himself. Unfortunately, the toilet is too high, so he urinates on the floor...
- Another episode (no controversy about this one though), Pingu and the Seagull, involves a seagull crapping on Pingu repeatedly.
- Treasure Map: Pingu and the Message in a Bottle. Pingu is fishing; Pingo joins him and they fish out a bottle. Smashing it, they find a map. Following it, they find a cave, with a chest with a shell in it inside. Pingu takes the shell, and inside is found a pearl.
- Unfortunate Names: Pinga. And to add salt to the wound, Pinga's a female. The character was created long before Pinga became a mainstream slang word, though. Also, see Youtube Poop.
- Vile Villain Saccharine Show: The leopard seal of "Pingu's Dream." In a series where penguin predators are absent, its presence made the episode scary enough to lead to its censorship.
- Widget Series: It's a weird Swiss thing.
- Youtube Poop: Actually a somewhat popular source, enough that HiT Entertainment took them off Youtube at one point. Plenty of jokes have been made about their names sounding like "Pingas."