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"Meck!, Meck!"
- Pingu

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; his best friend, a seal named Robby; his girlfriend, Pingi; 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, went on hiatus for six years, and then had a reboot lasting from 2004 to 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. Although the main show did not return after the 2000s run, an anthology spinoff titled The Pingu Show ran from 2006 to 2007, and a Japanese CGI reboot titled Pingu in the City ran from 2017 to 2019.

Pretty much the entire show is on YouTube if you haven't seen it and wanna check it out. Due to the dialogue consisting of babble, there are many videos of it with Gag Subs.

Not to be confused with an open-source clone of Lemmings.

Tropes used in Pingu include:

  • Abusive Parents: In "Pingu Quarrels with his Mother", 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 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 for 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".
  • 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 below.
  • 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".