Pingu is a 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 centres on a family of anthropomorphic penguins living at the South Pole. The main character is the family's son and title character, Pingu.
In 1989, David Hasselhoff released (in Switzerland only) the single "Pingu Dance", 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.
In 2001, HiT Entertainment bought the UK rights to the series, including the original 105 episodes, for £15.9 million and remade all the classic episodes in 2002. The original cartoon title card (series 1 and 2) of the show was replaced with a claymated inspiration (series 3 and 4) of the intro, 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.
In 2006, pop icon Madonna told Swedish talk show host Kristian Luuk that she considered Pingu, and television in general, to be a bad influence on children.
Pingu and the Organ Grinder, Pingu's Parents Go to a Concert, Pingu and Pinga Play Circus
Pingu's Outing, Pingu And The Camera, Pingu's Parents Have No Time
Pingu At the Doctors, Pingu's Admirer, Pingu And the Seagull
Goes Skiing, Builds An Igloo, Shoots a Bow
Pingu At The Fairground, Pingu The Babysitter, Pingu's Admirer
Pingu's Birthday, Pingu - the Conjurer's Apprentice, Pingu and the many packages
Pingu's First Kiss, Pingu Goes Surfing, Pingu's Curling Game
Pingu The Icicle Musician, Pingu The Chef, Pingu's Outing
Pingu and the mother bird, Pingu Quarrels with his Mum, and Message In a Bottle
Pingu and the Organ Grinder, Quarrels with him Mum, and Snowball fight!
At School, Has a dream (very weird!) and Pingu and Pinga Play Circus
At the Museum, A Long Journey, and Pingu's Trick
Barrel Of Fun, Goes Skiing, and Pingu's Trick
Pingu's Christmas & Pingu and the Toy Airplane
Goes Fishing & Pinga Is Born
Has an idea, Barrel Of Fun, Tobogganing, and Pinga is Left Out
Helps His Mother, Builds A Snowman, and Goes Cross Country Skiing
Message in a Bottle, Game of Fish & The Gift
Loves to bounce
Pingu sits on the egg & Pinga Is born
Plays Ice Hockey, Builds An igloo, Noise!
Visit to the Hospital, School Excusion, and At the Nursery