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Pingu (Trickfilmstudio & The Pygos Group, 1986 – 2000)

Pingu originated in Switzerland as a stop-motion animated children’s comedy show created by Otmar Gutmann. A family of anthropomorphic penguins lived at the South Pole in Antarctica. Pingu was the family’s son. He and his little sister, Pinga went on adventures and often, alongside Pingu’s best friend, Robby the Seal, got into mischief.

Pingu originally ran from May 28, 1986 to April 19, 2000 for 4 seasons. In 1995 Pingu began airing on the BBC. The fifth and sixth seasons of Pingu were produced by the British companies HIT Entertainment and Hot Animation. In total, 157 episodes of Pingu were produced.

The reason Pingu was able to have international success? Pingu didn’t talk. Nearly all the “dialogue” was an invented “penguin language:” babbles, mutterings and sporadic honking. 156 episodes of Pingu were 5 minutes in length (the normal running time). One episode produced in 1997 was a 25-minute special, “Pingu at the Wedding Party.”