World Penguin Day Top 5 Penguin Countdown

Enough of real penguin news. For World Penguin Day the Penguin Post has collected together our favorite animated penguins that we grew up with and are undoubtedly the reasons why many of us fell in love with penguins in the first place.  So here’s our top 5 coolest cartoon penguin countdown and Happy World Penguin Day!  Feel free to disagree.

#5 Mumbles from Happy Feet

The Fred Astaire of the penguin world tap-danced onto the silver screen in the BAFTA award-winning Happy Feet in 2006. With his unusual twinkling blue eyes, this tiny Emperor Penguin was the first of his kind to be missing a heartsong – which the species use to attract their mate. But nothing was going to get in the way of Mumble meeting his true love Gloria as he put on those dancing flippers. From the moment he hatched, Mumble was a flipping good dancer and proved that true love knows no boundaries as later he went on to have a son, Erik, with his childhood sweetheart. One of Mumble’s most memorable dancing moments was when he and Gloria brought together the colony of penguins in a slick dance routine to the 1979 Earth, Wind and Fire disco hit Boogie Wonderland.

#4 Wheezy from Toy Story

The most musical of the top five, Wheezy stole the hearts of audiences worldwide in 1999 when he appeared in Disney Pixar’s Toy Story 2.

With a sob-story fit for the best of the nation’s talent shows, Wheezy was found on the shelf by Woody with a broken squeaker after being left there by protagonist Andy’s mum. Left alone and forgotten without a voice to be heard, Wheezy is the penguin that brought hope to the unsung talent around the globe as he took to the stage to sing Randy Newman tune You’ve Got a Friend in Me,following the replacement of his squeaker by Mr Shark. Unfortunately, that was the last time we would see Wheezy and his red dickey bow as he was later sold in a yard sale which Woody mentions in the 2010 threequel.  His squeak however continues to touch the hearts of rubber penguin fans far and wide.

#3 Chilly Willy

Who doesn’t have a soft spot for cartoon veteran Chilly Willy.  This little penguin first appeared alongside Woody the Woodpecker in 1953. Created by animation pioneer Walter Lantz, Chilly Willy lived in Alaska where he spent much of his time trying to keep warm while often coming face-to-face with his rival Smedley the dog. The pair, however, were often known to reconcile at the end of episodes leaving viewers with a feeling to warm even the chilliest of Willy’s cockles. He went on to become the second most popular character at Universal Studios after his rival Woody and his career spanned almost two decades, starring in 50 animations and a series of comics. Willy and his woolly hat remain just as popular today as 61 years ago as fans continue to dedicate websites to the pancake-loving penguin while he rakes in the YouTube views.

#2 Feather’s McGraw (The Wrong Trousers)

The villainous Feathers McGraw appeared in Nick Park’s 1993  groundbreaking claymation The Wrong Trousers which went on to win an Academy award in the animated short film category. The pesky penguin first arrived at 62 West Wallaby Street on Gromit’s birthday and embarked on a quest to separate Wallace and his pet pooch while plotting an ingenious jewel heist at the local museum . Of course, McGraw was never going to be a match for Wallace’s faithful companion Gromit, as his plan to use the eccentric inventor’s robotic trousers in the diamond robbery is eventually foiled. Despite being arrested and sent to ‘prison’ at the local zoo, McGraw will always be remembered for his trademark rubber-glove-on-the-head ensemble “disguise”.

#1 Pingu

Created by German animator Otmar Gutmann, this BAFTA award-winning plasticine penguin was originally made for Swiss TV and first came to British shores in 1986. Almost 30 years later, Pingu and his Antarctic family continue to fill our screens with the dramas of toddler life as well as his adventures with his best pal, Robby the seal. Some of Pingu’s best work came in the episode New Arrival when Pingu welcomed his chick sister Pinga into the world, bringing a tear to eyes across the world. His comic timing was perhaps best showcased in the classic series one episode Little Accidents, which finds Pingu stranded in a bar, desperate for the bathroom before he returns home only to find he can’t reach the toilet. Due to the “toilet humor,” this particular episode was banned everywhere except from in the UK.  Pingu to this day is universally beloved by kids and adults alike who “get him” on very different levels.  Pingu’s monolingual performances in ‘penguinese’ meant that his career continues to thrive around the world as no one really knows what he’s saying, and yet everyone knows what he’s saying all at the same time, if you catch my snow drift. His hilarious universality is why Pingu is our hands down #1/

Honorable mention to Tennesse Tuxedo, the Ink and Paint Club from Who Framed Roger Rabbit, the Penguins Of Madagascar, The Penguin From Batman and the Dancing Penguins with Dick Van Dyke from Mary Poppins.

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