Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: PINGU

PinguI haven’t done one of these in a while, mostly because the boy’s last couple of obsessions have been shows that I’ve liked.  Pingu tends to come and go, and I’m mostly writing this because the damn show is about to make a milestone for itself: it’s getting damn close to being the first show that I’ve ever banned from further viewing in my house.

(Two notes: one, I can see one of you quivering at the chance to mention Caillou, which comes up every single time I talk about shitty kids’ programs.  I haven’t banned that show so much as declined to ever show it to him.  This is a show that he used to be able to watch and will very soon not be able to watch any more.  Second note: Every time you see me say in this post, read “my wife and I,” as this isn’t a unilateral decision.)

Anyway.  Pingu is… Korean?  Or something?  It’s insane in a way that I usually associate with Japan but I don’t think it’s actually a Japanese show.  Pingu is a penguin.  He’s Claymation.  He has a big penguin family and a few penguin friends and they all have the same name, or some shit like that.  I dunno, because everyone speaks in gibberish, and worse, it’s Korean-or-whatever gibberish, which is even more gibberishy to the English speaker, except for the occasional time when the gibberish sorta sounds like English.

(Looks it up)

Wait, what the fuck.  It’s Swiss?  How the hell is this nonsense from Switzerland?  This show has to be Japanese.  Or Korean or whatever.  I refuse to believe reality.

Anyway.  There’s also a seal:


And this horrifying fucking thing, which isn’t the reason I’m banning the show but probably ought to be:

hqdefaultAnd its theme song is by David Hasselhoff.  Let that roll around a bit:

I maintain that this song is insane enough to make the show Japanese even if it isn’t already.

One more thing before I discuss why I’m banning the show.  It has a really weird obsession with toilet issues.  Pingu has a baby brother, and he’s… well, he’s not in diapers, but he poops himself a lot, and the show has no problem with the pooping happening on camera, as well as the subsequent butt-wiping.  This happened on-screen as well:


I don’t have, like, a moral objection to this?  But it adds to the weirdness, certainly.

So.  Yeah.  Boy can’t watch the show anymore.  And here’s why.  Every so often something happens to Pingu that he doesn’t like or he doesn’t want to happen.  And this is his reaction:


Note the posture: head tossed forward, arms back, biologically improbable extension of beak.  I wouldn’t spell the sound he makes “Noot noot,” more of a nrrt nrrt, but whatever. Every single meme pic (and there is a startlingly large number of them) spells it “noot noot,” so maybe I’m hearing it wrong.

The boy does this all the damn time now.  It is his go-to frustration sound.  So if, say, I want him to put his shoes on, because we need to go somewhere, or take his shirt off, because it is bedtime, or pick up his blocks, or eat his dinner, or basically any goddamn thing that a three-and-a-half year old might not be inclined to immediately do, I’m likely to get a nrrt nrrt back in response.

And then the boy gets a response, which he tends to not like a whole lot, and the thing that Daddy wanted done gets done anyway.

But my point: It is insanely irritating to get nrrted at by a toddler, and this is literally the first show he’s wanted to watch that I genuinely feel has taught him bad habits.  Which is kind of a shame, because in a lot of ways it’s a charming show.  But: the fact that I let the kid watch TV is bad enough.  It doesn’t get to make my kid into a butthead in the process.

Nrrt nrrt, Pingu.

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Luther M. Siler

Teacher, writer of words, and local curmudgeon. Enthusiastically profane. Occasionally hostile.

10 thoughts on “Creepy Children’s Programming Reviews: PINGU

  1. I’m convinced that some of these alleged children’s shows are actually aimed at unemployed stoners sitting on their couches with time on their hands and nary a brain in their heads. For those who can’t afford video games.


  2. I’m European and I don’t know half the shows you’re writing about. Still the texts make an entertaining read! I do know Pingu, but from just one DVD at a friend’s house. In moderation I liked it.


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