Scamper the Penguin
(originally The Adventures of Lolo the Penguin
) is a 1988 Japanese-Soviet animated children's movie. It can sort of be thought of as a proto-The Pebble and the Penguin,
combined with March of the Penguins
even though it predates both.
The movie tells the tale of Scamper (Lolo), an Adelaie penguin, from his hatching to his adulthood, and the adventures he goes on. It begins as a sort of penguiny Slice of Life
, but about halfway through, it becomes a (still penguiny) adventure story. Through the course of the movie, Scamper makes friends, meets humans, tries to fly, floats away on an iceberg, escapes from a ship, and leads an army of penguins in defend the South Pole from a group of poachers.
Hey, Scamper's not your ordinary penguin.
This film contains examples of:
- Amazing Technicolor Wildlife: Many blue penguins about, but more notably, Snowflake is pink.
- Awesome Moment of Crowning: Scamper is proclaimed head of the penguin pack at the end.
- Badass Adorable: Scamper himself, natch, at the end of the film.
- Big Badass Bird of Prey: The skuas, quite frighteningly so.
- Blithe Spirit: Scamper is this in many ways, although he is a penguin native.
- Bowdlerise: The American release does this heavily, cutting out the more violent scenes and omitting Gilbert's death entirely. The score is also replaced with more upbeat, bouncy children's music.
- Bumbling Dad: Snowflake's father qualifies. Gilbert however, averts this; he's both a competent leader and father.
- Disney Death: Mr. Feather. He was only resting—for reals.
- Averted with Gilbert in the original version.
- Everything's Better with Penguins
- Food Porn: At one point, the penguins stumble across some sort of yellow biscuit/cookie/cracker type things and eat them with pronounced sounds of enjoyment. Apparently, the scene is mildly infamous for making people crave Nilla wafers.
- G-Rated Sex: "The penguins snuggled all night. Soon, Gracie had laid two beautiful eggs." Right. "Snuggled."
- Harmless Freezing: Scamper's first attempt at swimming (before his adult feathers grow in) has him wind up in a block of ice.
- Humans Are Bastards: Zig-zagged. Some humans, such as the poachers, are definitely bastards, but the scientists at the research center are good.
- Lull Destruction: Everywhere (EVERYWHERE) in the Scamper version. Not a moment goes by without self-evident narration or a sound effect jumping in to fill the void.
- Neutral Female: Poor Snowflake. She does try, but it doesn't often work.
- No Endor Holocaust: "Don't worry, Cowboy. A little water never hurt a penguin." Said after a giant tsunami sweeps over the penguin colony.
- The Not-Love Interest: Snowflake. She certainly seems to fill the love interest role for Scamper, but it's never stated that anything actually happens between them.
- Complicated by all the touching and hand holding that go on equally between Scamper, Snowflake, and Louie. It's hard to tell who likes who or whether they're simply being kids.
- Theme Naming: For some strange reason, a lot of penguins of Scamper's parents' generation have names starting with G (Gracie, Gilbert, Graybeak). A lot of those of Scamper's generation have names beginning in S (Scamper, Snowflake).
- Tough Love: Gilbert, particularly in the uncut version, where he actually spanks Scamper for wandering off.
- "Well Done, Son" Guy: Gilbert is always worrying over his son and never seems to know how to really react to him, until he proves his worth by leading them into battle against the poachers.