Follow TV Tropes


Animation / Scamper the Penguin

Go To

Scamper the Penguin (the American English version) or The Adventures of Lolo the Penguin (the uncut English version) is a 1988 Japanese-Soviet animated children's movie (originally The Adventures of the Little Penguin Lolo). 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 Adélie 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 to defend the South Pole from a group of poachers. Hey, Scamper's not your ordinary penguin.

This film contains examples of:

  • Book Ends: The uncut version of the film begins and ends with the focus on polar lights above the South Pole.
  • 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.
  • Bittersweet Ending: The poachers are killed and Scamper becomes the penguins' leader but Gilbert and several other penguins are dead, Mak leaves in search of his family and Don leaves with his owner without getting to say goodbye to Scamper.
  • Bumbling Dad: Snowflake's father qualifies. Gilbert however, averts this; he's both a competent leader and father.
  • Deuteragonist: Snowflake is this to Scamper's Protagonist. She's the first friend he makes, is almost always present in Scamper's scenes, and Scamper acts as her Living Emotional Crutch during their time away from the nest, which is most of the movie.
  • Disney Death: Mr. Feather. He was only resting—for reals.
  • Filling the Silence: Everywhere in the Scamper version. Not a moment goes by without self-evident narration or a sound effect jumping in to fill the void.
  • 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.
  • Monstrous Seal: Scamper and Snowflake are attacked by a vicious leopard seal while lost at sea on an iceberg.
  • 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.
  • Penguins Are Ducks: All the penguins have beaks that look exactly like duck bills.
  • 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.