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Peculiar Penguins

A Silly Symphony

Release Date : September 1, 1934

Running Time : 9:21

Synopsis

Residents of the South Pole, including an amorous pair of penguins, dance and frolic in a Technicolor fantasyland. The "heavy", a large, hungry shark, is finally outwitted by our romantic hero.

Characters

Peter Penguin
Polly Penguin
Blowfish (unnamed)
Shark (unnamed)

Credits

Director
Wilfred Jackson
Animation
Ben Sharpsteen
Nick George
Archie Robin
Louie Schmitt
Art Babbitt
Frenchy de Tremaudan
Hamilton Luske
Dick Heumer
Gerry "Clyde" Geronomi
Layout
Hugh Hennesy
Story
Bill Cottrell
Music
Leigh Harline
Character Design
Albert Hurter

Video

United States
Starring Silly Symphonies
Cartoon Classics : First Series : Volume 14 : Animal Tales
Germany
Micky Liebt Minnie
Micky Liebt Minnie
France
Mickey et Minnie les Amours de Printemps
Silly Symphonies Volume 2
Italy
Topolino e Minnie Innamorati
Topolino and Co. : Avventure Tutte da Ridere
Silly Symphonies Volume 1

Laserdiscs

United States
Silly Symphonies / Animals Two by Two
Cartoon Classics : Animal Tales
Japan
Mickey Loves Minnie

DVD

United States
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 8 : Holiday Celebration with Mickey and Pals
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Germany
Schmetterlinge in Bauch
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
France
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Italy
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
Canada
Classic Cartoon Favorites : Volume 8 : Holiday Celebration with Mickey and Pals
Sweden
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies
United Kingdom
Disney Treasures : Silly Symphonies

Television

The Ink and Paint Club: Episode 18: A Bunch of Silly Symphonies
The Mickey Mouse Club : October 20, 1955
The Mickey Mouse Club : December 11, 1956

Technical Specification

Color Type: Technicolor
Animation Type: Standard animation
Sound Mix: Mono
Aspect Ratio: 1.37 : 1
Negative Format: 35mm
Print Format: 35mm
Cinematographic Process: Spherical
Original Language: English

Released by United Artists Pictures

Comments

  • Many gags and situations in this one are recycled from 1930's Arctic Antics.

From Ryan Kilpatrick at The Disney Film Project : Peculiar Penguins is a fairly straightforward story, and it’s a Silly Symphony that manages to push some borders and use great characters to tell an entertaining story. It’s a love story at heart, and there’s a lot of heart warming stuff to enjoy in this short.

That’s probably odd to say when talking about a short that is set at the North Pole. But, Peculiar Penguins quickly goes from a general look at penguins to a focus on two penguins in particular, as a male penguin tries to impress his female friend. His first gesture is to take an icicle and top it with snow, making an ersatz ice cream cone. I found that pretty funny, considering that they are in the coldest place on Earth.

That trick works, but then our male penguin gets a little ambitious, and decides to go diving for fish to present to his lady friend. Here’s where I think the animation is particularly good. When you see the penguin under the water, chasing the fish, it’s clear that it is underwater, but you see the fluidity of motion and the natural effects of swimming so clearly. It’s probably the best underwater scenes Disney has done yet.

He runs into a problem, though, as the fish he gets for the female penguin is a blowfish, and after she swallows it, the fish continues to blow up, inflating her with him. After getting the fish out, the female is angry. She slaps the male around and dives away.

One thing I’ll say is that the animation is especially good here as well. Putting expressive faces on these penguins could not have been an easy thing to do. But the female is able to express disappointment, anger and indifference over just a few seconds. That’s quite a feat for a series of drawings.

Anyway, as the female swims away, a shark comes to menace her. Seeing the opportunity, the male jumps in to save her. His battle with the shark is the best sequence of the short. There is some great animation work here as well. We get to see the penguin and shark swimming towards and away from the camera in quick, bold strokes, and we also get great gags like the penguin propping the shark’s mouth open with a stick.

Finally, of course, the shark is defeated, and the penguins reconcile. That sets up the final scene, which is a great shot of the penguins meshed together, forming a heart, as the Northern Lights cascade around them. The shot is held for quite some time, and it provides a beautiful ending to this short.

This short is quite an improvement over the last penguin short, Arctic Antics. The animation quality is amazing in this one, and the use of color really brings out the differences between the penguins, and helps with the emotional storytelling. I liked this one quite a bit, and recommend it highly.


From Mac : This is a nice cartoon about penguins, but I don't feel it quite lives up to the potential. Penguin have got to be some of the funniest animals in the world and I think I'd have preferred less of a love story and more funny antics!

Still there are some good bits. The design of the shark is great and there's some impressive underwater chase scenes. There's also a lot of fun character animation. I like how when Peter gets the idea to catch a fish his tail wiggles with excitement – a trait that Donald will pick up soon.

The final scene of the penguins forming a love-heart is too much from me and here Disney crosses the line from charming to blech! The terrible lyrics in this scene don't help either: "They both swear that their love will be Eternal and complete; And they promise always to be true And never, ever cheat!" Oh dear!


From Jerry Edwards : Peter and Polly Penguin are sweethearts. To show his love, Peter captures a fish for her, but Polly is angered when the fish turns out to be a blowfish which causes Polly to look fat when the fish enlarges inside her. Peter is forgiven later when he saves Polly from a shark. OK, but nothing that interesting for me - I just didn't care about the penguins. Nothing else distinctive about the short for me.
From Petter Solberg : This could really have been something. They got the penguins, they got the good animation, but the team behind this Silly Symphony blew it. It's not interesting at all. It's a love story about two young penguins. It would be nice if the had made more focus on the penguins and how they lived. This is just a cliché in new clothes. Not among my Silly Symphony favorites.
From Emily : This was definitely the best short I have ever seen, of course it is also the only one. My favorite part is when the one penguin looks at the other penguin and they start batting their eyes all funny and I just laughed so long and so hard. Everyone should own this short.
From Dino Cencia : I love the part when the big gigantic rock went into the shark's mouth and his belly is a big belly. And the fish blows bubbles at him for the shark being mean to the fish.
From Baruch Weiss : I just finished viewing this short and it sure is a good one. I enjoyed some scenes such as when Peter takes an icicle and puts a clump of snow in it making it look like an ice cream cone or in this case a snow cone and the scene where the fish are playing leap "Frog". I also laughed at the part where Polly smacks and "Yells" at Peter after he's given her a blowfish! Who was that singing at the beginning and end of this cartoon?
From Billy Joe : Peculiar Penguins is a fun, musical short. This cartoon includes many fun gags relating to penguins and the Antarctic.

Here are some of my favorites:

1. Peter gives Polly an ice cream cone. The cone was an icicle, and the ice cream was snow.

2. Polly eats a blowfish, and she continuously puffs up.

3. Peter is swimming with a school of fish that ends up in the shark's mouth, which is held open by a stick. Then, the school of fish escapes with Peter riding on the tail of the last of the fish in the back of the line.

I give this short a 9 out of 10. Recommended, especially to people who like penguins.


From Kyle Siczewicz : The one part I love was when the rock fell into the sharks mouth, and was so heavy he couldn't move! Too bad we never found out what happened to him though.
From Bryan Hensley : Even though this short isn't very Christmassy, it's still featured in volume 8 of Disney's Classic Cartoon Favorites collection back in 2005. (The colorized version of Mickey's Good Deed from 1991 and Toy Tinkers from 1949 are the only real Christmas-related shorts in that disc!) All seven shorts in it are still fun to watch! But let's get back to this one. My Daddy once told me shark are cold-blooded and they can't live down in Antarctica! The shark in this short must have been warm-blooded. In a later short from 1939, Sea Scouts, the shark in that one looked similar to the one in this short... except he was growling like a bear. Any marriage should be like Polly and Peter's; their love was eternal and complete and promised to NEVER cheat. (as the ending song went.) This Silly Symphony is a masterpiece compared to 2005's March of The Penguins! I hope you enjoy this penguin love story, because my family and I sure do!
From Ian Evans : The tune to Peculiar Penguins is pretty colorful. Since a lot of Disney shorts were often uncredited, I do not think we know who the duet was who sang the tune. But, it was indeed stylish, colorful, and fit the tune nicely.

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