Wallace & Gromit has always been an interesting animation itself, but one of its frequent characters is interesting in his own right. Feathers McGraw is a malevolent & sinister little penguin with an obsession with diamonds. It seems that Feathers is always cooking up a grand scheme to pull off his latest heist. His most prominent appearance was in The Wrong Trousers where he takes a keen interest in a pair of electronic pants, modifying them in order to steal a giant diamond from a museum. He’s even shown as a master of disguise by wearing a red rubber glove on his head, disguising himself as a chicken. Alas, his plans are destined to fail as antagonists’ plans usually do. Feathers has also made cameos in other Wallace & Gromit episodes and even the computer generated cartoon ReBoot. This devious penguin could very well make it into the evil villain hall of fame, if there ever was one.
Devious and determined is Feathers McGraw. An inspiration to you would-be super villains. Learn from his cunning.
Credit: JumpinJack at flickr
This is an excellent example showing how penguins can fly. They’re actually very agile when under the water. Look at it go! I’m amazed this person was able to keep up with it. Awesome.
In case you’ve never seen it or need a refresher, Tennessee Tuxedo and His Tales was a popular and somewhat educational animated cartoon that originally aired on CBS from 1963 to 1966. Even though before my time, I’ve watched syndicated re-runs of it and it was one of my favorites. The show was about the misadventures of Tennessee Tuxedo (a smart alec penguin) and his pal Chumley (a dim-witted walrus) who regularly escape from the zoo only to be thwarted by the outside world.
When they run into trouble they turned to their friend, Professor Phineas J. Whoopee, who would lecture and teach them about a variety of subjects which were related to the duo’s plan of the day. Mr. Whoopee (as Tuxedo would call him) would usually demonstrate how these things worked via his three-dimensional blackboard (or 3D-BB for short) which he usually got out of his over-managed closet that would spilled out everywhere when he opened the door. Anyway, the 3D-BB acted like those instructional videos that we all loved (didn’t you?). The educational bits were very well done, in fact, as they didn’t talk down to kids as if they were idiots. The show was both entertaining and you could learn something from it before Tuxedo and Chumley were sent back to the zoo.
If you’re looking for some Tennessee Tuxedo video goodness, there’s a “Best of” DVD out and there is also a few shorts of this fantastic penguin on YouTube.
If you haven’t already, take a gander at the trailer for Surf’s Up, the new computer animated penguin movie coming out this summer. As far as I can tell, the storyline seems okay and the animation looks phenomenal. The story follows a young surfing penguin on his way to the Penguin World Surfing Championship. He idolizes a champ surfer and wants to do everything he can to win and earn respect. We’ll possibly see some moral or learning point that overturns this feeling. That’s just the way children’s movies work. The animation looks astounding and so realistic, especially the ocean surf and waves. I’m hoping the story keeps up with the eye candy.
A stylistically daring CGI feature, “Surf’s Up” is based on the groundbreaking revelation that surfing was actually invented by penguins. In the film, a documentary crew will take audiences behind the scenes and onto the waves during the most competitive, heartbreaking and dangerous display of surfing known to man, the Penguin World Surfing Championship.
Plot Summary from IMDB
A three and a half minute montage of the African penguins at Boulders Beach in South Africa. These are probably my favorite of the penguin species. They seem to have a lot of natural personality.
The Newport Aquarium located along the Ohio River in Newport, Kentucky, has recently received three African penguins. Since they’re temperate climate penguins, they obviously can’t go into the main penguin exhibit featuring the Gentoo and King penguins. It’s way too cold for them in there. Instead it looks like they will be part of the “Behind the Scenes” tour. The staff is beginning to train the penguins to help them get used to human interaction. Later they will train them to do certain things like walking in a straight line. Also, if I read correctly, visitors will be able to touch or even hold one of them. That’ll be an experience I will be greatly anticipating when they’re all ready.
Spring 2007 “iNDepth” Newsletter (page 4)
“These penguins will be a great addition to the Aquarium. They have a social and inquisitive personality, they are fun to watch and they can interact with the public more than other species.”
Ric Urban, Rainforest Curator