Category Archives: Television

Return to Penguin City

Adelies on an iceberg (C)  2007 Viola Toniolo

Tonight I watched Mutual of Omaha’s Wild Kingdom entitled, “Return to Penguin City.” In this episode they talked of the scientists’ research of the Adelies’ annual migration to their breeding grounds, the incubation of the eggs, the raising of the chicks, and their lives in their colonies on the Antarctic peninsula. It was a very interesting show. I mostly found their behaviors particularly fascinating.

When the juveniles left their creches, they were like tourists going to the big city of the first time, in awe with their mouthes gaped open. Also along with unfamiliar surroundings, these penguins needed to learn the local lingo and proper gestures. Once they’ve laid their claim to some real estate, they must use their new behaviors to keep it theirs, sometimes by being aggressive – growling & snipping at each other and picking fights. Even though it should be common sense, it’s amazing to see animals exhibit the same behaviors as humans.

The episode also talked of the links between the amount of pack ice and Adelie populations. When the amount of pack ice increased, the populations thrived. The penguin population decreased when large amounts of their coastal ice habitat melted and fell into the sea. It does seem most obvious, though, when you eliminate habitat that the population of a species will shrink as well. I don’t believe they were trying to push any sort of opinion on the global climate changes but more of their scientific observations as they should be.

There’s more to the episode and it definitely is a good episode to watch. If you missed it tonight, it will be on again on March 26th at 8pm & 11pm and March 30th at 2pm, all times Eastern.

From the Animal Planet listing:

Millions of Adelie penguins storm the beaches of Antarctica every October, as they undertake an annual migration to their breeding grounds. For over half a century, researchers have been coming here, hoping to unlock the secrets of these penguins’ lives. Braving fierce storms, outsmarting predators, and scaling rogue icebergs — these birds are extraordinary survivors. But they may now face the ultimate challenge. In Return to Penguin City, scientists Grant Ballard and Viola Toniolo discover that rapid climate changes may not only affect the penguins in Antarctica, but could also have major repercussions well beyond this remote corner of the world.

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The Madagascar Penguins are coming to Nickelodeon

Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation SKG, Inc. today announced plans to join forces on a new, 26- episode, CG animated comedy series tentatively titled “The Penguins of Madagascar,” based on the beloved penguin brothers in DreamWorks Animation’s hit feature film, Madagascar ($532 million worldwide gross) and upcoming sequel, Madagascar: The Crate Escape.

The series, which tells the story of a group of penguins who believes it leads an elite strike force from its Central Park Zoo headquarters, will be produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, California and is scheduled to premiere on Nick in early 2009.

The series will feature the all-new adventures of Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private, four penguins who rule the roost at their Central Park Zoo home. While the brothers have their flippers full keeping their multi-species zoo neighborhood happy, at times their secret missions beckon them to venture out onto the busy streets of New York City. Just as the team thinks it has its urban acreage under control, a new neighbor moves in next door: Julien, King of the Lemurs, a party animal with an entourage and an overactive ego.

Well now! This should be interesting. I did love the penguins from Madagascar and here’s hoping that the DreamWorks/Nickelodeon venture to television will be good. Also, it seems they are making a movie sequel to Madagascar as well due near Thanksgiving next year.

[via The TV Remote]

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Celebrity Penguin: Feathers McGraw

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.

Feathers McGraw

Devious and determined is Feathers McGraw. An inspiration to you would-be super villains. Learn from his cunning.

 

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Celebrity Penguin: Tennessee Tuxedo

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.

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