Goodness Glaciers! Another Don Bluth film?! Yes, but it should be the last one for a while. Released in 1995, the film was panned by the critics and wasn’t a box office hit. It featured the voices of Martin Short, James Belushi, and Tim Curry among others; but that wasn’t enough to make the film a hit! Now, is this film as bad as people and critics make it out to be? Honestly, I don’t think so! But then again, after you watch “A Troll in Central Park”, anything else seems like a masterpiece! Anyway, let’s take a look at this animated flop! SPOILERS ALERT!
The film opens up in an original style,
Yep, no other animation company has done that before, right?
The film is narrated by Shani Wallis. You’ll remember her as Nancy in the film, “Oliver!”
The story is about Adelie Penguins and their mating rituals. Wow, “Happy Feet” isn’t as original as I thought!
The main character is a shy, stuttering penguin called Hubie who is in love with the most beautiful girl penguin, Marina; but is afraid to talk to her.
After accidentally bumping into her, he somehow automatically gets the courage to speak to her and sings a song about what he wonders about all day. This includes things like, “Why the sea is green just like Marina’s eyes?”, even though the sea in this movie changes colors from blue to black; but never once even comes close to green!
Anyway, everything doesn’t go smoothly as there exists on the rookery an egotistical, somewhat evil penguin named Drake.
He wants to marry Marina for himself and have children with her that will be as smart and good-looking as he is! Hmm, have I heard this somewhere before?
Nope, I guess not!
Anyway, the Adelie Penguins’ rituals involve each male penguin finding a pebble to offer to their lady as an engagement ring. Hubie has a hard time finding one, so he wishes upon a star,
Umm…Am I going to point out all the Disney similarities? Anyway, the star happens to be a shooting star that crash lands on Antarctica and breaks into many pieces. He then keeps one of the pieces as his pebble to give Marina.
But, things don’t go quite well; he ends up in a fight with Drake and gets washed away from the rookery and onto a poacher’s boat. There, he meets other penguins that have been captured by the humans including a tough Rockhopper Penguin named Rocko.
Rocko is voiced by James Belushi who honestly doesn’t do a bad job; but I don’t think his voice fits the character’s design at all. I felt similarly about Zac Efron in “The Lorax” and Gilbert Gottfried in “Thumbelina”. But, enough nitpicking on my part!
Hubie and Rocko end up becoming partners and escape from the ship. They then try to find their way back to Antarctica before Marina has to marry Drake. Oh, apparently if a penguin doesn’t get married by the full moon, he/she is banished.
Anyway, the journey is a bit long and perilous; and the two end up becoming friends and learning things about each other. For example, Rocko’s dream is to fly…..interesting!
Wrapping it up, they make it back in time and battle Drake. He apparently falls to his death!
Well not really, seeing as Drake doesn’t die yet and miraculously survives that fall. The movie ends happily with Drake kind of causing his own death, Hubie and Marina getting married, and Rocko flying! Yes he learns to fly when he has to save his friends! And I know this sounds so similar to “Toy Story”, but at least Buzz Lightyear’s flying can be rationalized, i.e. he was soaring, the air flow under his wings, etc.
Rocko, kind of just…magically flies!
Oh well, and they live happily ever after, despite the fact that the book in the beginning is never closed!
Now, I have to say I kind of liked this film! It’s not amazing; it definitely isn’t a good film. But, it kept me entertained and had a story; unlike “A Troll in Central Park”. The animation is not top-notch, but still good. The songs are a bit more memorable, but still not that much. The side characters, including the villain, are somewhat forgettable. But in the end, I think this film deserves one look at least! No more than 3, but one is sufficient!
Now, to rank this:
4 thoughts on “My Thoughts: THE PEBBLE AND THE PENGUIN (1995)”
I pretty much agree with you on this film. It’s not a good movie, but it is entertaining and harmless. Unlike the other bad Don Bluth movies, you can tell this film tries to be a good movie and it’s not as phoned in as those other movies.
Yeah, I dislike it less than most people.
Um, HAPPY FEET is mostly about emperor penguins (although it features Adélies in the supporting cast), so that remark about its originality is rather off the mark.