Zoology

Penguins in Pop Culture



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In various aspects of popular culture, many forms of wildlife have been portrayed. Penguins are by no means any different from each other. In forms of media such as video games, movies, TV shows, commercials, books, and so forth, you can see some sort of direct or indirect references. There are notable TV shows and movies in which you would notice penguins. However, there are portrayals of penguins in shows and games that most may not be familiar with.


There is the 2.5D fighting game for the Nintendo Gamecube called “Bloody Roar: Primal Fury” which is an expansion of “Bloody Roar 3” or the Sony Playstation 2. Not many people may be familiar with the series as it declined in popularity after “Bloody Roar 2.” In the case of Bloody Roar: Primal Fury, there have been added characters. One such character is Cronos who has two zoanthrope forms. His normal zoanthrope form is that of a penguin while his ultimate zoanthrope form is that of a phoenix. In the penguin form, mid to high-range attacks will not work on Cronos because of height. While in the penguin form, Cronos can only be harmed by low attacks.


In “Ultimate Mortal Kombat 3” and “Mortal Kombat Trilogy,” due to the appearance of Scorpion, the penguin is the animal for Scorpion's Animality. When transforming into a penguin, Scorpion lays an egg by the opponent. The egg explodes killing off the opponent by blowing him/her into pieces.


In the various games by the Japanese company called Nippon Ichi, there are creatures known as Prinnies. They look like penguins with demonic wings. The Prinnies are the most comical beings in the games as they use “dood” as an interjection. They provide comic relief as they are abused by their master Etna. Such games they appeared in are “Disgaea: Hour of Darkness,” “Cross X Edge,” “Trinity Universe,” and so forth.


In the first story arc in “Gunparade Orchestra,” there is a penguin wearing a hat and trench coat wandering around while acting as the narrator. However, it is unknown what role the penguin plays in the first place.


A live moving penguin is used for the Broadway revival of “The Man Who Came to Dinner.” This one stars both Nathan Lane and Jean Smart. At various scenes of the play, the penguin is moving around back and forth.


But, you have more notable works of popular culture in regards to penguins. One such example is the movie called “Batman Returns,” starring Michael Keaton as Batman and Danny DeVito as the antagonist known as the Penguin.


You also have more recent movies such as “Madagascar” and “Happy Feet.” In Madagascar, there are four penguins: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private. Happy Feet revolves mainly around penguins and their culture. But, Happy Feet revolves around penguins and their mating calls to attract a mate while there is the morality on overfishing being embedded within the storyline.


There was the 2005 nature documentary about penguins called “March of the Penguins.” Recently, there is the movie with Jim Carrey called “Mr. Popper's Penguins.”


The penguin has been an important mascot for many brands. One example would be the brand of pre-packaged children's dinners called Kid Cuisine with KC Penguin. Another example would be the professional NHL (National Hockey League) team called the Pittsburgh Penguins. The penguin is also the mascot of Youngstown State University, New England Conservatory of Music, North Otago Rugby Football Union, and Penguin Books.


Those familiar with the Linux operating system should recognize the penguin which is used as its emblem and mascot.


There is the Christian animated series called “3-2-1 Penguins.” In the Woody Woodpecker variety cartoon show, there is the character called Chilly Willy.


These the the many examples of penguins in popular culture. Keep in mind that this will not be the last time that you will see penguins. There will be newer TV shows, movies, stage plays, video games, books, and so forth that will have penguins.   


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