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Pingu is the main protagonist of the TV show of the same name and Pingu in the City. He was co-created by Otmar Gutmann and Erika Brueggemann in 1984. He has been voiced by Otmar Gutmann in the pilot episode, the late Carlo Bonomi, David Sant, and Ryota Iwasaki.


Pingu lives in the South Pole in Antarctica with his parents and younger sister Pinga. He also has two grandfathers, several aunts and two cousins.

Pingu has caught some attention of a female penguin named Pingi. When Pingi was first introduced at South Pole Public School, Mr. Peng-Chips greets her, and he finds a place for her to sit. Unlike his friends, Pingu did not wanted anything to do with her. He spreads out his things all over his desk and puts his legs wide apart to make it seem as though there is no room at his desk. He is infuriated when Mr. Peng-Chips picks his seat anyway. Pingo offers Pingi a lollipop, which she takes and offers to Pingu, but he refuses, so she gives it back to Pingo. She then draws a heart shape and offers that to Pingu, and he snaps at her, earning himself a reprimand from the schoolmaster, who firmly orders him to be nice to her.

On their way home after school, Pingi follows Pingu and wants a hug, however, when Pingu lets her have a piece of his mind, she cries. Pingu walks away, and Pingi throws a snowball at him. He throws one back in retaliation, but it goes through the window of a nearby igloo. Pingu and Pingi both hide in a barrel to escape the wrath of the igloo's irate owner, and they end up falling in love and they eventually start a relationship.

Pingu eventually moved to the city, when or how this happened has never been explained, it's possible that Pingu's family decided to move somewhere different.


Pingu is a cheery fun-loving penguin who lives with his family in the South Pole. He sometimes helps his mother and father out with chores, and he often takes care of Pinga when Mother and Father are busy.

Like any child, he's constantly pushing boundaries so even the most routine activities transform into the unexpected when Pingu gets involved. Luckily, Pingu is as good at getting out of trouble as he is good at getting into it and he usually manages to win everyone over with his playful nature.

Despite a genuine caring nature, Pingu can be very troublesome and mischievous as most kids all over the world are. There is a recurring gag in the series where Pingu refuses to eat or misbehaves at the dinner table. It was part of the plot in "Pingu Runs Away". When Pinga is born in "The New Arrival", Pingu becomes upset that he couldn't see the birth, and tries as much as he could to get to Pinga. In the episode "Jealousy", Mother wants Pingu to stop behaving badly while she looks after Pinga and Pingu becomes upset and hides in a toy box.

As the series progressed, Pingu became a much more mature and responsible penguin. He later has a crush on Pingi. He hangs out with his friends more and takes responsibility, as seen in "Pingu and Pinga at the Kindergarten". This new trait carried over to Pingu in the City, where he took on several jobs in the show such as a football player, a railway tram conductor, a cook, and the list goes on.


Pingu is a black and white round penguin with orange feet and a red beak. Although he can change his appearance by changing his size or turning into a ball for many purposes. Very rarely, he can detach his head as seen in "Pingu Looks After the Egg".

Episodic Appearances

As the title character, Pingu appears in every episode of Pingu and Pingu in the City.


Pingu's catchphrase is "Nug, Nug!", most commonly known as "Noot Noot!". In doing this, his beak becomes a sort of trumpet shape. He uses this to show affection, anger, happiness and other emotions or even to attract attention. It has become characteristic with Pingu and is recognised by people all around the globe. However, in certain variants of early episodes in Season 1, his catchphrase was a kind of a "Meep, meep!" while still retaining the same motion as his "Noot Noot!"


  • Pingu was originally going to be called Hugo.
  • Pingu's name comes from the German word for penguin (Pinguin)
  • When Pingu walks, the sound he makes when his flippers slap against the ground is really the sound artist slapping the top of his other hand during the recording session.
  • It's unknown what type of penguin he is, though the Cartoon Network Japan website says that Pingu is an emperor penguin.[1] This is probably true as his sister Pinga's appearance shows a similar resemblance to an emperor penguin chick. A documentary on the show however claims he is a King Penguin as evidenced by the yellow lining on his stomach.
  • According to the UK website, Pingu is about 5 years old, however, it's not stated whether he's 5 in human years or penguin years.
  • Pingu's height is 2,5, being possibly a foot taller than his younger sister, Pinga.
  • In the pilot episode and early episodes of Season 1, he has a slightly different head.
  • In 2009, Pingu appeared in Peter Kay's Animated All Star Band music video on "Children in Need".
    • This was also Pingu's final appearance in claymation form.
  • He also appeared in the 1998 Perth ABC Concert, speaking English.[2]
  • In 2016, two models of Pingu from the TV series were displayed at the "Plot in Plastilin" exhibition in Gewerbemuseum, Winterthur.[3]
  • Pingu is able to roll into a ball, as can his sister. No other penguins seem to show this ability for some reason.



Promotional Images




Main Characters
Pingu · Pinga · Pingu's Mother · Pingu's Father · Grandpa
Recurring Characters
Robby · Pingo · Pingg · Pongi · Pingi
Minor Characters
Main article: List of minor characters
Pingu's Aunts · The Twins · Grandpa (Maternal) · Mr. Peng-Chips · Mr. Peng-Hoven · Miss Peng-Hoven · The Baker · Mr. Peng-Mail · The Salesman · Pengy · Mrs. Peng-Sniff · Punki · Mr. Pengatel · Mr. Penganaide · Mother Peng-Pride · The Famous Artist · Baby Penguins · The Strangers · The Yellow Beaked Penguin · The Strikers · The Mayor · Pingi's Mother · Pingo's Father · Pingo's Grandfather · Pingg's Father · The Seagull · Green Penguins (Pingj) · The Bride's family · Bajoo · Popoff · Giant Walrus
Pingu in the City Characters
Pendra · Rock Hopper Penguin · Chef Fred · The Inventor · Football Manager