The Pygos Group

From the Audiovisual Identity Database, the motion graphics museum


Background

Pingu Filmstudio (formerly Trickfilmstudio) was an animation company based in Switzerland that was formed by Otmar Gutmann. The only known show they have produced is Pingu.

The show's international distribution rights were handled by Netherlands-based firm Editoy AG. Editoy was renamed to Pingu BV in 1996, and assumed its current name of The Pygos Group in 2001 after being acquired by a Texas-based subsidiary of HIT Entertainment named Joker, Inc.

As of 2017, the studio exists as an in-name-only unit of Mattel used to market properties and productions associated with the Pingu library.

Background Trivia: In what might be a possible basis for the later name, Pygoscelis is a genus of penguins.

Trickfilmstudio

Logo (March 7, 1990-December 20, 1994, August 1, 2003-March 4, 2006)


Visuals: On a blue background, the Pingu logo of the time is seen (featuring the titular character holding his trademark knapsack, with "PINGU" in a yellow font with a black online over a white circle). After three seconds, it slowly fades out to black.

Bylines:

  • Starting with the 1990 episode "Pingu Runs Away" (this can depend on the print featured), chyroned copyright information would appear. The text "Trickfilmstudio" (the studio that produced Pingu) and "Otmar Gutmann" (the creator of Pingu) appears on the Pingu logo itself. Below the circle is a copyright date that credits SRG and ZDF (the original networks that broadcast the show), along with Telepool (who held the show's license in German-speaking territories). The text frequently changes font and appearance depending on when the episode was produced.
  • Beginning with Season 2 in 1991, Editoy AG (the holding company for the Pingu license) is added to the copyright date.
  • For episodes produced in 1992, the copyright date is bigger, with the year date below the company text, on the Pingu circle.
  • Following the death of Otmar Gutmann in 1993, the "Trickfilmstudio Otmar Gutmann" byline is replaced with "Pingu Filmstudio" in 1994.

Variants:

  • On some UK BBC Video VHS releases (Pingu 2: Building Igloos, one episode on Pingu 3: Hide and Seek, except for "Pingu's Circus", and Pingu 4: Pingu the Chef), a still of the end of the opening sequence (where Pingu looks at the audience) is used. This was done to avoid showing the copyright information used on the standard logo.
  • On a Japanese Pingu VHS release, the logo fades in from the montage from the end of the credits and stays on screen longer.
  • This logo appeared as an in-credit still on seasons 5-6.

Technique: A hand-drawn image, later with chyroned text.

Audio: The closing theme of the show, which is a slight rearrangement of some of the notes from the original intro sequence.

Audio Variants:

  • On early Season 1 episodes, the theme may be an ukulele rearrangement.
  • On the aforementioned Japanese VHS release, the closing theme is not heard. Instead, Pingu's "Noot Noot" is heard a few seconds after the logo fades in, and a section of the song "SEEDS OF HAPPINESS" can be heard when the logo fades in (interestingly, that song was used during the montage).

Availability: It appears on the original prints of the first two seasons of Pingu.

  • It was last seen on UK television in 2012, when the series last aired on CBeebies (the BBC also retained the old master prints of the series well after the HIT remastering).
  • It also appears on many VHS releases (mainly in the UK and Australia), and most likely on the Japanese DVD sets released in 2000.
    • However, the redubbed and remastered versions of Seasons 1-2 use The Pygos Group's logo instead.

Pingu Filmstudio

Logo (June 17, 1995-April 9, 2000?)


Visuals: Same basic concept as the previous logo, but in stop motion rather than hand-drawn animation. The chyroned text "PINGU Filmstudio Switzerland" appears on the bottom in white.

Technique: A still photo with what appears to be computer effects.

Audio: A section of the song "Pingu Dance" which was used as the opening and closing theme to the show for seasons 3 and 4, as well as the remastered versions of Seasons 1 and 2.

Audio Trivia: The "Pingu Dance" was released as a single by David Hasselhoff in Switzerland only, due to his love of Pingu.

Availability: This logo appears on the original versions of season three (and possibly four) episodes of Pingu.

  • As with the last logo, as the BBC kept using their own master prints well after the remastering for CBeebies, it was last seen on UK television in 2012.
  • It also appears on many VHS releases (mainly in the UK and Australia).
  • It also appears on a BTVision print of Pingu at the Wedding Party (where the title card and credits are completely textless), and most likely on when it first aired on Swiss TV in 1997 (which the BTVision print likely uses).
  • It also plasters the last logo on the Australian video releases of Hello Pingu! and Pingu and his Friends, alongside broadcasts of seasons one and two on Cartoon Network's original broadcasts in the United States.
  • Most international video releases use the next logo, and the remastered versions of course also use the next logo as well.

The Pygos Group

Logo (1997-2006?)

Visuals: On a white background, a close-up of Pingu looking at the screen, holding his signature knapsack, fades into view. He turns off to the side to shout "Noot Noot!", before turning towards the camera again and winking twice. Then, at the bottom of the screen, the Pingu logo, along with a byline in gold fade in below.

Bylines:

  • Originally when the logo debuted, the copyright information said "Production and all rights, © PINGU BV, NL" and was positioned over the black areas of Pingu.
  • After the rebranding of Pingu BV to The Pygos Group and the purchase of the company from HIT Entertainment, the copyright date was changed to "© The Pygos Group 2002" and is now centered under the Pingu logo. This is usually followed by the 2000 HIT Entertainment logo.

Trivia: This logo was used as the intro for the U.S. Pingu VHS/DVD release of Meet Pingu. Meet Pingu itself was the first Pingu home video in the U.S.

Variants:

  • The Pingu release above has the Pingu logo changed to the text "Meet Pingu" in the font sported on the DVD/VHS cover and the copyright notice is also removed.
  • On the U.S. Pingu DVD Antarctic Antics, a completely different copyright notice is used.

Technique: Stop-motion animation.

Audio: Same as the later variant of the last logo, but with an extra section of the song at the beginning, and Pingu's "Noot, Noot" sound as well.

Availability: Appears on current prints of the first-three seasons of Pingu after it's remastering.

  • The Pingu BV variant replaces the first logo on the 1997 redubbed versions of Seasons 1 and 2.
    • It also plasters the last logo on Australian VHS releases of Seasons 3 and 4.
  • It is unknown whether original prints of Season 4 used this logo or the previous logo.
  • The Pygos Group version replaces the previous two logos on the 2002 remastered versions of the first four seasons of the show as well as the DVD release and 2010 airings of the 1997 TV special Pingu at the Wedding Party. This is the most common variant of the logo.
  • The Meet Pingu variant only appears at the beginning of its VHS/DVD releases, as well as the digital release thereof.