Yonayona pengin [Yona Yona Penguin] (2009)

[Yeah, you guessed it, Anilogue.]

Yonayona pengin [translates to, I think, “Every Evening Penguin”] is the newest Mad House movie by Rintaro, written by Tomoko Konparu.

6-year-old Coco loves Penguins, of all kinds. She has a special penguin costume that she got from her father, who disappeared quite a while ago. Every night she explores the world around her in this suit, believing that one day it’s going to make her fly. One night, she meets Chaley, a goblin who takes her to its world. The goblin world is under threat by Bucca-Boo and his henchboy Zammie. Because of an old prophecy, the goblin people place all her faith in Coco to save them.

Yonayona pengin is wonderful. Sweet and funny and great. It was the one movie during the Anilogue that was actually meant for children, though adults can enjoy it as well [it has quite a few nods for the adult audience a child is not going to get]. That means that the story might not be the most innovative around, but the loving details make more than up for that. And it’s beautifully animated, with an incredible production design.

What can I tell you? When I left the movie, my face was in danger of splitting in two because I was smiling so hard and I kept humming the theme song to myself. [It was also sorely needed because of the film we saw after that, but more of that later.] It really is a feel good movie.

The characters were incredibly well done. Coco is a real child, not just a small adult, something a lot of movies just don’t get right. [Though, when I think of Totoro, the Japanese seem to have a knack for it.] But also  Chaley and Zammie were really well done. And speaking of Zammie, [MINOR SPOILER] he turns out to be a fallen angel – he slipped on a bit of chocolate and fell from the heavens. [/SPOILER] Now, that’s one of those loving details I mentioned earlier.

Another one of those details was that every time the evil demons that fly around with Zammie, Bucca-Boo’s henchdemons so to say, every time they leave the screen, you could hear, “Exeunt devils.” That was just so unexpected, yet perfectly fitting, it got me every time.

The movie is entirely computeranimated, which is of course noticeable. But they go for a traditional anime feel and they succeed pretty well with that. And it just looks really beautiful. Chaley takes Coco to a store where you can only buy penguins in all forms and shapes and sizes. And the shop was so perfectly done that I was just as amazed and taken and flabbergasted as Coco, even though I’m not obsessed with penguins.

Summarising, worth to check out. A definite contender for “regular comfort watch”.

4 thoughts on “Yonayona pengin [Yona Yona Penguin] (2009)

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