10 Reasons Why You Should Watch Penguin Highway
Penguin Highway is a coming of age movie about a boy, penguins, a lady, and the otherworldly disturbance in their city. What begins as a child-like adventure slowly turns into mind-bending strings of events that could threaten the fate of mankind.
If mere description alone is not enough to convince you to watch this gem, then here are ten reasons why you should watch Penguin Highway.
- Intriguing Premise
- Lovable and Relatable Characters
- Mind-blowing Visuals
- Subtle Lessons on Scientific Research
- Proper Pacing
- Dynamic Character Interaction
- Clever use of Foreshadowing
- Balanced character development
- A Suspenseful Journey
- A heartwarming story
1. Intriguing Premise
While on his way to school, Aoyama and several other people witness a platoon of penguins scurrying down the road. The penguins quickly become a hot topic for all the kids in his school.
Thinking a step further than his classmate, Aoyama and his friend, Uchida, devise a plan to investigate the mystery of the penguins. Where do they come from? What are they doing here? Where are they going?
Thus begin their adventure to find the truth about the penguins. Unbeknownst to them, their journey would shove them straight into a much more complicated web of mysteries that goes beyond even their wildest imagination.
2. Lovable and relatable characters
At the heart of Penguin Highway is a coming-of-age story of a little boy. His endless curiosities, his blind courage, his clueless remarks, and all other things that would make us relate and rooting for his success and well-being.
Not only that, his interaction and relationship, which we'll talk about later, with other characters also makes the story even more vibrant and colorful.
His prideful friend, his insightful friend, his open-minded friend, even his bully have a deeper layer that would make them feels like a real human being and not simply made-up characters. Which makes it that much easier for us to love and relate to them.
3. Mind-blowing visuals
The presentation of the Penguin Highway is more akin to the realistic style of a Makoto Shinkai's movie rather than the unique style of a Hayao Miyazaki's flick.
Studio Colorido's decision to make the animation as realistic as possible, especially the environment, helps to anchor the familiar real-life feeling to the overall atmosphere.
By going with that approach, they manage to deliver a stronger punch when they decide to showcase the mind-blowing, reality-bending visual-fest at the climax of the movie. The contrast between the two certainly helps to enhance our overall watching experience.
4. Subtle lesson on scientific research
Aoyama likes to read scientific books and engage in various scientific-like activities. Whenever he or his friend finds something interesting, they go on an exploration and use the knowledge that he acquired from those books as a guide to finding answers and explanation that would satisfy their curiosity.
From observation, gathering relevant data, experimenting with multiple variables, to formulating a hypothesis, this movie shows us a glimpse of how to use a proper scientific methodology to find answers, and solving problems.
The implementation of this basic scientific method not only lend a sense of credibility to the story but could also potentially be an introduction to the viewers of how scientist do their work.
5. Proper pacing
Penguin Highway wants to take us along its main character's journey. To do that, one of the most important aspects to get right is pacing.
A slow burn animation would only make people yawn while doing it too fast would simply make it hard to grasp the essence of the story.
Instead, the movie chose to start slow and gradually increase the pace as the story progress, which creates a rollercoaster ride of action and emotions that will leave us speechless when it ends.
6. Dynamic character interaction
There are several characters accompanying Aoyama in this journey and each interaction between him and other characters reveals something interesting about them.
Their personalities, motivation, interests, and even their ideals. This clash between personalities forced the main character to take a certain decision that will ultimately affect the course of his journey.
That could only happen because each character is unique and will behave or respond differently when confronted with the same adversity.
This dynamic between interaction and response not only create depth and development to each character and move the story forward but also brings about some of the most hilarious and inspiring moments in the movie.
7. Clever use of foreshadowing
Foreshadow is hints, bread crumbs, and warnings. It is usually used to set up the reader for what's gonna come later on.
Penguin highway is subtle in the way they spread the bread crumbs. Things that may appear as vague and mundane will become something clear and important later on in the story.
Eagle-eyed viewers might catch the hints and participate in the detective work alongside the main character while other people will witness the climax and make the connection with things that appear on the screen earlier.
Both activities are fun in their own way and it creates a sense of engagement between the movie and its audiences.
8. Balanced character development
Character development basically means that by the end of the movie we want our characters, especially in coming-of-age stories, to be different people then they are at the beginning. They have changed and grow as a person because of the adversity that they have overcome.
After creating relatable characters and having them interact with each other, Penguin Highway makes sure that every people that involve in the main event of the movie are affected by it, however big or small.
The result, most characters in this movie have their own character arc. This balance in character development creates a sense of a complete and well-rounded story that certainly improves our watching experience.
9. A suspenseful journey
Hiding behind Penguin Highway's sweet and innocent story are deep mysteries and suspense waiting to be slowly unraveled.
The main building blocks for that suspense are pacing and foreshadowing. As we've explored earlier, proper pacing creates a feeling of urgency to the story, while foreshadowing creates a sense of expectation on what's gonna happen next.
Combine that with well-rounded characters, an intriguing premise, and flawless execution, what we got is a suspenseful journey that will keep us at the edge of our seat.
10. A heart-warming story
Penguin Highway can take you through a wide range of emotions. From joy and sadness to grief and gratitude, and everything in between.
Echoing my previous point, at the core of the movie is a heartwarming story of a boy who tries to make sense of all the weird things in the world around him.
Amidst various trials and tribulations, he keeps on moving forward to find the truth. Despite the steep price that he has to pay to obtain it, the knowledge and experience he got through this inspiring journey is something precious that will stay with him forever.
Penguin Highway is an underrated movie. Despite its apparent quality, not many people seem to talk about it. I genuinely think Penguin Highway is a great movie and deserve more pair of eyes to watch it.
So, what do you think? After reading all the good things that I mention above, would you watch this movie? And if you have, what do you think about it?