By Ed Sum (The Vintage Tempest)
For the penguin known as Jasper, there must be a collective “aww” as most of the world will be paying attention to the release of the Penguins of Madagascar movie this week. This little unknown bird is perhaps better recognized in Germany than in any other country for his antics. As a children’s animated product who first shot to recognition in the UK release titled Jasper, Penguin Explorer through Soda Pictures (who also released A Cat in Paris and Tales of the Night). Shout! Factory Kids is bringing an English re-release to North American audiences as the re-titled, Jasper: Journey to the End of the World which is now available for preorder.
This family friendly product is bound to delight in simpler ways more than with more socially complex films like Happy Feet or March of the Penguins. However, the environmental message all these films make are abundantly clear: For Jasper, it’s in seeing how changes upon the land created by humanity can impact any species. But even more important is how individuals have to take responsibility for their actions. Perhaps he can make friends with other birds of a feather like Pingu or Scamper (Penguin Lolo), but not everyone will recognize all these foreign characters. At least for this curious bird, he will find that adventure is at large when a ship sails deep south. With his young brother, Junior, just what kind of fun they will have with young Emma and Captain may well start to rival Tintin’s own globetrotting escapades.
This latest product by director Eckart Fingberg was originally made in 2008 and released to a limited market. With thanks to Shout!, a new generation can delight to a North American release of a foreign classic March 10, 2015.