Customer Reviews: The Pebble and the Penguin [Blu-ray]
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on October 23, 2005
I don't know why everybody is saying how bad this film is. When I watched this as a kid (and I still do, apparently!), I fell in love with this movie as well as all of the other Don Bluth films of the 90s (Thumbelina, Rock-A-Doodle, A Troll in Central Park) that weren't smash hits at the box office like his first films. This story is funny, romantic, musically fun, and a whole lot more.

This story is true on one account, in Antartica, the male penguins would go searching for pebbles to give to the female penguins they love during the mating season. If she accepts it, they mate for life. This is said by the narrator (Shani Wallis, Oliver!) at the beginning of the film. Then, it begins to go into song with "Now and Forever", introducing the main characters, Hubie and Marina. Hubie (Martin Short, Treasure Planet, We're Back! A Dinosaur's Story, The Prince of Egypt, Jungle 2 Jungle) is a shy, sort-of-clumsy, hopeless romantic penguin, who is love with a beautiful girl penguin named Marina (Annie Golden). He dreams of talking with her and asking her to be his mate, but as I said earlier, he's really shy and tends to doubt himself too much. Unbeknownest to the both of them, another penguin loves Marina, a strong, provincial, not-to-mention-evil named Drake (Tim Curry, Ferngully: The Last Rainforest, Home Alone 2: Lost in New York, Beauty and the Beast: The Enchanted Christmas) and will stop at nothing to have her as his mate. The next day, Hubie hopelessly tries to find a pebble before the Full-Moon Mating Ceremony (that's where the penguins present their pebbles to their mates.), but ends up leaving empty-handed at the end of the day. That night, he wishes for a special pebble to present for Marina, and amazingly, his wish comes true! An aquamarine pebble comes flying out of the sky and onto earth. Hubie is very happy when he finds this, and instantly tries to find Marina to present it to her. But admist his running, Drake comes and starts bullying Hubie to give him that pebble. When Hubie refuses, Drake pushes him off a cliff, and into the waters, where a lepord seal is waiting! Hubie swims for his life, and before he knew it, he is thousand of miles away from Antartica, and on a ship, called the Misery, heading to America to be put in a zoo. Hubie is petrified at this, especially after looking inside the pebble and seeing that Drake wants Marina to be his mate. He is determined to get out of there, but not without the help of a strong, robust, and dreams-of-flying penguin named Rocko (Jim Belushi, Something About Jim, Babes in Toyland {1998 version}). Will Hubie make it back to Antartica in time for the ceremony? Who will be Marina's mate? And what about Rocko? Will his dream of flying come true?

This film is fun to watch over and over again, and that music! Wow! Barry Manilow did such a wonderful job writing the music and singing the end title song with Sheena Easton. Even Jim Belushi can sing in this film! Amazing performance with Martin Short in "Looks Like I Got Me A Friend".

This film has a lot of morals, two of them being extremely important. One of them is if you really put your heart and soul into something you truly love to do, you can do anything. And, if you're offering someone a gift of affection, it's not the gift, but the person offering it that counts. In other words, that person likes/loves you for being you. So, go on! Don't be afraid! Buy this film today! You'll be glad you did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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on August 18, 2001
I began to watch this film without expecting much. Admittedly, it does not feature the best animation, but that is not the most important feature in an animated film. It's not the 'Lion King' or 'Dinasaur', but I don't think that it was meant to be. The story is about a love triangle between a good-guy penguin named Hubie, his sweetheart Marina and the egotistical and pompous Drake - this penguin is willing to stoop or bully his way to any level to marry Marina, who is not very interested in him. Hubie must beat the clock to find the most precious pebble and make it back in time, braving all kinds of weather and challenging situations in order to wed Marina. This love-triangle theme of the film was not too 'grown-up', was handled well, and is suitable for children of all ages.
The film is both sad (without being too over-the-top) and funny. The dialogue between the characters is both original and hilarious, and the film in general is very wacky, as were some of the songs. Drake's over-the-top rendition of "Don't make me laugh" had me splitting my sides. James Belushi's characterization of Rocko was perfectly fitted to his natural humour and temperament, and Tim Curry did a great job of Drake. This film is the perfect example of not expecting much from a film, but getting everything. If you like a lot of fun, you will probably love this film.
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on August 16, 2000
I would recommend this video especially for families with a 3, 4, or 5 year old. It was our most frequent video rental when my son was 4, and I'm looking to purchase it now that my neice about the right age.
I understand that it's not the greatest animated film ever, but it is cute and, yes, heartwarming. It has good messages and the kids don't have to have everything explained to them as they go. Some questions or discussions may come up, but not because the movie is too confusing. Also, it works well as a "quiet-time" movie, doesn't keep them up half the night trying to resolve new issues. I make it sound boring, but it's not - it's just a nice change of pace from some other great movies. It inserts messages and images of love, commitment, acceptance, and perserverance in a gentle manner. And although the younger kids love it, the rest of the family doesn't mind watching it!
I can't really address, or remember, all the complaints listed but I would like to mention that IT'S A CARTOON - Marina can have a flower on her head - Rocko can learn to fly. Yes it wanders a little, but it's fun. It's not intended to be the next Lion King, but it does a good job in a smaller scale. And Don Bluth isn't always just aimimg for Disney clones to have to be measured in terms of how well his films "compete" with theirs - if he thought he was just like Disney, wouldn't he still work for them?
All in all, I think if you take this film as a small pleasure, a treat for the kids and the adults who watch with them, you won't be disappointed. You might enjoy it, and your kids certainly will.
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on May 1, 2000
An excellent movie. One of the best kid's movies i have seen. People complain of the storyline as being bland, stupid... keep in mind that this is a good kid's movie and that good kid's movies shouldn't have intricate twists, thought provoking events, and unsolved mysteries.
This is a good storyline, plain and simple, it is about a penguin named Hubie who is seeking the love of the beautiful Marina. However, Hubie is not the only one after Marina, the egostistic penguin Drake also has his eye on her. Drake is a large strong penguin who always gets his way. He casts Hubie out to sea and in a race against time Hubie must make it back before the full moon ceremony, which is where each bachelor penguin proposes his love to the lady penguin he most adores - if she accepts they are coupled forever.
An EXCELLENT storyline to create a brilliant movie BUT..... Don Bluth has made his movie fall much short of what it could've been. If he had of spent more time making the film it would be as famous and unforgettable as the Lion King, A Bug's Life, and The Jungle Book. It appears Bluth rushed the movie. Hubie, his friend later in the film Rocko, Marina and Drake are extremely easy to recognise. The bulk of the other penguins are drawn virtually the same and play almost no role what so ever. What Bluth should have done was introduce other characters into the story and give them a life, have some recognisable large penguins friends or subordinates of Drake. Marina should also have a large circle of friends which we are introduced to and see what happens to them later in the film. More characters = more interesting and appealing to larger range of audiences. Hubie could've been one main character of several bachelors trying to win the love of the ladies they most adore. Each bachelor/lady penguin experiencing a different crisis when trying to find their love, Hubie being just one of them.
Bluth should have built off of this good storyline into something much much better. The songs suit the movie very well, more could've been added if the storyline covered other penguins. This movie is quite a unique one, and having the voices of Martin Short as Hubie, Annie Golden as Marina, the one and only Tim Curry as Drake, and last but not least James Belushi as Rocko, no other actors could've played the characters better. Another small annoyance, in the background you may see penguins not moving, not doing a thing, just being ornaments. This once again indicates how rushed the movie was and it would be better (but this would take up more time) to give them life. Running for a small 76 minutes once again it would run longer if the storyline was built on.
If Bluth did improve his movie as talked about i would buy it in a flash. Bluth could've done so much better, it appears he is falling in reputation with his movies not being up to scratch. THIS FILM HAS THE MOST POTENTIAL I HAVE EVER SEEN IN A FILM. So much could've been done to make this movie a world class masterpiece. Don Bluth was slack with it though and threw it on the market as quickly as he could, no doubt to get cash from it as soon as possible.
Now then, i have finished talking about the ups and the potential this movie had to become something indifferent to brilliant. if only it was worked on more. Who knows, maybe Bluth will improve it later in life, i hope he does but for now we can watch this excellent movie and enjoy it as is. I enjoyed this movie and believe it as a must get for the kiddies. It doesn't get 5 stars because of its minor glitches and sadly ignored potential... I hope you found my opinion useful.
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on August 18, 2003
This, along with "Thumbelina," "All Dogs go to Heaven," and "Rock a Doodle," are among the best Don Bluth films ever made. Why are they so disliked?! In my family, we have watched these movies repeatedly for years and laughed, cried, etc. They are so much fun! The music in this movie is WONDERFUL and the voice acting, particularly Martin Short's Hubie, is great. A cute movie and a cute story.
Other notes: Penguins have eyelashes, deal with it. Drake is an abnormally muscular and busty Adele penguin. Marina's flower is magic. Or plastic.
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on March 30, 2016
This film wasn't super popular when it came out, but I really find it adorable. A cute adventure with a penguin trying to find the perfect pebble to give to his love in order to win her heart. There are many twists and emotional roller coasters in this cartoon, surprisingly. However, it is completely fun and adorable. I would say it's worth it for sure!
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on March 10, 2016
I really like this because of Martin Short and the way the life's lessons are demonstrated. I feel it is very entertaining but also strike a cord on how we handle the pressures of life or not. I'm sure it will teach children the value of right decision making and the importance of commitment.
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on April 25, 2007
I have been fond of this movie since the very first time I saw it. I was really young inbetween 7 and 12 years of age when I first saw this. A word of warning even though this movie is rated g and meant for kids age 5 to ten years of age some parts off it maybe to violent and to intense for kids under the age of ten depending on what there parents or guardians think is appropriate and how easy they get startled. Can the brave penguin hobbie along with his parthner a rock horper named Rocko get back to anatrtica before his love the beautiful Marina is banished from Anartica unless she is forced to marry the handsome branwy but cruel penguin drake played by tim curry. Can hubbie make it back in time before Drake takes Marina for his bribe for his bride. A word of advice uselly I would not recommend getting this used unless it cost less than 25$ dollars our in new condition by since this dvd is very cheap on line if you don't get the family fun edition even its not worth alot infact the most they are charging for one copy with the shipping include in new condition in dvd format is $15.58. If you like this I also recommend you she Thumbalina and ig you are 13 years of age or older all dog go to heaven might be appropriate for you. There is also a two disk version of this but it's somewhat difficult to find and the special features are really little kidish like the kind of stuff you would find on a leo and stictch movie. It also was the most expensive single movie on dvd they had in the store at the time. They sell cost was something in between 20 and 23 dollars with the 5 to 8 percent tax included.
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on April 7, 2015
My 19 year old daughter grew up watching this movie and loves it. I admit because I have watched it so many times with my daughter and her cousins -- I actually love this movie too. It reminds me of the girls being young. My daughter still watches it when she is having a bad day :)
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on April 26, 2000
This cute Movie is just perfect for the whole family.The music soundtrack is very good,and the songs are well written.I recommend others to buy the DVD edition,because of all the features in it.It can easily be seen several times.
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