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Paradise Pen

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A cartoon mentioned in chapter 12 of Unexpected Daddy. In chapter 13, it is revealed that it is a sequel or spinoff to an earlier cartoon, Peng Friends. The two shows have the same main cast (except for Pernicious, who was added to correct the gender imbalance a little), but in Paradise Pen they have moved to Island Town, on an island known as Town Island. It's probable that in the original they were based in an area more typically associated with penguins. They also didn't wear clothes in Peng Friends, only the glasses/hats/etc that are their distinguishing features. In Paradise Pen, they often receive a new uniform as a reward for helping a neighbour with their job, and they are slowly building up a large wardrobe which is shown in later episodes.

The show is about a group of animated penguins (Pete, Penny, Pendthrift, Pernicious, Penfold, and Penderton) who run what Alex describes as a tiki bar, the Paradise Pen. It's never actually mentioned in the canon what type of venue Paradise Pen is, and as there seem to be patrons who come there to hang out with their friends, but there is no sign of food or drink being served and nobody ever seems to pay for anything. Sometimes there is dancing, and on one occasion a karaoke machine is shown. The supporting characters are mostly anthropomorphic animals (people with cat ears and tails, or racially appropriate facial features, but otherwise appearing human), and a few apparent humans appear, especially when a crowd is shown. However, the main characters are penguins with human-like behaviour, and the only characters who don't have approximately human proportions.

The humour in the series is often slapstick, and involves the consequences of the six penguins' plans to become rich and famous, which always misfire. They each have their own character weaknesses, such as Penfold's tendency to act without thinking, which are often key to the problems they find themselves in. The solutions to these problems always involve the penguins learning some important lesson, such as trusting authority figures or remembering to keep your promises.

It's noted that the dialogue sometimes contains double entendres which would change the meaning of the sentence if you know them, adding a second level of humour for any watching adults without being noticed by the kids.

The show's opening starts with a white screen showing the logo of the animation studio and/or distributor, which is pushed off the stage by two or three of the penguins, who are carrying musical instruments and then begin to play the main theme. There are at least nine different versions of this opening, with different combinations of instruments for the intro before the full music fades in.

The penguins all have different glasses, hats, and jewellery by which they can be identified. They also wear loud Hawaiian shirts and sandals, although they do change their colours. This has led to some confusion among parents of fans, as well as occasional minor characters (but only humans) who may have used each penguin's most common outfit as a colour code to recognise them.

It's noted that Pete has an accent that means a lot of dropped 'h's. (Unexpected Daddy chapter 16)

Each episode includes between one and three songs about whatever the theme is or what they're trying to teach. The episode often ends with some kind of concert, party, or other performance where they play a medley of these songs, followed by the end credits theme "Come Back Tomorrow" (sometimes modified slightly. For example in the episode about regional dialects some of the pens substitute local synonyms appropriate to their accents; and in the episode where they're helping to deliver mail, the otter mailman joins in singing for a couple of lines).


  • Penderton - Drums (Unexpected Daddy chapter 12/13; he's walking while playing, so I assume he has a small set that's suitable for carrying; maybe a larger set for stage performances)
  • Pete - Banjo (Unexpected Daddy chapter 13)
  • Penny - Kazoo (Unexpected Daddy chapter 16. Alex thinks it looks like 'some kind of flute' in chapter 12/13, so either it's hard to identify with the art style, or she has a selection of wind instruments. Now I have the mental image of 4 or 5 similar instruments stored in a tool roll…)