Nov 12, 2018
fillyy (All reviews)
Penguin Highway is an anime film about a boy who is mature for his age but still has some things to learn as a growing boy. He is a genius kid who finds great interest in researching new and bizarre phenomena. The film is structured quite well and uses a lot of metaphors through the animation and storytelling to represent the coming-of-age of his character. This film does have a bloated run-time of about two hours and it compromised some of my enjoyment. The dialogue is poorly written and attempts at humour in the film don't quite cut it. I do appreciate the representation of the mystery behind the penguins and the phenomena as a metaphor to discovery, exploration, and learning. This film is good to analyse as it presents metaphors in an effective way to tell a story.

The animation is decent for the most part. There are moments of extremely fast motion and travel that are depicted in this film which ends up being poorly animated. The animation in these select few scenes felt lazy and sloppily animated. The animation still deserves some praise.

The soundtrack is quite good. I liked the transition from the introduction to the opening theme. The songs used throughout this film fit the scenes' moods and added a sense of joy. I love the ending theme as the credits roll after a satisfying ending.

The characters were written and developed well in this anime film. The sense of the boy's determination and excitement of further developing his research is portrayed well. Some of the characters' actions felt a little forced but there was one scene where there was a conversation with the boy and his sister which tied up to the ending and connected all the dots. This film doesn't fully explain itself until the very end but it is satisfying to see the films ending scene nonetheless.

To be honest, there were moments that I didn't enjoy watching but I did enjoy the ending quite a bit. The lead up to the ending wasn't enjoyable and this film takes its time to fully explain itself. The humour in this film along with a lot of the dialogue didn't feel like it quite fit in the film which impacted my overall enjoyment of this film.

I'm not sure if I would recommend this anime to anyone but I do have to say that it's an anime film that has a lot of metaphors and imagery that can be analysed and interpreted differently to discover a completely different and beautiful meaning behind its message of growing up, the reality behind maturity, and overall life events that occur when maturing and growing up. You might like this anime film if you like interesting coming-of-age tales.