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[EXCLUSIVE FILM REVIEW] Penguin Highway: A Story Of Wonder
9Overall Score

Are you ready to embark on the journey that is Penguin Highway? I got a chance to get an exclusive first look at this adorable movie. Eleven Arts is bringing this movie to theaters for limited time only! Find more information here

The Story

The adventure begins with 4th-grade future scientist/budding genius Aoyama.  One morning he spots penguins in a field by his home.

In the suburbs.

This sets off the hunt to find out where these cute creatures have come from. To add more to this phenomenon, he discovers that his older dental assistant crush may be the cause behind it! Aoyama and his friends set out to solve the mystery of a lifetime!

The Review

When Eleven Arts asked me to review this film, I was over the moon! One, because I love penguins, and two, because I have been anticipating this film since I heard about it back in May of 2018! With its vibrant colors and crazy animation from the trailer, I knew it was something I had to experience. Penguin Highway was nothing short of a fun and bewildering ride.

From the moment the film starts, you are thrown into the eyes and mind of a fourth grader. A genius, yes—but a fourth grader all the same. I found myself giggling at Ayoama’s lack of understanding and refreshing innocence. There were times you almost forgot he was a child with his adult mannerisms, but you were always quickly reminded that he is just a kid. I think that’s what the movie was trying to convey: youth, and everything that comes with it.

You are forced to put down your logical understanding, and instead pick up the imagination of a child. Throughout the film, you stop asking why and instead take the information you are given, accepting it as truth.

 

This was newcomer director Hiroyasu Ishida’s big debut, and he did not disappoint. He captured the essence of childlike wonder with beautifully bright colors and smooth animation. Oh, and did I mention the Penguins were every bit of adorable and awkward as they come?

I think one of the most pleasant surprises was the cinematography. There were scenes that captured the atmosphere so well and became a unexpected highlight.

Penguin Highway had an array of characters that kept the story moving along. At times the movie dragged on, but it made up for it with the cast. Especially Ayoama and his unnamed lady friend. Their on screen chemistry and dialogue was enjoyable to watch and follow along.  I watched excitingly as she just went along with his outrageous plans. As if to say youth doesn’t have to leave you just because you’re an adult.

A child’s imagination is one of the most extraordinary things in this world. Filled with chaos and wonder, anything can go and anything is the truth.

Penguin Highway captures that childlike wonder and brings it to life in a fun filled mystery the whole family will love!

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