MATEUSEO INSUKI AND THE PEBBLE PENGUINS 1997 (Episode IV) 58m
Little more than a sub-average episode in this long running saga in which Mateuseo Manuka, his mother's robot analogue/maid Insuki, Princess Pemican, and the Ambiant Fountainhead Corporation, contend to see who can return a loveable penguin to the frozen wastes. A quest rendered more difficult by a number of factors (one of which alas is not the return of the fan favourite Minki Tesku). As a standin villain Lord Zalmon (the head of AFC security) is as boisterous as ever but loses credibility when forced to wear the exo-armour of the Space Piratess Ludi.
In the end the Dance of the Space Penguins redeems the lack of fan-service with its can-canning Space Penguin Girls. Dubbing is best described as imaginative, and the Directer's cut release 2003 has a subtitled version which is both more accurate, and less painful to the ear. For some reason the end-titles theme of the 03 release has been replaced by what sounds to the non-japanese ear, like a rendition of 'I've Got A Lovely Bunch of Coconuts', but this is not given the Penguin-Girls' costuming utterly inappropriate.
Simon BJ [Post for Sunday 3rd May 2009]