Festival film review: Pororo to the Cookie Castle

Pororo to the Cookie Castle

I thought I ought to see at least one Korean animation as part of the recent film festival, so I took pot luck with the one that best fitted my Saturday schedule and ended up watching Pororo to the Cookie Castle.

In the foyer of the Odeon Covent Garden was a 4-foot high penguin, beside which Korean kiddies were having their photos taken. Cute.

A little bit of searching on the internet reveals that Pororo is quite an institution. It’s a children’s TV programme, lasting about 7 minutes, a sort of Magic Roundabout or Captain Pugwash but without, on the evidence of this feature-length Christmas special, the undertones of drugs and obscure sexual practices which give those latter programmes a bit of adult interest. Pororo’s had 2 series made, but at 52 episodes per series the Korean 3D animators are certainly kept busy.

To be honest, I was rather wary of going to this film. Unlike the live-action films in this festival, the animations were dubbed. I wasn’t looking forward to the corny American voices the like of which completely ruin the Studio Ghibli dubbed versions. Fortunately though the voices seemed very unobtrusive, and I could enjoy the film without cringing with embarrassment.

Pororo to the Cookie Castle

Pororo wears the flying hat and goggles, I think, because he wishes he could fly, and he lives with his chums in the snowy wastes (though maybe it was only snowy because this is a Christmas special). His chums include a polar bear, a beaver, a fox, and something which initially looks like a hippo but is in fact a dragon. Anyway, you get the picture. The plot involves the gallant crew helping Father Christmas to get his Christmas Cookies ready for delivery on Christmas Eve, without the stock being substituted by a wicked chocolate-maker who wants to take over the world. Or something.

It’s a harmless (and actually rather fun) 70 minutes. There’s nothing particularly Korean about it: in fact it seems aimed squarely at the international market, and there’s nothing wrong with that. It deserves to succeed. It would make a nice occasional change from The Snowman for family viewing during the festive season. Good luck to Pororo and his plucky friends.

9 thoughts on “Festival film review: Pororo to the Cookie Castle

  1. Pororo: had been waking /met an which(who turned poby into a doll)/and got a topping Crong:fired chocolate Eddy:got the castle map/escapte with Loopy

  2. my lil bro loves pororo! he’d sit there for a whole day watching it without moving a finger! i really want to get him the cookie castle movie for his second birthday

  3. Hello from the former colony.
    Does anyone have a clue where I might acquire a DVD of either or both of Pororo’s TV seasons, or the Sing-along show, for that matter? Our Granddaughter is over there, loves him, but doesn’t speak Korean.
    Any help would be appreciated. (She already owns The Cookie Castle)

  4. Hi Michael
    As I note in today’s post, I’m afraid I can only find English-dubbed versions of the film. The TV series available at YesAsia are Korean-only 🙁
    Maybe others might know better.
    Philip

  5. Vaya a mime gusta mucho Pororo es lo máximo de mi vida porque llena mi vacío por dentro, soy de Chile .Saludos de Chile

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