Trey the Penguin (FR: Un Pingouin nommé Johan) is a 1975 French animated film directed by Jean Image and produced by Anatole Dauman. It was first released in France by Gaumont on June 11th, 1975. A shorter English language version directed by Fred Ladd was released in the United States by American International Pictures on November 16th, 1977, which starred John Fiedler, Marshall Efron, Lionel Wilson, Hans Conried, Paul Lynde, and Carl Andy as some of the voices.
Both versions of the film received positive reviews in their native countries, and grossed $24,134,458 at the United States box office. Trey the Penguin was the very first film Garrett Fredrickson ever worked on.
TO BE WORKED ON
- John Fiedler as Trey
- Marshall Efron as Rick
- Lionel Wilson
- Hans Conried
- Paul Lynde
- Amy Howard Wilson
- Tom Tweedy
- Alan Swift
- Len Maxwell
- Peter Fernandez
- Carl Andy
- Corinne Orr
- Marie Osmond
- Bill Capizzi
- James Connell
Trey the Penguin was produced over a 4 year period, beginning in 1971 and finishing in 1975. It was Jean Image's only film not to be produced by his own studio, Films Jean Image, it was instead animated at Darguad Films and Belvision. Yvan Delporte wrote the film's songs, and he would later go on to write the songs for The Smurfs and the Magic Flute. Gaumont released the movie in France.
Following the film's success in France, Gaumont saw the potential for a foreign language release of the film, so they approached Fred Ladd about producing an English language version of the movie for the American market. Ladd eventually acquired the English language rights to the movie, and he had Samuel J. Phillips and Acton Corporation assit him with the production.
A few changes were made to the original version in the English language version, for example, Johan's name was changed to Trey, and about 3 minutes of the film were cut to secure a G rating from the MPAA. The english dub of the film had a few notable actors in the cast including John Fiedler, Marshall Efron, Hans Conried, Paul Lynde, and Carl Andy, in one of his first voice acting gigs since his early stint at Famous Studios. The rest of the voice actors consisted of mostly a non-union crew who worked on English dubs of other movies.
One of the English dub's writers was Garrett Fredrickson, who at the time was just a prompt writer, but Fred Ladd liked his prompts so much he called Fredrickson to see if he wanted to write the English version of the movie. Fredrickson, who was fluent in French, agreed to this, though he was fairly nervous about working on a feature film, so Earl Hammer Jr. assisted him with the script. Fredrickson would later go on to write a few other movies, and funnily enough, his directorial debut would be in the English dub of A Penguin's Memories, which Marshall Efron, Carl Andy, and Len Maxwell also happened to star in.
Gaumont released the movie in France on June 11th, 1975. In October 1977, American International Pictures announced they would be distributing the English version, which opened in the United States on November 16th, 1977.
- 1984 Thorn/EMI/HBO Video VHS (under license from Orion Pictures)
- 1992 Orion Home Video VHS
- 2000 MGM Family Collection VHS
- 2003 MGM Kids DVD
- 2015 Olive Films DVD/Blu-Ray (under license from MGM)
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film currently has a score of 74% based on 22 reviews, with an average rating of 6.8 out of 10. Vincent Canby described the film's visuals as "creative, but nothing new" but still pointed out that "the story has enough charm and heart to keep maybe even older audiences entertained".