"The Pebble and the Penguin" also has a starry cast of voices, including Martin Short, Tim Curry and James Belushi, and songs by Barry Manilow (who also did the music for Bluth's "Hans Christian Andersen's Thumbelina" last year).
But here the songs are forgettable, the story one-note and the characterizations quite weak. The latter is especially true of facial expressions and the villain, Drake, looks like a buffed-up penguin with a wolf's head!
Bluth's strength continues to be colorful, classical-style animation, and there are some gorgeous moments here especially some underwater sequences.16 comments on this story
The story has stuttering, painfully shy Hubie (Short) yearning for Marina (Annie Golden). But to win her hand, he must present her with a pebble during the Antarctic penguin mating season. Up against him is evil Drake (Curry), who conspires to win Marina for himself (and whose character seems like a ripoff of Gaston in "Beauty and the Beast").
After a tussle with Drake, Hubie finds himself captured by humans and bound for a zoo. So, he escapes with grumpy Rocko (Belushi), the film's most appealing and amusing character, as they try to get back to Hubie's home.
There are a few nice moments here, but most of the way "The Pebble and the Penguin" is rather limp, and will likely make small children restless long before it's over.
Both "The Pebble and the Penguin" and "A Goofy Movie" are rated G.