The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938)

  |  Family, Animation, Short

The Isle of Pingo Pongo (1938) Poster

A travelogue spotlights the tropical island of Pingo Pongo, showing the unusual flora and fauna and the lives of the happy natives.


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Cast & Crew

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Tex Avery


George Manuell (story)

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User Reviews

27 April 2018 | Vimacone
| A First In Mocumentaries
Tex Avery pioneered the spot gag format in cartoons. These had no plot and were simply a series of sight gags centered around a theme with an offscreen narrator. Most of the spot gag cartoons he did were parodies of travelogues and wildlife documentaries. It can be arguably said that he also pioneered "mockumentaries" as we know them today.

THE ISLE OF PINGO PONGO was the first spot gag short that was done. Tex cited the Fitzpatrick travelogues of the material he parodied. This was a film series that showcased the culture of a people in a faraway land. Documentaries like these tended to speak condescendingly of the cultures discussed. And that dismissive tone carries over into this short. While the island culture depicted is fictitious (given the deliberate geographic errors for comic effect), they do represent how America perceived "natives" in other lands in this era. This has made it unsuitable for broadcast/video release in recent decades. Although, with the advent of the internet, this short is now easily accessible.

I found it unusual that the animation is lacking on this short. It doesn't look as smooth as the kinetic animation from Avery's cartoons released this same year. The one redeeming quality that this short has is the swinging rendition of Sweet Georgia Brown. Other than that, Avery's better travelogue parodies are DETOURING AMERICA (1939) and CROSS COUNTRY DETOURS (1940).

Critic Reviews


Release Date:

28 May 1938



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