3 user 46 critic

Penguin Highway (2018)

Not Rated | | Animation, Adventure, Family | 5 April 2019 (USA)
1:32 | Trailer

Watch Now

From $3.99 on Prime Video

A fourth-grader, Aoyama-kun, investigates the mysterious reason behind the sudden appearance of penguins in his village, which is somehow related to a power from a young woman working at a dental clinic.


Hiroyasu Ishida


Tomihiko Morimi (novel), Makoto Ueda (screenplay: EUROPE-KIKAKU)
2 nominations. See more awards »



Learn more

More Like This 

Rain Town (Video 2011)
Animation | Short | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.9/10 X  

A little girl and an old robot form a beautiful friendship in an abandoned town where the rain never stops.

Director: Hiroyasu Ishida
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

An immortal girl and a normal boy meet and become friends, sharing a bond that lasts throughout the years.

Director: Mari Okada
Stars: Manaka Iwami, Miyu Irino, Yôko Hikasa
Mirai (2018)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

A young boy encounters a magical garden which enables him to travel through time and meet his relatives from different eras, with guidance by his younger sister from the future.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Rebecca Hall, Daniel Dae Kim, John Cho
Animation | Short | Adventure
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.2/10 X  
Director: Hiroyasu Ishida
Stars: Anju Inami, Saori Hayami
Okko's Inn (2018)
Animation | Adventure | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

After losing her parents in a car accident, Okko starts living in the countryside with her grandmother who runs a traditional Japanese inn. While she prepares to be the next owner of the inn, Okko can somehow see friendly ghosts.

Director: Kitarô Kôsaka
Stars: Seiran Kobayashi, Nana Mizuki, Satsumi Matsuda
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

The story of the titular girl known only as "Otome" and her insanely long night of partying and drinking-complete with a book fair, festival, and many adventures in between. It is also the ... See full summary »

Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Stars: Gen Hoshino, Kana Hanazawa, Hiroshi Kamiya
Modest Heroes (2018)
Animation | Adventure | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

An anthology of three original shorts written and directed by Hiromasa Yonebayashi, Yoshiyuki Momose and Akihiko Yamashita.

Directors: Yoshiyuki Momose, Akihiko Yamashita, and 1 more credit »
Stars: Henry Kaufman, Fumino Kimura, Liam O'Brien
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 6.8/10 X  

The story centers on Kai, a gloomy middle school student whose life changes after meeting Lu, a mermaid.

Director: Masaaki Yuasa
Stars: Kanon Tani, Shôta Shimoda, Shin'ichi Shinohara
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.8/10 X  

A small poor boy lives with his caring grandfather in a small Flemish village in the 19th century Belgium, has a lovable pet dog, loves art and dreams of becoming a famous painter one day. Based on a famous Flemish novel.

Directors: Yoshio Kuroda, Doug Stone
Stars: Makoto Tsumura, Sakura Tange, Brady Bluhm
Animation | Drama | Family
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 5.5/10 X  

Schoolchildren Norimichi, Yûsuke and Jun'ichi want to know if fireworks look round or flat from the side. They make a plan to find the answer at a fireworks display, while Nazuna schemes to... See full summary »

Directors: Akiyuki Shinbo, Nobuyuki Takeuchi
Stars: Suzu Hirose, Masaki Suda, Mamoru Miyano
Summer Wars (2009)
Animation | Action | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.5/10 X  

A student tries to fix a problem he accidentally caused in OZ, a digital world, while pretending to be the fiancé of his friend at her grandmother's 90th birthday.

Director: Mamoru Hosoda
Stars: Ryûnosuke Kamiki, Nanami Sakuraba, Mitsuki Tanimura
Animation | Adventure | Comedy
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

Clinging to an unfinished letter written by her recently deceased father, young Momo moves with her mother from bustling Tokyo to the remote Japanese island of Shio. Upon their arrival, she... See full summary »

Director: Hiroyuki Okiura
Stars: Karen Miyama, Yuka, Daizaburo Arakawa


Credited cast:
Kana Kita Kana Kita ... Aoyama-kun (voice)
Yû Aoi ... Onê-san (voice)
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Landen Beattie ... Uchida (voice)
Winston Bromhead Winston Bromhead ... Kobayashi
Christine Marie Cabanos ... Additional Voices (voice)
Miki Fukui Miki Fukui ... Suzuki (voice)
Megumi Han Megumi Han ... Hamamoto (voice)
Erika Harlacher ... Onee-san / Young Lady (voice)
Rie Kugimiya ... Uchida (voice)
Misaki Kuno Misaki Kuno ... Aoyama's Sister (voice)
Gideon Modisett Gideon Modisett ... Aoyama (voice)
Hidetoshi Nishijima ... Aoyama's Father (voice)
Mamiko Noto Mamiko Noto ... Aoyama's Mother (voice)
Cindy Robinson ... Aoyama's Mother (voice)
Keith Silverstein ... Aoyama's Father (voice)


A fourth-grader, Aoyama-kun, investigates the mysterious reason behind the sudden appearance of penguins in his village, which is somehow related to a power from a young woman working at a dental clinic.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Penguins are just the tip of the iceberg. See more »


Not Rated | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »


Official Sites:

Official site [Japan]




Japanese | English

Release Date:

5 April 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Penguin Highway See more »


Box Office

Opening Weekend USA:

$22,833, 14 April 2019

Gross USA:


Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

Production Co:

Studio Colorido Co. See more »
Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital



Aspect Ratio:

2.20 : 1
See full technical specs »

Did You Know?


Hiroyasu Ishida's directorial film debut. See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Easily the most wonderful film you'll see all year
4 November 2018 | by themadmoviemanSee all my reviews

If this isn't the most adorable film of the year, then I don't know what is. With a beautiful sense of wonder at every moment, brilliant humour, gorgeous animation, a touching emotional core, and an unpredictable mystery, Penguin Highway is one of the biggest surprises I've ever had when it comes to anime, taking fantasy, coming-of-age drama and everything in between and mixing into one immensely entertaining and endlessly delightful movie.

Whatever you're looking for, there's certainly something that you will love about Penguin Highway, and that's testament to the film's incredible depth and diversity of genre, as it goes beyond simple fantasy like some animes, and instead brings both a powerful and riveting emotional story, as well as consistently hilarious humour throughout.

Of all that, it's hard to really pick out what stands out most about Penguin Highway, but what I definitely can't ignore is the film's stunning mystery, which not only proves a hugely entertaining one, but also one that's filled with riveting twists and turns from beginning to end.

A fantasy story filled with wonderment and awe is something that the likes of Studio Ghibli were experts at for decades, but bringing genuine unpredictability into play is something a whole lot more impressive. While the film does a beautiful job at giving you that unparalleled sense of wonder, I was stunned by just how fascinating the central mystery was, and as you follow the diligent Aoyama-kun as he attempts to get to the bottom of why penguins are appearing all over town, the story deepens and deepens to an exceptional extent.

And what's even better is how that side of the story so effortlessly links in with the film's main emotional core, which largely focuses on a coming-of-age story that sees the occasionally precocious Aoyama understand more and more about the world around him - not just through books, but through an incredible and life-changing adventure.

As a result, while the film proves an endlessly entertaining adventure, what really solidifies it as a great piece is the emotional depth it brings to the table. With the wonderful relationship between Aoyama and an older woman at its centre, Penguin Highway is filled to the brim with relatable and heartwarming drama, and as we see the stakes of the investigation rise throughout, the film's emotional power grows accordingly, completely wrapping you up in its wonderful and enthralling world.

While the film excels in its fascinating story and powerful emotional drama, there's always room for the lighter side of things, and Penguin Highway makes no secret about being an immensely adorable film. Apart from the fact that the penguins themselves are insanely cute, the film is full of delightful humour that works brilliantly as a contrast to some of the more theatrical elements.

I was smiling and laughing right the way through here, and thanks to the screenplay's excellent characterisation, as well as a whole host of strong voice performances, you feel so strongly connected to everybody on screen, something that proves enormously effective in making Penguin Highway such a stunning watch.

Overall, I loved every minute of Penguin Highway. It's a hugely entertaining watch, with a surprisingly riveting and unpredictable mystery complemented beautifully by a powerful emotional core and coming-of-age story. Furthered by a brilliant sense of humour, adorable characters, and that typically gorgeous animation that only Japan can produce, it's a film that will have you beaming ear to ear, all the while totally wrapping you up into a deeply engrossed state with its brilliant story.

21 of 23 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you? | Report this
Review this title | See all 3 user reviews »

Contribute to This Page

Free Movies and TV Shows You Can Watch Now

On IMDb TV, you can catch Hollywood hits and popular TV series at no cost. Select any poster below to play the movie, totally free!

Browse free movies and TV series

Stream Trending Movies With Prime Video

Enjoy a night in with these popular movies available to stream now with Prime Video.

Start your free trial

Recently Viewed