The Penguin on the Screen

From the beginnings of the DC universe, Oswald Cobblepot AKA The Penguin has been one of Gotham’s most notorious villains.  To celebrate the August 1 release of Gotham: The Complete Second Season on Blu-ray™ including Digital HD and DVD, we are taking a look at the various depictions of the iconic mastermind on both the big and small screen.


Robin Taylor – Gotham

Starting with the most recent portrayal of The Penguin, Robin Taylor plays the young villain as we see him rise to being King of Gotham City. This version of The Penguin is ingenious, manipulative and not afraid to get his hands dirty. The series focuses on The Penguin’s complex relationship with GCPD’s Detective Jim Gordon. While most versions of Penguin tend to accept and like the name ‘Penguin’, this version has a great dislike for the name.



Burgess Meredith – Batman

The original small screen depiction was popularised in the 1960’s Batman TV show, played by Burgess Meredith, who also played the character in the 1996 film Batman. In this series, The Penguin was an arch-nemesis of Batman who worked alongside fellow villain The Joker.  Meredith’s portrayal is best remembered through his signature laugh, meant to mimic the squawk of a penguin.



Danny DeVito – Batman Returns

In the 1992 film, DeVito played a much darker, older and grotesque version of the Penguin. Whilst this was a dramatic visual makeover, this Penguin retained some trademark features such as a monocle and carrying an umbrella. Director Tim Burton was supposedly inspired by the film The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari and re-imagined the character as  a deformed, psychopathic killer who holds a homicidal grudge against the aristocrats of Gotham City.



Tom Kenny – The Batman

Tom Kenny voiced the character of Penguin in both the cartoon series The Batman and in the Lego films. In The Batman, the Penguin is primarily concerned with re-establishing the Cobblepot family name in society by stealing from the citizens of Gotham to rebuild his wealth. Similarly to Batman Returns, this Penguin retained a deformed appearance.


penguin-paul williams

Paul WilliamsBatman: The Animated Series

The Academy Award-winner voiced the character of The Penguin in the series which debuted in 1992. This Penguin featured the film version’s physical deformities, such as flippers and a beak-like nose, but retained the traditional refined mannerisms and personality seen in the comic book character. Paul Williams later reprised his role as Penguin in the 1997 follow-up to the original animated series, The New Batman Adventures.


About Bat 7742 Articles
I love practical effects, stop-motion animation and gore, but most of all I love a good story! I adore B-movies and exploitation films in many of their guises and also have a soft spot for creature features. I review a wide range of media including movies, TV series, books and videogames. I'm a massive fan of author Hunter S. Thompson and I enjoy various genre of videogames with Kingdom Hearts and Harvest Moon two of my all time favs. Currently playing: Tembo: The Badass Elephant, Yakuza Zero and Payday 2.

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