Movie Review: The Penguins of Madagascar
Cute enough for the kids but clever enough for the adults, The Penguins of Madagascar manage to have something for everybody in their latest DreamWorks sponsored adventure.
It’s easy to look at this film as an empty cash grab, a way for the suits to continue milking an already tired franchise; except for the fact that everyone’s favorite penguins have developed a following over the decade since their first appearance.
Granted the award as the best accident ever to happen to a studio, when Madagascar first came out the penguins were an afterthought, included in the film for a couple of laughs for playing against their cute and cuddly stereotypes, little did DreamWorks know at the time, that the penguins would be the most profitable creations to come out of the Madagascar Universe.
Three movies and a television series later the penguins are finally given a chance to spread their wings (figuratively of course) and take center stage. The results are pleasant and at a brisk 90-minute running time the black and white operatives don’t overstay there welcome.
With the help of another secret agent crew (Benedict Cumberatch voicing the leader) born of the animal kingdom, Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private take on John Malkovich as Dave the Octopus who has his own vendetta against the flightless foursome.
The Penguins have always been a bit more sophisticated than their Madagascar counterparts, an idea that is expressed slyly in the opening of the movie as Skipper and his gang plot to escape the circus from the last movie. The penguins have heard “I like to move it move it” one time to many and are going insane. Jokes like that one and more make The Penguins movie a novel idea. Without trying to reinvent the wheel DreamWorks takes what were auxiliary characters and makes them larger than life.