Movie Review: Penguins of Madagascar

If you've seen any of the Madagascar movies, you might remember that the penguins were always concocting plans and being crazy. The penguins now have their own spin-off film, Penguins of Madagascar, and the movie was basically like a James Bond movie, but with penguins - and a lot of fun and silliness thrown in.

Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), and Rico (Conrad Vernon) start off as young penguins here, who see a penguin egg roll down the tundra and follow it. Soon, Private (Christopher Knights) is born, and they take him under their wings, so to speak. Years go by, but unfortunately, they're unaware that a villain, Dave (John Malkovich), an octopus, has harbored a plan for revenge against them; the reason for this is that every time the penguins got transferred to a zoo that Dave was living at, Dave was no longer the main attraction, as kids and adults flocked to see the penguins rather than them. Dave's plan is to use his evil potion machine to change all of the penguins in the world into ugly monsters, but the North Wind - Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch), Short Fuse (Ken Jeong), Eva (Annet Mahendru), and Corporal (Peter Stormare) - hears about the plan and decides to rescue the penguins. (Little do they know that Kowalski's bunch of penguins can do their own rescuing ...)

This movie started out fantastic, and the 3D was great - I'd highly recommend seeing it in 3D if you can. I will say it wasn't as funny for me closer to the middle/end of the film, but the first half is very good. The film has a huge voice cast as well - I stayed through the credits to see who voiced the members of the North Wind, as the only person I was sure about was Ken Jeong (as his voice is very distinctive); it turns out Benedict Cumberbatch is "Classified," the wolf who is in charge of North Wind. John Malkovich also voices Dave, the octopus who hates the penguins and also has tricked humans into thinking he's a renowned scientist.

Yes, see this film. Kids will like the great animation and colors, and there's a lot of jokes for adults in the movie as well. One of the ongoing jokes I enjoyed were movie stars names, but used in dialogue - for example, one line said something like "Nicholas, cage the penguins!" or whatnot (aka, referencing "Nicholas Cage"). More of these started to show up closer to the end of the movie, as well. Although the beginning of the film was my favorite, and the jokes became less funnier throughout, Penguins of Madagascar is still worth seeing, and is a fun film to see during this holiday season.

Penguins of Madagascar is in theaters today, November 26th, and is rated PG with a runtime of 92 minutes. 3.5 stars out of 5.

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