Penguins of Madagascar is the cute & cuddly spin-off of DreamWorks Animation’s premiere penguin posse. Since Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted was the natural conclusion to Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria’s adventure, it only made sense to focus on the biggest scene stealers. I just wasn’t crazy about the idea for a theatrical computer animated movie, because I thought it was a direct continuation of the Nickelodeon series of the same name. I watched The Penguins of Madagascar for a while, but I lost interest. The movie is completely separate and follows the continuity of the movies. It begins with the penguin’s in Antarctica where film crews are always filming them. Penguins of Madagascar may have come out long after the 2000’s penguin craze, but jokes like that are still pretty funny. Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico are chicks who discover the joys of slapping and rescue an egg containing the adorable Private.
Years later we pick up with the penguins in the circus immediately after Europe’s Most Wanted. We only see the gang in silhouettes accompanied by the “Afro Circus/I Like to Move It” mashup. They leave to celebrate Private’s birthday at Fort Knox where they obtain a bag of Cheesy Dibbles. An entire movie dedicated to the penguins gives them much more depth than they ever had before. Skipper is still the determined leader and Kowalski is the much more matter of fact brains. Rico retains some of his Nickelodeon attributes with more of a crazy streak. Private is sort of the main character since he wants to be viewed as a meaningful and valued member of the team. Instead of just the cute one with nothing to offer. Penguins of Madagascar is very much a kids movie with a silly villain at the center. Dr. Octavius Brine is a mad scientist who’s secretly a revenge hungry octopus named Dave. Skipper constantly messes up his name, but the funniest running gag are Dave’s celebrity named octopus minions.
Dave was once a zoo octopus constantly shunned thanks to adorable penguins. His diabolical plan is to use a serum to turn every penguin into an ugly monster. Since the penguins have always been voiced by crew members, celebrities like John Malkovich and Benedict Cumberbatch had to pick up the slack. Malkovich voices Dave and Cumberbatch voices the leader of an elite squad of technologically advanced animals. The North Wind constantly overshadow the penguins on their mission. The team consists of Classified the Eurasian wolf, Short Fuse the harp seal, Eva the snowy owl, and Corporal the polar bear. Skipper deliberately competes with the team and Kowalski has a crush on Eva. The spy action is just as fun as ever and the climax is the craziest thing I’ve seen in a Madagascar film. In the end, there’s a kid friendly lesson about what’s inside that counts. Mort and King Julien even get a cameo at the end. Julien being voiced by his Nickelodeon voice actor is probably the closest connection to the show. Penguins of Madagascar is simply an enjoyable adventure for the action-packed penguins.
Spin-Off of: Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted