I’m no huge Madagascar fan, thus the reason it took me until the DVD release to see this film, but Penguins of Madagascar (DreamWorks Animation, 2014) is a fun, hilarious, highly enjoyable movie. I was awww’ing and lol’ing almost immediately, as we get to see Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private as adorable wittle penguin babies sticking it to some leopard seals and getting kicked down a mountain by some documentary filmmakers. The premise is not too bad—little funky with the octopus/doctor super-villain, but it totally fits in with the weird world of these wannabe military special-op soldiers.
Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich join the cast in this spinoff, with the original voices of the penguins returning from the Madagascar menagerie of flicks. The additional characters are really just sideshows to the quartet, who are—as always—turning each would-be mundane day into a international spy-worthy adventure. The side plot of Private trying to prove his worth within the group is actually quite sweet and the consistency of the guys’ trust in each other (especially in Skipper) is laudable and laughable. I think it’s great for kids to see these birds working together and kicking bad-guy butt in a fun, funny, lighthearted, heartwarming story.
Highly recommend seeing this one—I may actually have to buy it! There are seriously some of the funniest moments I’ve seen in cartoons in a long time. Lots of slapstick, lots of very dry humor and lots of good old-fashioned puns.