This time of year is always the best for films, because a whole bunch of animated features come out that just makes my inner child scream with excitement. Penguins of Madagascar is definitely worth a look, regardless of your age and/or lack of child, as it follows the humorous pace set by the Madagascar trilogy, and delivers punch line after punch line that may go over some kids (and adults) heads, but as a whole is deliciously funny and just what you expect from an animated feature.
Introducing us to our favourite penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) when they first meet the youngest of the crew Private (Christopher Knights), the film is essentially a standalone piece based on our beloved elite spies. When the unassuming nemesis and octopus Dave (John Malkovich) plans to rid the world of penguins forever, our boys join forces with a suave undercover unit known as the North Wind, led by the highly trained and put together wolf Agent Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch). Along the way, our boys realise that maybe they work better as an awesome foursome, and their tight knit unit and highly tuned skills are all they need to defeat any enemy that crosses their path.
In any animation, the visuals are always going to come under scrutiny, but we need not worry here, as Penguins of Madagascar is stunningly beautiful and realistic, as is the case with most DreamWorks pictures. Added to this is the 3D feature, which is utilised to its full extent and doesn’t rely on the gimmicky aspect that some 3D movies can add in just because. Instead, there are some great visuals that audiences will definitely get a kick out of, and enhance the movie experience rather than hinder it.
All the voice acting is brilliant, the core four cast are all comfortable and experienced enough that the comradery and chemistry is just effortless, which comes across in their characters. Oddly enough, this is Malkovich’s first animated performance, and as the ‘main’ villain he thrives and performs his little heart out, shining in every scene he features in to the point that he HAS to do another animated flick. And soon. The greatest thing to come from this film however is Cumberbatch’s Agent Classified, who is so chic that literally no one else could possibly play it as perfectly as he does. It’s also worth mentioning that this is the movie to see if you wish to hear Cumberbatch’s attempts at saying the word ‘penguin’, which is unintentionally hilarious and one of the unforseen highlights of the entire film.
As a big kid at heart, I actually took great pleasure in watching Penguins of Madagascar. It doesn’t hold the title for my favourite animation ever, but it gives you everything you want in an animation – laughs, an easy to follow and uncomplicated plot, and awesome visuals. This is definitely a movie to shortlist for the holiday season, as it has enough laughs to keep both adults and kids entertained the whole way through.
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