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Penguins of Madagascar
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There's a distinct air of
about those scene-stealing penguins from the family-minded
franchise and, here, they deservedly get their own spin-off movie. They're recruited as spies to thwart the world-takeover plans of arch-baddie octopus Dave - a role that stretches John Malkovich's vocal chords more than his acting muscles - while Benedict Cumberbatch voices the goodie group's wolfish boss. Spin-offs can suffer when wrenched away from their parent movies, because what's fun in small doses doesn't necessarily work well in large ones. In this case, writer/director Eric Darnell (graduating from the
series) and co-director Simon J Smith struggle at times with a generic plot, contrived gags and a tendency to assume frantic is fun. But the penguins (voiced by their animators) are kiddie-friendly cute and there are enough mirthful moments - many splendidly surreal - to make this a trip worth taking.
Heroic flightless birds Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico uncover a plot to take over the world. Needing help to foil the evil scheme, they seek out a secret society of animal agents, led by a heroic wolf. Animated comedy spin-off, with the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich and Tom McGrath.
Cast & Crew
Simon J Smith
20th Century Fox
DVD and Blu-ray
5 Dec 2014
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