Penguins of Madagascar

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Penguins of Madagascar

Eric Darnell (2014)

88min
U Certificate
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Review

Our Score
There's a distinct air of Top Cat and Bilko about those scene-stealing penguins from the family-minded Madagascar 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 Madagascar 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.

Summary

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

Skipper Tom McGrath
Kowalski Chris Miller
Private Christopher Knights
Rico Conrad Vernon
Dave John Malkovich
Classified Benedict Cumberbatch
Short Fuse Ken Jeong
Eva Annet Mahendru
Corporal Peter Stormare
Documentary film-maker Werner Herzog
Director Eric Darnell
Director Simon J Smith
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Other Information

Language: EnglishColourTheatrical distributor: 20th Century FoxAvailable on: DVD and Blu-rayReleased on: 5 Dec 2014
Comedy Drama Children's