For us, the best part and the most treasured and brilliant aspect of the Madagascar movies are those perky penguins. That’s why it is with utter delight that we recommend wholeheartedly that audiences dive into the madcap world of Penguins of Madagascar.
Skipper, Rico, Kowalski and Private are back and as the film begins, we meet them in Antarctica as little chicks. Immediately they strike us as independent and adventurous in nature. They don’t fit in with the rest of the "March of the Penguins" crowd. Through a series of mishaps (one involves how they meet Private), they discover that a life of being an “elite team” is for them... far from their kind.
We fast forward to one of the closing scenes (that can be seen when you watch Madagascar 3 online) of the last film we saw them in. They are busting out of that circus and heading to break into Fort Knox for a little birthday treat for Private. It is there that they run into Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch) and his North Wind team of animal super agents who will give Skipper and his crew a run for their high adventure money.
They both have the same mission, apprehending our bad guy -- a disgruntled octopus named Dave (John Malkovich). But the drama and the comedy arise from watching these two groups try to work together and simultaneously get in the way of each other’s efforts to find and stop Dave.
The voices of the four penguins remain the same from the Madagascar movies, with Tom McGrath’s Skipper still ringing in my head with its brilliance of idiocracy meets intelligence and sass meets subversiveness. Christopher Knights’ Private gets a little more to work with this time out as he just wants to be a “valuable member of the team” and do a little more than look cute.
The greatest joy of the film can even be seen in the Penguins of Madagascar trailer. It is how both Malkovich and Cumberbatch just utterly lose themselves in these characters and appear to be having the time of their lives. That old adage is so true -- if the actors are having fun, so too will audiences. And there is plenty of enjoyment to go around with Penguins of Madagascar.
The film is so smart, our Penguins of Madagascar review has to highlight. It leaves the door open for future escapades (with or without the North Wind!) and all the while it's a self-contained film that works on so many levels.
It looks fantastic and has tons of hilarious and heartwarming moments for the youngest of audience members. But, it also paints itself successfully as a spy spoof that has us thinking Austin Powers met The Pink Panther and got animated by way of Antarctica in the form of some brazen penguins.
That is the thing that we have been so supremely impressed by with DreamWorks Animation of late. They make movies for everyone. There is something that each soul out there, regardless of age or place in life, will find amusing, cute, thrilling and top-to-bottom terrific.