Starring: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights
Director: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
Running Time: 92 mins
Penguins Of Madagascar is an American film following the penguins Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private, as they attempt to save penguinkind from destruction after a bitter octopus begins kidnapping penguins from zoos across the world.
I’ve always been a big fan of the Madagascar series, and the penguins are undoubtedly the funniest little side joke in every single one of those movies. Giving them their own film, however, doesn’t quite match up to their legendary quirkiness, as a much lighter and more simplistic story makes for a less hilarious watch, however it still does allow for a few good laughs and a pleasant hour and a half of family fun.
The difference between Madagascar and Penguins Of Madagascar is pretty big. While Madagascar was full of really quirky and generally hilarious comedy, along with a lot of humour that adults could enjoy as well as kids, Penguins Of Madagascar is a lot more watered-down, and as such feels a lot more like a simple kids’ film, rather than something for everyone.
It’s a similar situation to the difference between Finding Nemo and Finding Dory. Both films are a lot of fun, but one far surpasses the other in terms of depth, with Finding Dory feeling a lot lighter and more plastic than its predecessor, which leads to that overly kid-friendly atmosphere.
As a result, I have to say that I think this film is the poorest of the Madagascar series, simply because it feels so much more watered-down, and with a fairly generic action-crime story about saving the world, it doesn’t inspire all that much genuine excitement along the way either.
With that said, Penguins Of Madagascar is a kids’ film, and it’s fully meant to be so. While it may not stack up against the main series in terms of great comedy or story, it showcases the quirkiest characters of the franchise in all their hilarious glory from start to finish, doing the fantastically likable penguins justice and making them huge fun to follow throughout.
The same can’t quite be said for a lot of the film’s supporting characters, who are just a bit too cute and cuddly to really add much value, but there’s no doubt that the penguins can lead their own story with that unique collection of super-duper secret agent personalities, and in the end, that’s what really makes the film a lot of fun.
While the story may be predictable and overly simple, you’ll always come back smiliing thanks to the film’s light-hearted sense of humour that emanates from the penguins themselves. In short, Penguins Of Madagascar isn’t an exceptional family film, but it does the job of giving you a pleasant time and making you smile, which is why I’m giving it a 7.4.