Penguins of Madagascar

Because Fuck Logic

Penguins. The mere thought of them brings my girlfriend to tears. Not just any old tears though – these ones are sparkly, rainbow gummy tears of sheer over-excited joyful cuteness.

Whilst I didn’t particularly enjoy Madagascar, and because of which never paid much attention to the sequels, I knew I’d be watching this film as soon as I heard it was in production. Thankfully, I enjoyed this a lot more than Madagascar. In fact I really enjoyed it.

The film is unabashedly crazy. It reminds me of childhood where your imagination bitch slapped logic back into your parents room: sure Batman can hang out with Michaelangelo to save the space Lego men from the evil Playdough monster… why wouldn’t they?

From the very opening scenes Skipper, Kowalski and Rico let go of logic by leaving the waddle of penguins to rescue Private who is at this point a run away egg heading for certain doom.

Logic is then firmly left at the door as they escape a circus and break into Fort Knox to buy some cheese dibbles (basically Cheetos or Wotsits) because why not, right?

It’s here that we meet the films bad guy and that logic is fucking trebucheted into another continent. John Malkovich provides some brilliant voice acting for Dave the octopus who, like a mimic octopus, can change colour and shape to look like a human. I couldn’t help but giggle at the bonkers way that he moved around. Legs wrapping around his back then untwisting his whole body to step forward-ish whilst arms are failing around. It was whole heartedly stupid but go with it and it’s a lot of fun to watch.

Dave and his minions of octopi provide a lot of the physical comedy which doesn’t ever get tiring to watch. This aspect of the film is never better than in the early chase scene in Venice which is ridiculous on a scale that is comparable to the Lego Movie. what’s great is that this is not the only place the film finds it’s comedy.

There are a number of dynamite puns scattered throughout the film such as Skipper catching a sock over his head in the Venice and stating that he has been Venetian blinded again or with Dave ordering his subjects around: “Nicholas! Cage those penguins” and “Helen! Hunt them down”. I laughed more than I should.

If you have seen the penguins in the first Madagascar you get more of the same. Skipper’s complete headstrong launch into plan A without actually having a plan A, Kowalski’s genius but morbid honesty, Rico’s ability to eat anything yet inability to say anything and Private’s unappreciated deft button pressing ability and cuteness is consistently well done and again keeps the film a lot of fun throughout.

As you’d expect from a Dreamworks picture the animation is of a high quality so as not to disappoint but there is nothing revolutionary about it. Although they aren’t pushing the boat out it doesn’t matter because the film is all about embracing craziness and embrace crazy it does!

Apart from this minor gripe the only part of the film that was slightly disappointing was the North Wind who are basically the G.I. Joes of this universe and are made up of a seal, an owl, a bear and a wolf. Obviously!

The bear must have been based on my girlfriend because he too found the penguins relentlessly adorable which really tickled me and the leader of the North Wind (the wolf) also worked well by being both frustrated and entirely dismissive of Skipper’s amateurish behaviour. Outside these two characters you’d almost forget the North Wind also contains a parrot and a sea lion… or was it an owl and..? Ah who cares.

If you can suspend your disbelief for a couple of hours and regress into childhood again (not too far mind – soiling yourself in the cinema is usually a no-no) then you’ll fully enjoy the crazy LSD trip/film but if you are looking for a more serious and meaningful animation you might just want to kick back in front of the TV with a pack of Cheese Dibbles! #c-c-crunchhhh#

Go See

  • Physical comedy is great
  • Makes no logical sense
  • Just a whole lot of fun

Avoid

  • Not as touching as other animations (Finding Nemo etc)
  • Not really pushing the animation
  • Some fully forgettable side characters

Overall

4-stars

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