So after three Madagascar films and an albeit unrelated TV series the much loved penguins of Madagascar return to the big screen in their very own animated adventure. I have to admit that it is only the TV series that I have seen so I didn’t have much to base this film on in terms of comparison to previous efforts.
I was informed that whilst Penguins of Madagascar was entertaining it didn’t quite live up to the standard of the previous Madagascar movies. Anyway whilst it may not be as strong, Penguins of Madagascar is still an enjoyable flick for the family to enjoy especially at this festive time of year. The film is consistently humourous throughout with two gags in particular delivering solid laughs, these gags could have been used more frequently through the film but there inclusion brought some of the best moments in the film. Two strong voice performances really enhance the movie too. Benedict Cumberbatch voices wolf, Classified. It seems that anything with Cumberbatch’s name attached to it is a roaring success these days, although this isn’t necessarily the case here he certainly plays his part well and the film would be a lot worse off without him. The second voice performance was that of John Malkovich as Dave the octopus. An actor of his status automatically gives the film some credibility and it instantly grabbed my attention. This film is heavy on the spy theme, there are gadgets, missions and secret bases. I love spy stuff, regardless if it is the next Bond movie or if it is in an animation like this. However as much as I enjoyed it, this theme actually lead to the biggest flaw in the film, unoriginality.
Only last year was Despicable Me 2 released and what a brilliant movie that was. With the penguins here basically being the minions from Despicable Me 2 and vice versa there were already similarities however they are distinct enough characters that would have allowed for something original to be created. Unfortunately this didn’t happen as Penguins of Madagascar was effectively a carbon copy of Despicable Me 2, the similarities were painfully obvious and with these films being released in successive years Penguins really doesn’t get away with it. However due to this the film does end up being entertaining and watchable much like Despicable Me 2 but it just isn’t as good. Kids are unlikely to have an issue with this and will enjoy themselves but there are much better animations out there, alternatively there is a lot worse too. Penguins is a solid family film, it will be forgotten about quickly but is satisfying at the time.
BIGGEST FLAW – Unoriginality
BIGGEST ACHIEVEMENT – Featuring those two voice performances
Rating – 7/10