HOLLYWOOD—I saw the commercials for this movie a few weeks ago, and I was literally laughing out of my seat. So just imagine the fun I had in the theater watching “Penguins Of Madagascar” with my nieces. I haven’t laughed so hard in my life.
The movie is a spin-off of the popular “Madagascar” flicks, putting the spotlight on penguins Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. They are recruited by Classified (voice of Benedict Cumberbatch), a gray wolf who is the leader of an exclusive species protection group, North Wind. He has hand-picked the penguins to help in their mission to stop the diabolical Octavius Brine (voice of John Malkovich), an octopus looking for world domination.
So what makes “Penguins” stand out from a load of other animated flicks? They deliver a level of dialogue that appeals directly to adults without the kids even noticing it. I say this time and time again; many animated flicks are more geared towards adults than they are for kids, we just don’t always perceive things that way, which is a shame to say the least.
The film has so many shining moments that I don’t want to disappoint things for the viewer. I can’t help, but spotlight that interrogation scene between one of the Penguins and a baby octopus. Those feverish slaps for information to discover that it’s a baby that has no answers, left me dying in tears. I mean to hear that octopus cry after being tortured for a few moments was just one of the highlights from the movie for me.
Another fun moment occurs during the interaction between Classified and one of the penguins who decides to eat some very crunchy chips while he’s being lectured. I can’t recall the last time I had such a fun, gut-busting experience at the multiplex. I almost felt as if the people in the theater thought something was wrong with me for laughing so hard.
“Penguins of Madagascar” is a hilarious piece of cinema not afraid to push the boundaries a lit bit, but still caters to a universal audience. If you’re looking for an escape for the holiday pressures, or just to have a fun-time with the kids this flick must be on the list this week.