Penguins of Madagascar DVD Review

DVD Review by Jon E Clist
Penguins of Madagascar

The Premise
Super spy teams aren't born...they're hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but know). Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, from destroying the world as we know it.

The Review
Okay so I love the Madagascar films and I have certainly enjoyed the Penguins of Madagascar TV series. The serious dry nature of the Penguins juxtaposed against the crazy fun-loving nature of the lemurs certainly created some enthrallingly fun entertainment. So with the thought that they lemurs don’t really play much of a part in this cinematic outing it would be understandable to wonder if a film focusing on just the penguins could be all that entertaining. Yet it is that and more. With a huge amount of jokes and fun, this for me is the funny family film of the season. Sure there are other films out that will have a more emotional storyline and draw you in well to the characters and even have a bit of a profound effect on you, such as Big Hero 6. Whereas this is just a great hour and a half of fun for all the family. I especially enjoyed the film taking us back to the origins of these crazy spy-styled flightless birds.

I love how the film makers are doing a great job of multi-layering family oriented films so that there are things for the adults too. Keep an eye out or ear open for the series of jokes related to the evil henchmen mini octopi. During one point in the film, Dave (The giant evil Octopus) tells his henchmen to man the battle stations. He does so by saying "HughJackMan the battle stations". Likewise, in the film, Dave tells another one of his henchmen, named “Nicolascage the penguins”. There are plenty of these floating around the film and it is fun to spot them. I am sure that younger children will not understand or even recognise that it is going on and it becomes a nice little moment for the adults in the cinema.

In short, if you enjoyed the previous Madgascar outing, you won’t be disappointed here. Much of the same will have you laughing and enjoying some much earned downtime these holidays. With of course the welcome edition of some amazing actors adding their recognizable voices to the fray such as Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malcovich. Despite his crazy quirky nature this is John Malkovich's first role in a fully animation film. Apparently John Malkovich had been offered the role of Dr. Octavius Brine three and a half years before the film's release, and thought that it would be funny to use his voice for an octopus. 

A little known fact about Cumberbatch is that he cannot pronounce "penguins" correctly. Instead, he says "pengwings". A bit of a rough thing if your cast in a film focused on penguins. 

The Verdict
Funny, multi-layered family festivity that will give you plenty of lols and a great option for some hot weather escapism in a nice air-conditioned cinema.

The Trailer

The Info
DVD Releases: 6th May 2015
Rating: G
Duration: 92 minutes 
Genre:  Family Animation
Starring: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights
Director: Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith

The Extras
The film was originally scheduled for release in March 2015, but was pushed up to November 2014 due to it being ahead of schedule.

One of the sheep that the north wind had was from "How to Train Your Dragon"

This is the first time in the franchise ("Madagascar" movies and "Penguins of Madagascar" TV series) that John DiMaggio does not voice Rico

One of the penguins in captivity on Dave's sub is getting "Lara" tattooed on his chest. This is likely a nod to Lara Breay one of the producers of the film.

Both Ken Jeong and John Malkovich had previously starred in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011).