Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with an undercover organization named The North Wind, headed by Agent Classified (Benedict Cumberbatch). Together, they attempt to stop Dr. Octavius Brine’s (John Malkovich) dastardly plan of destroying the Penguins and taking over the world.
After huge success with the Madagascar films, it comes as no surprise to find those brilliant penguins finally getting their own movie. Detailing their origins in becoming the sleek espionage foursome we all know and love, Penguins of Madagascar is a great addition to the franchise. It’s also a hilarious stand-alone movie that will appeal to everyone.
The vocal cast assembled is brilliant with Tom McGrath (Skipper), Chris Miller (Kowalski), Christopher Knights (Private) and Conrad Vernon (Rico) all doing an exceptional job. The four penguins are truly hilarious and each and every one of these vocal actors bringing real character and quirk to their respective roles.
The secondary cast is very high profile and I think it’s a shame that they get top billing over the vocal talent behind the Penguins. But when you have mammoth names like Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich onboard, you play to your strengths. Cumberbatch is great as the head of the North Wind whilst Malkovich steals every one of his scenes as criminal mastermind Dr. Octavius Brine (aka Dave). Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare and Andy Richter round off the list well.
The animation is gorgeous throughout (especially the snow). But it’s the set-pieces that stay with you the most from a visual standpoint. There’s a great chase sequence in Italy that’s hilarious and very clever. The films’ finale takes place in New York City and they have a lot of fun playing with the Big Apple and its iconic locations too.
Penguins of Madagascar is very enjoyable and has plenty of gags that all land where they should. The comedy is its trump card though, with a great mix of visual gags, zany slapstick and genuinely hilarious, offbeat dialogue making this unmissable. There are also great in-jokes when Dr. Octavius Brine talks to his henchmen and inadvertently spells out famous names ie ‘Nicolas…Cage them’. It leaves you in belly-laughing aplenty! Penguins of Madagascar certainly makes for a great afternoon in, with something for all of the family to enjoy.