When it comes to flattery in the world of TV and film, it is not the best compliment, a good spin off is. History is littered with shows that have spawned other shows, some as good or if not better that its original, while most you just tend to forget, so not to soil the good memory of your favorite characters. Shows like “The Jeffersons, Fraiser, Uncle Scrooge, or in the movie world “Wolverine”, while we try and forget “Joey” and “Joanie loves Chachi”. Well with the popular Madagascar films, those cute and Johnny English like penguins always seem to save the movie from the mundane, so why not give them their own movie.
Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) have always been a little different from other penguins, always going against the grain even as young ones. When they witness an egg sliding down a mountain they can’t stand by and watch, so they rescue it, thus discovering their talents and Private (Christopher Knights). We soon see them leave the comforts of their home and seek adventure out in the unknown. During those adventures they encounter and octopus named Dave (John Malkovich) who has it in for them, as they stole the attention he used to receive and forced him to be sent back to park, always being ignored by those oh so cute penguins. The penguins find out that Dave has a plan of revenge against them and with the help of a undercover organization called The North Wind they must stop Dave and his plans for revenge.
Let’s face it, this movie could go two ways, either we find out that the penguins are better off in small doses, or that the animals of Madagascar have been holding them back. While you won’t think that they were being held back, you realize that the penguins with their own movie, totally works. The laughs are there, more so with the first half of the film as we get to see these little flightless birds come up with solutions to problems either by accident or just pure luck. This is a film that kids will love and want to be played over and over again, and parents will enjoy as well up to its one-thousandth viewing. Just like any good Bond movie, without a good crazy villain, there would only be so much cuteness you can take, and no one does crazy better than Malkovich, who seems at home playing a crazy octopus bent on serving a dish, best cold. It is easy to mess something up good, or not realize that some things are better because of their ensemble. The Penguins do not fit that mold, and I personally would rather see another film of their adventures than those other animals of Madagascar. So reveal in their cuteness and excellent problem solving skills, because this is one film both kid and parent will enjoy.