Cramming the cute and cuddly scene stealing penguins from the Madagascar movie, may have just been an idea to print money, and while this may put some cynicism in your opinion on this film, fortunately the experience is the complete opposite. Penguins is rich and colourful, intelligent and most of all hilarious. It cranks out the laughs with some of the most cleverly adult humour-in-a-kids-movie seen in the last few years. While other films like Big Hero 6 will try and pull the feels, this one exists purely to make you laugh, and it succeeds.
It exists as a semi-origin story following the three penguins from birth for a while, then picking up right after Madagascar 3 (with a quick guest appearance from some much loved characters) and then the movie is completely theirs. Following their noses for Private (Christopher Knight) birthday, the trio encounter the evil octopus-doubling as eccentric scientist Dave (John Malkovich) who is hell bent on turning all cute and cuddly penguins into hideous monsters so the world no longer loves them (it’s personal!).
The laughs come hard and fast in this, with a level of humour from the Shrek era of family films that is cleverly racy, flying over kids heads and entertaining the adults. There is a story and while it is nothing revolutionary or original, it provides respite from the constant visual gags and jokes that fly. Did I mention it was funny?
The animation is not on the same level as Big Hero 6, but it does fit in with the Madagascar universe, and the new characters voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong and Andy Richter add some difference to the dynamic and are fortunately not the focus of the film. I saw this in 2D and still enjoyed the rich and colourful landscape that this film provided.
If you are looking for a funny and entertaining film and enjoyed the Shrek style humour, then you will love this. It was everything that I wasn’t expecting and it quickly scored a place among top animated films in a very crowded marketplace. This is definitely worth checking out at the movies.
Review by Alaisdair Dewar
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