penguins-of-madagascarMany times these days, in fact more than many times, “kids films” are heralded as being great for both children and adults. Most of the time this is nonsense (for lack of a more appropriate term). Penguins of Madagascar should have been one of the movies that fell under this category. However, it most certainly is not and is well worth the viewing time for anyone from ages 9 to 90.

Most ancillary characters that get spin offs suck, let’s face it. But these guys deliver. Much like the Jefferson’s of their own modern animatic world, the four penguins from the original Madagascar movies Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath) Kowalski (voiced by Chris Miller) Rico (voiced, kind of, by Chris Vernon) and Private (Voiced by Christopher Knights) take control of the screen and vibrantly show that they are worth a movie in their own right.

The Penguins take it upon themselves to break into Fort Knox and steal their most precious resource. Cheesy Dibbles! A delicious snack that has been discontinued. After a successful break in, the Penguins are confronted by Dr. Octavious who has a severe hatred for the Penguins simply based on their cuteness. The ensuing film covers the rampant misadventures of the Penguins trying to stop the evil Dr. and his plan to rid the world of cute penguins once and for all. They team up with the North Wind, an organization dedicated to protecting animals across the globe, in an uneasy alliance.

Penguins of Madagascar is a fine film. Directed by Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith and written by seven different writers, the story is exciting, fun and quite entertaining. The jokes are well timed, the animation is (as usually with Dreamworks) excellent and the story itself has an interesting side story that, when you think about it, is honestly kind of sad. The only draw back is the fact that it is absolutely frantic and insane. I understand that it is the speed of the film that drives a lot of it, but it tends to be frenzied. It is worth it to mention that Jon Malkovich does a fantastic job voicing the evil Dr., giving a rare amount of sympathy for the films villain.

Go see this movie. It’s the James Bond of Penguin movies. Although I guess that’s a very specific sub-genre. That of the super spy team formed by Penguins, but it exists now, and it is a pleasure to watch.