Saturday, December 13, 2014

Penguins of Madagascar is cute and cuddly enough to make you laugh out loud at least once

Movie Title:  Penguins of Madagascar
PG, 1 hour 32 minutes

Grade:  B

In a Nutshell: The zany, spy penguins from the Madagascar franchise finally got their own feature film, full of high-jinks and frivolity.  No matter what age you are, you’ll laugh at least a few times.  It’s brightly colored, frantic, and fun. Parents’ patience will probably wear thin towards the end, but there are enough clever puns, and jokes to keep you mostly entertained.

This movie has 2 words for teenage girls:  Benedict Cumberbatch.  He voices the studly Agent Classified.  Listen to how he pronounces the word “penguins.”  Kinda quirky and awesome.  Just like he is. Other voice talents include the iconic John Malkovich, Tom McGrath, Andy Richter, and Ken Jeong.

Directed by J.P. Simon and Simon Smith….I wonder if it ever got confusing whenever someone on the Dreamworks animation team yelled “Simon!”

Uplifting theme:
·          “Looks don’t matter.  It’s what you do that counts.  And look at what you did.” - Skipper
·         Never leave a man….um…penguin behind.

Things I liked:
·         The gag rate and fast-moving action sequences make the movie feel like an old Looney Tunes cartoon on Saturday morning.  (Am I showing my age?)
·         Cheezy Dibbles dust!
·         The scenes in Venice were gorgeous animation.
·         The visual details and humor that were included were excellent, such as when they the roll over the black and white lines to break into Fort Knox, and when they were lost at sea and growing facial stubble.
·         They had several funny runs with celebrity names like:
         -          “Kevin, Bake On….we’re still going to need that victory cake!”
         -          “Hally Bury them!”
         -          “Hugh Jack on!”
·         I laughed out loud during the scene when Dave the evil Octopus was trying to figure out how to use the technology to do a live video conference call with the penguins.  I’ve experienced that with my own parents and hate to admit that I've caught my own kids rolling their eyes when they’re trying to teach me how to use my cell phone. 
·         I love word play.  There is a LOT of it in this fun flick like:
                    “Venetian blinded again!”
·         Like all good adventure movies, it ends in amazing New York City.
·         I thought the film crew scenes in Antarctica were hilarious.  They featured a cartoon version and real voice of Werner Herzog who actually filmed a documentary in Antarctica entitled “Encounters at the End of the World.”

Things I didn’t like:
·         I can only take frenzied silliness for so long.
·         It’s not the greatest animation to hit the big screen this year, but cute and cuddly enough for the girls and screwball enough for the guys to enjoy.
·         It would have been fun to see a cameo of some of the other Madagascar characters.  I counted how long the penguins actually spent in Madagascar during this movie: 0 seconds.

Funny lines:
·          "Remember our talk about true, but unhelpful comments?” – Skipper
·         “Canada is secretly training an army of Sasquatch.” – Skipper
·         “Cancel our Improv class!”  - Skipper
·         “How long do we stand here like this?” – Corporal
      “Until we’ve reached maximum coolness.  (Pose)  There it is.” – Skipper
·         “I find reason tedious and boring.  We’ll use force.” – Skipper
·         “Time travel.  You just want to slap a hippie, but all you get is multiple Kowalskis.” – Skipper

·         Entire web sites have been dedicated to all of the funny lines Skipper has ever said in the 3-movie Madagascar franchise.

Tips for Parents:
·         There are quite a few jokes and gags that will fly over the heads of little ones.  There is so much to see and hear, that all ages will get something.  It’s all pretty harmless fun.  Even the bad guy isn’t very scary, so very young children will enjoy this.

·         It’s a kids’ movie, so expect potty jokes, some rude humor, and animated violence with explosions, tazers, and tranquilizer guns.

   If you missed the first Madagascar movies or can't get enough of these covert penguins, check out some of these fun products:



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