#REVIEW: “PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR”
Review by George Kozera for Mr. Will Wong
Let’s be real – who doesn’t love Penguins? After we learned so much about these adorable, tuxedo-clad Creatures in the Oscar-winning Documentary, March of the Penguins, their media saturation rivals that of Beyoncé: they’re featured in Television Commercials, Prints Ads and as the incredibly charming sidekicks in the 2005 DreamWorks animated Classic Madagascar, Movie Stars. After they proved their mettle in the successful TV series (still airing on YTV), it was time for our Heroes (Skipper. Kowalski, Rico and Private) to have their own Movie Franchise.
Penguins of Madagascar is a wildly-entertaining, visually stunning experience crafted by Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith, who have worked on all the Madagascar Features to-date. The Story Line has our beloved Penguins traveling the World in order to thwart the evil genius Dr. Octavius Brine, an Octopus who looks remarkably like Dan Akroyd but voiced by John Malkovich, from hatching a plan that will change the world as we know it. With the help from The North Wind, an undercover Group led by the charismatic, courageous Agent Classified (voiced by the can-do-no-wrong Benedict Cumberbatch), this is a roller coaster of a ride.
This Movie is filled to the brim with original visuals and some of the funniest AND corniest puns to hit the screen in a long time. I particularly loved how they were able to incorporate famous names (Nicolas Cage, Drew Barrymore and Kevin Bacon just to name a few) into the Plot in a laugh-out-loud manner. One particular scene has the North Wind emerge from a fireball that could have been stolen by the creators of this year’s monster hit, The Guardians of the Galaxy.
Penguins of Madagascar succeeds much due to the affection and energy the Team behind the Franchise have for their Creation. From the Directors and the Writers to all the original Actors that have made these Characters come to life from the first Movie to its Sequels – their sheer joy and respect for the Story is lovingly translated on-screen. My only qualm with this Movie, and it is so tiny it is barely worth mentioning, is I found the 3D effects somewhat uninspired. But that is forgiven when so many things work – the Pacing, the Animation, the entertaining and clever Story Line, and the Performances from the brilliant Ensemble.
I am thrilled that Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private have broken the cinematic glass ceiling from being sidekicks to bona fide Movie Stars. PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR appeals to all – from the Sippy-Cup to the Coffee Cup-drinking Moviegoer!
20th Century Fox release PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR on Wednesday, November 26, 2014.