Penguins of Madagascar waddles away a disappointment [Review]

Penguins of Madagascar waddles away a disappointment [Review]

At last the crafty penguins of Madagascar have their own movie. That it was unimaginatively called Penguins of Madagascar should've been a hint that it would lack genius.

So, the penguins, Skipper, Kowalski, Private, and Rico, are in the Antarctic. They find an egg - cue the Skrat vs acorn scene from any Ice Age movie and replace it with the egg and the current characters and you'll know what I mean. They also find a disgruntled octopus named Dave, voiced by John Malkovich, who is tired of being overshadowed by penguins. He has devised a serum to make them all ugly, and is kidnapping them from zoos and aquariums all over the world.

The penguins have to save them. But if going up against an awful octopus isn't enough, the penguins also have to deal with a secret agency called North Wind - cue the fart jokes. The group's leader is called "Agent Classified", in what is perhaps the best joke of the film. He is voiced beautifully by Benedict Cumberbatch, and his crew work with the penguins to save the day.

The film has a lovely message about looks not being important … or are they? Because everyone hates the ugly penguins, even the penguins themselves. It's will be a hit for five-year-olds, but anyone older will find the silliness painful. At least King Julian puts in a cameo, bringing his jungle beats.

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This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
A black-and-white letdown

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