Tom McGrath as Skipper
Chris Miller as Kowalski
Conrad Vernon as Rico
Christopher Knights as Private
Benedict Cumberbatch as Classified
John Malkovich as Dave/Dr. Octavius Brine
Ken Jeong as Short Fuse
Annet Mahendru as Eva
Peter Stormare as Corporal
4 out of 5
In theaters November 26
On his birthday, the wily penguins, Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico want to treat their youngest “brother” Private to his favorite snack, Cheesy Dibbles. The problem with that is the only place to get them is in the employee break room in Fort Knox. Their covert op gets them in without incident, but the problem of getting out arises in the form of Dr. Octavius Brine aka Dave the octopus who was a former zoo mate of the Penguins. He kidnaps them and brings him to his lair. Dave is not a happy camper. One time he was the star of the New York Zoo. Everyone came to see him frolic in his habitat until the Penguins came, then everyone flocked to see them and Dave was forgotten. Disgruntled and bitter, Dave under the human guise of Dr. Octavius Brine, began devising a nefarious plan that will change how the world will see penguins forever. Not just these four, but penguins all over the world. In their efforts to try and stop Dave, the Penguins cross paths with an elite inter-species task force dedicated to helping animals that can’t help themselves. They’re called the North Wind. Lead by a grey wolf known only as “Classified”, the North Wind steps in to take over the take down of Dave. Classified has little patience with the Penguins in the scheme of things and tells them that this operation should be left to the “professionals”, but the Penguins eventually prove to be an essential part of the plan to end Dave’s proposed reign of tyranny and save penguin kind the world over.
Penguins of Madagascar is a delightfully funny film. It’s not a sequel or continuation of the animated TV series of the same name. This is a standalone story, but it has a couple of moments that briefly reference the other Madagascar movies. The beauty and fun of this film is in the voice casting. The voice actors that cover the Penguins are top notch, but most specifically I refer to the villain Dave played with deliciously evil comic glee by the fabulous John Malkovich and the voice of the North Wind leader Classified, by the smooth velvet tones of Benedict Cumberbatch. It’s great to hear these two really dive in and really own their characters. If you’re looking for a fun time to spend with the family this holiday, Penguins of Madagascar is a great bet. The kids will love it. The action and the pacing is solid enough to keep them engaged; there is never a slow moment. There are also plenty of laughs for the adults (the celebrity name puns for Dave’s minions are just hilarious). This is a great time at the movies!
Check out the trailer for “PENGUINS of MADASCAR” below: