Sunday, April 19, 2015

Penguins of Madagascar

NOTE: If you wish to skip the story, I will include a message in this color and font at the end.

One of my favorite movie franchises is Madagascar. I like all three movies and the Penguins TV series. In fact, I like the TV series more than the movies. When it first came out, I would watch whenever it was on. Production ended in 2012, but there are still 6 unaired episodes in the U.S. I really want to see one of them because Doris the Dolphin is in it. I don't know if they'll ever air. Nicktoons aired one in February, but other than that, it hasn't been new since November 2012. I When I heard the penguins would be starring in their own movie, I was really looking forward to it. Does it live up to it's potential? Let's find out. And before I start, I should mention that this is unrelated to the TV series.

The movie starts with young Skipper, Rico, and Kowalski in Antarctica. They defy the laws of nature to save an egg that the other penguins think is doomed. They save it and it hatches into Private. They then drift away on an iceberg to wherever it takes them. Ten years later, after the events of Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, the penguins decide to celebrate Private's birthday by leaving the circus and breaking into Fort Knox in order to get him a discontinued snack from the vending machine. Despite this, Private starts to feel like he doesn't have any value to the team.

Tentacles then reach out of the vending machine. These tentacles belong to Dave, who wants revenge on penguins for shoving him out of zoos all over the world. Rico swallows Dave's collection of snow globes along with a canister of green substance called the Medusa Serum then the penguins make a run for it. They are chased through the streets of Venice before they are rescued by animals from a spy agency called the north wind. These animals are a gray wolf named Classified, a harp seal named Short Fuse, a polar bear named Corporal, and a snow owl named Eva, who Kowalski develops a crush on.

At the hideout, the communications are hacked by Dave, who reveals that he has an enormous supply of the Medusa Serum, as oppose to the canister Rico swallowed. Not wanting the penguins' help, Classified sends them to Madagascar, but they escape and make their way to Shanghai, which they mistake for Dublin. The discover that Dave's next target is Shanghai, so they ship themselves to there, not realizing they're already there. They get dropped off at what they think is Shanghai's "famous" Irish district. They make their way to the zoo, and then have private dress as a mermaid tailed penguin to distract Dave. Private and the other Shanghai penguins are captured after the North Wind arrives.

They're able to find Private thanks to a tracking device the North Wind placed on them (they placed one on all of them).  Meanwhile, Dave penetrates through Private's disguise, so he demonstrates what his ray can do, which can turn penguins into hideous monsters. Skipper and Classified argue over how to save Private. Skipper admits Classified's plan is better, so they do that, which is a frontal assault. It doesn't work, and they all get captured. Dave demonstrates his ray's full power on Private, but it seems to be too strong as he disappears. What he doesn't know is that Private was able to escape at the last second. Private then rescues the North Wind, and then they leave. Private doesn't want to leave anyone behind, so he tries to help the others on his own.

Dave uses the ray on all the penguins he thinks are alive, and after docking in New York, he lets them out and chaos ensues. Private is able to knock sense into Skipper, Rico, and Kowalski, and then use Private's cuteness as a reverse function for the machine and turn the other penguins back to normal. They also get Dave, who is turned into a miniaturized version of himself. He gets trapped in a snow globe that is taken by a girl that aggressively shakes it.

Private is left mutated from the machine, Kowalski gets a kiss from Eva, and the penguins get their own jetpacks. During the credits, they return to the circus and use Mort to turn Private back to normal. Mort doesn't show any side effects until he swallows King Julien whole.


I really enjoyed this movie. I thought it had some pacing problems but it came with the same craziness you can normally get from penguins. The penguins were the same characters I've known for years. As for the new characters, the North Wind were pretty enjoyable, and Dave wasn't a perfect villain, but he did have his moments.

Overall, I really enjoyed this movie. If you like the penguins, whether it's for their role in the Madagascar movies or the TV series, then I definitely recommend this.

Final Score: 3.8/5

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