If you’re hung over from your Thanksgiving meal and looking for a film to make you laugh, that movie is most certainly “The Penguins of Madagascar.” Featuring a team of hilarious crime fighting birds: Skipper, Rico, Kowalski, and Private, the film provides laughable moments for both children and adults. There are many puns thrown into the mix that only adults will get the humor of. The villain of the film is an purple octopus named Dave (played by the infamous John Malkovich)who is bitter because the four protagonist penguins stole his spotlight at zoos across the country. Dave has several other octopi working for him who he yells celebrity puns at. For example, there is a moment where the four penguins are attempting to escape from Dave’s clutches. Dave yells at a member octopus staff: “Nicholas, cage them!” At another point in the film, one of Dave’s octopus friends is mixing a bowl of cake batter and Dave shouts: “Kevin, bake on!”
At the start of the film, we are introduced to the newest member of the penguins when Skipper, Kowalski and Rico save an egg from being eaten by larger animals. The egg hatches on an iceberg out in the Arctic Ocean. Out pops Private. “Are you my family?” He asks the three amigos penguins. After an audible pause, Kowalksi replies: “You don’t have a family, and we’re all going to die,” which of course they don’t, but this is representative of the film’s dry humor style.
When Private is kidnapped by evil octopus Dave, the penguins enlist the help of a wolf whose name is classified. That’s right, we don’t know what his actual name is, but he has his own motley crew of Arctic animals consisting of a snow owl (who Rico falls in love with), a giant but friendly polar bear and a volatile baby seal. The wolf (whose name is classified) has a melodious British accent and is played by heartthrob Benedict Cumberbatch. Cumberbatch’s calls his crew “The North Wind.” He’s skeptical of crime fighting skills that penguins have.
I won’t reveal what happens in the end, but I’ll tell you this: you will laugh until your belly hurts watching this film. The things that come out of these character’s mouths are always unexpected and undoubtedly hilarious. There are great moments when you and your kids will laugh together. One that comes to mind is when Rico is determined to fly an airplane. He encourages his two buddies to climb aboard, looks at the instruction manual and says: “I still can’t read.”
So what are you waiting for? Get off your couch and head to the movies to see ‘The Penguins of Madagascar.” You’re in for some laughs to be sure.