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Looneymanthegreat's Movie Reviews (125)

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Penguins of Madagascar 
Just for Kids
2/4 stars

I am in no way a hater of family films, but I do require something of them that I think many in our culture seem to ignore, namely: quality; And not just childrenís level quality either, children will laugh at a lot of stupid stuff. No, I want a movie to work as both an entertainment piece for children and adults alike; A so called ďkids movieĒ has to work on two levels to really get a pass from any audience, which in some ways makes the genre more difficult then say an R-rated crime comedy like The Wolf of Wall street. But I still hold firm to my belief that a family film must be more then just obnoxious kiddy hypnosis.

The Penguins of Madagascar, Iím sad to say, qualifies as said ďkiddy hypnosis.Ē Itís a film of uninspired and over-bridled lunacy with some very lackluster comedy thrown into the mix for good measure.

I canít really say the film is terrible: It has a cohesive narrative, well organized character arcs and some pretty vivid animation as well. Yet there isnít really much in the picture that springs out as particularly good either. That cohesive narrative I mentioned was kind of hum-drum, those arcs I mentioned lacked any humor or subtlety and that animation failed in almost every way to live up to this movies vertical predecessor, Madagascar 3.

The Penguins of Madagascar should have been edited down to a 40 minute television special, or even better, an eleven minute episode of that obnoxious Penguins of Madagascar TV show on Nickelodeon. I felt like I was being talked down too through out the films runtime, and I will probably have forgotten all about the films plot and characters long before you read this. It does not feel like they really had the penguin themed material required for a full length motion picture, and what they come up with simply doesnít feel worthy enough of the animation that it is played to, or even the cinema that I watched it at. Itís not a terrible movie, but neither are most Hallmark films and if you paid ten bucks to see one of those at the movie theater youíd probably be ticked off as all heck.

Itís not funny. Almost all of the jokes fall flat, and among the few that donít only one actually made me laugh out loud. Compare this to lovable movies like Muppets Most Wanted or Madagascar 3, those movies knew how to get both visual and verbal humor across to kids and parents alike. Alas The Penguins of Madagascar have not such a skill.

When I look at the core of it Iím not sure that The Penguins have enough personality or humor in them to pull of an entire film regardless of how hard the filmmakers try. Yes, they are quite funny in the Madagascar movies, but they just donít have the heart or creativity to be the center of a ninety minute feature. Nobody needed a movie like this.

That said: The Penguins of Madagascar isnít nearly as bad as Iím making it out to be; but itís not worth seeing; not even if you have little kids. Big Hero 6 is still in theaters, and How to Train Your Dragon 2 is out on DVD, so watch one of those with your kiddos instead. Your kids might enjoy the rudimentary humor and plot of this doofy penguin flick, but wouldnít you rather watch a family movie the whole family can enjoy? Only check this out if your some kind of strange hardcore penguin/Madagascar enthusiast, or a lobotomized monkey.


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