In a franchise that has been around since 2005, and has produced three feature films, two animated series, two theatrical presentations, eleven video games and three short films, comes the latest offering.
Penguins of Madagascar is the fourth film in the series, in this adventure - Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organisation The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.
However, just like any animated franchise that goes on longer than two films, this is merely an easy money-maker for Dreamworks. Sure there are the one-liners and the humorous randomness you come to expect with the Madagascar series, but it certainly isn’t their best work. Initially, when the movie was first announced after the popularity of the Nickelodeon series of the same name it was supposed to be a straight-to-DVD feature, and sadly it should have been that way because this movie does not scratch the surface of a movie worth of a cinema release.
The guys at Dreamworks have already announced Madagascar 4 coming in 2018, a new film in a franchise that I thought ceased to exist after Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. However Dreamworks did come up trumps with the animation ever since they perfected it with Shrek in 2001, and the 3D was very convincing and added to the whole cinematography of the movie.
The storyline was very poor and there was no real development - it was a bit all over the place. You could always see where it was going in the end. This movie follows the four penguins who feature in the Madagascar films - Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. The story is based on the origins of the character Private, and the fact that the only family he has ever known has been the three fellow penguins. He never felt like he had a place in the group of penguins, and spent the movie questioning his role.
As you can tell from that short synopsis, it is a voyage of discovery for young Private, and it does get very repetitive, until eventually something happens. A particular highlight however is Benedict Cumberbatch, he plays a character called Classified, leader of the North Wind task force.
Coming from the writers of Megamind, and the co-director of Bee Movie there is an expectation attached to a movie like this, but it severely disappoints. It clearly is a movie to spend an hour-and-a-half with children to kill the time - and for children it is a great movie, it has all the child friendly elements, stupid antics, funny scenes and general mistakes by the characters. But as a whole the movie was not very good, especially coming from such an illustrious animated studio such as Dreamworks.
Photos: Penguins of Madagascar/ Facebook