Penguins of Madagascar review by Rashid Irani: Such spy shenanigans | movie reviews | Hindustan Times
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Penguins of Madagascar review by Rashid Irani: Such spy shenanigans

A mélange of mayhem and mirth, the story re-introduces us to the flightless bird quartet. Working as covert espionage agents, they attempt to foil the dastardly plan of an octopus determined to rid the world of all penguin-kind.

movie reviews Updated: Nov 30, 2014 15:31 IST
Penguins-of-Madgascar
Penguins-of-Madgascar

PENGUINS OF MADAGASCAR


Director:

Eric Darnell and Simon J Smith


Actors:

Tom McGrath, Benedict Cumberbatch


Rating:

3/5



Over the years, an ever increasing number of A-list actors, ranging from Woody Allen (Antz) to Meryl Streep (Fantastic Mr Fox), have dubbed for cartoon characters in Hollywood movies.



This time, Penguins of Madagascar — the spin-off of the animated comedy-adventure series Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa — has also drafted German filmmaker Werner Herzog to provide voice-over narration.



Celebrated as much for his documentaries as for his fiction features, Herzog had previously pondered over the fate of penguins in the Antarctic-set Encounters at the End of the World. It’s a pity that his contribution to Madagascar is limited to a cameo during the prologue.



A mélange of mayhem and mirth, the story re-introduces us to the flightless bird quartet. Working as covert espionage agents, they attempt to foil the dastardly plan of an octopus (John Malkovich, gleefully over-the-top) determined to rid the world of all penguin-kind.



The fine feathered friends reluctantly join forces with an elite inter-species task force led by a snooty wolf referred to as ‘Classified’ (Cumberbatch).



Co-directors Darnell and Smith keep the pace brisk and the visual and verbal gags flowing. They also make judicious use of the 3D format. Tongue-in-cheek references to the James Bond flicks abound.



With its brightly coloured animation, witty puns and captivating characters, Penguins of Madagascar delivers a fairly entertaining all-ages adventure.