Penguins of Madagascar (2014)
Synopsis: Penguins must outsmart octopus who wants to turn cute penguins into ugly penguins.
Would you be able to sit through it?: Yeah, but after being spoiled by some more compelling animated fare you may be a bit bored.
Any scary/violent parts?: Penguin-fu, many explosions.
Anything that will screw up your kid’s head?: They may end up being distrustful of octopuses, even though they’re one of the coolest animals on the planet. Also, the end of the movie is about how unattractiveness should be feared, and being cute is super-important.
Any lessons to be learned?: Everybody can be valuable (unless you’re ugly).
Recommended age: 5. No scary scenes, but a lot of animal fisticuffs.
Rent it, buy it or avoid it?: Rent. Not a ton to say about this one, which isn’t a great sign considering I’m writing this four days later and can’t remember a lot about it. It’s cute and has amusing moments, but nothing is memorable whatsoever. The penguins get a little annoying after a while, particularly Skipper. There’s one scene where the penguins are falling through the sky and land in an airplane, then escape by opening the emergency exit while it’s still in the air, so I couldn’t help but think, “Ok, so they just condemned all those passengers to death. Cute.” Here’s part of that clip, but that particular bit of it is cut out:
It’s kind of weird that the movie even got made, since there are three Madagascar movies already plus the penguins have their own animated series and there have been several shorts with them involved, it just doesn’t seem like anyone was clamoring for a Penguins of Madagascar movie. Plus it’s about 20 minutes too long. This is the first kids movie in a while that I was thinking about how I wanted it to end already. But overall, it isn’t really bad, and there are definitely worse choices for kids entertainment out there, but there are also better. It’s in kind of a gray area, neither black nor white.
Score: 6.25 oh hey, that was Benedict Cumberbatch? (out of 10)
My Daughter’s Review: “I liked all of it.”