Penguins of Madagascar Blu-ray Review

     Format: Multiple Formats, Blu-ray, Animated, Color, Dolby, DTS Surround Sound, Dubbed, Subtitled, Widescreen
  • Language: English (DTS 5.1), French (DTS 5.1), Spanish (DTS 5.1)
  • Subtitles: English, French, Spanish
  • Dubbed: French, Spanish
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.85:1
  • Number of discs: 2
  • Rated: PG
  • Studio: 20th Century Fox
  • Release Date: March 17, 2015
  • Run Time: 86 minutes


            This off-shoot film from the Madagascar franchise may not bridge the gap between child and adult audience members in the same way its parent films have, but it does boast enough colorful animation and fast-paced plotting to keep the whole family engaged in pleasant enough distraction. The intelligence and wit from the other films will certainly be missed by the adults, though the increase in silliness may make Penguins of Madagascar more popular among the youngest viewers. Unfortunately, I feel myself at a bit of a disadvantage in reviewing this Dreamworks animated film, having long since left this demographic.


            I’m pretty sure the narrative all preludes the Madagascar films, although I don’t think it really matters either way. The four scheming penguins are given a brief origin story, involving them being cast adrift before taken into captivity for zoo life. They fancy themselves a crime fighting team, and the film quickly falls into a parody of James Bond type spy thrillers as an evil nemesis threatens them. The villain is a neglected octopus with a grudge against the cute critters that often stole his spotlight at various zoos. The plan of revenge involves the destruction of the entire world’s penguin population.


            Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private take it upon themselves to save the penguins, along with rival spies known as the North Wind team, complete with plenty of high-tech gadgets. The plot doesn’t really need to extend beyond this basic premise, setting the film up for similar spy parody and hijinks that Cars 2 also utilized. These are mostly just situations which provide ample opportunity to take advantage of the medium of animation with imaginative spectacle.


            The Blu-ray combo pack also comes with a DVD and Digital HD copy of the film, not to mention the special features on the disc. The DVD just has the film, but the Blu-ray is jam-packed with extras to entertain animation enthusiasts and younger audiences alike. Most of the extras include additional footage, whether it is deleted scenes, a mash-up of Madagascar footage, an advertisement for the Cheezy Dibbles featured in the film, and several music videos. This takes up the majority of the extras, though there are a few small featurettes, including one about Dreamworks Animation.    


    Entertainment Value: 6/10

    Quality of Filmmaking: 6.5/10

    Historical Significance:  5/10

    Special Features: 6.5/10



    No comments: