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Eric Darnell, Simon J. Smith
Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich
Writing Credits:
Michael Colton, John Aboud, Brandon Sawyer

Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.

Box Office:
$132 Million.
Opening Weekend
$25,447,444 on 3784 Screens.
Domestic Gross

Rated PG

Aspect Ratio: 2.39:1
English DTS-HD MA 7.1
English Descriptive Audio 5.1
Spanish Dolby 5.1
French Quebecois Dolby 5.1
French DTS 5.1
Portuguese Dolby 5.1
Brazilian Portuguese
Supplements Subtitles:
Brazilian Portuguese

Runtime: 95 min.
Price: $9.98
Release Date: 1/27/2015
• Audio Commentary with Co-writer/Director Jorge R. Gutierrez
• “The Adventures of Chuy” Animated Short
• “Closer Look” Featurette
• “The Music of Life” Featurette
• “Digital Carpenters” Featurette
• Music Video
• “Music Machine”
• Gallery
• Trailer
• Previews
• DVD Copy


-LG OLED65C6P 65-Inch 4K Ultra HD Smart OLED TV
-Marantz SR7010 9.2 Channel Full 4K Ultra HD AV Surround Receiver
-Panasonic DMP-BD60K Blu-Ray Player
-Chane A2.4 Speakers
-SVS SB12-NSD 12" 400-watt Sealed Box Subwoofer


Penguins of Madagascar [Blu-Ray] (2014)

Reviewed by Colin Jacobson (January 4, 2018)

A spinoff from the Madagascar franchise, 2014’s Penguins of Madagascar reintroduces us to those militaristic flightless birds. Immediately after the events of Madagascar 3, leader Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath) takes his crew Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon) and Private (Christopher Knights) to break into Fort Knox.

They do so not to steal gold. Instead, they simply want the pleasures of a discontinued snack called “Cheezy Dibbles”.

Oddly, the machine abducts them and reveals itself to be renowned geneticist Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich) – who turns out to actually be a bitter octopus named Dave. Due to his prior time in a zoo, Dave grew to loath penguins, and he now seeks world domination via their abduction.

Into this circumstance, Skipper and company meet the North Wind, a clandestine spy organization. All join forces to combat Dave’s plans – though reluctantly, as the penguins and North Wind don’t exactly like each other.

As 2015’s Minions displayed, movies that bolster supporting characters to lead parts can hit it big, as the Despicable Me spinoff turned into a huge hit. That fate didn’t befall Penguins, though, as it sputtered at the box office.

When I saw Minions, I went into it with fairly low expectations, mainly because neither the Despicable Me franchise nor the title characters themselves ever did much for me. Penguins offered a different level of anticipation, though.

While I wasn’t wild about the first two Madagascar flicks, I liked the third one quite a lot, and I always enjoyed Skipper and company. With their generally inept machinations, they offered an entertaining diversion from the rest of the animals.

Featured as leads, though, they fare less well. Some characters simply work better as support, and I suspect that goes for Skipper and his pals. At least as seen here, they just don’t have the depth or personality to carry a feature film.

Not that Penguins turns into a bad movie, as it musters reasonable entertainment. Even with a plot that feels recycled from 1000 secret agent flicks, this one manages enough action and comedy to keep us with it.

Still, I can’t help but think the filmmakers try too hard, as Penguins can seem almost desperate to delight us. It comes with a fairly hyperactive tone that makes the movie feel more like a connected series of comedy bits rather than a coherent plot.

Many of the jokes fizzle as well – especially via a running gag where characters finish thoughts in ways that evoke the names of celebrities, such as “William, hurt them”. That seems too clever-clever and fails to become as winning as intended.

Honestly, I can’t claim that Penguins winds up as an unpleasant experience, for it throws enough at the wall to allow some of it to stick. Still, it seems inconsistent and lacks much more than the occasional fun moment.

The Disc Grades: Picture A/ Audio B+/ Bonus C-

Penguins of Madagascar appears in an aspect ratio of approximately 1.85:1 on this Blu-ray Disc. As anticipated, this turned into a terrific presentation.

At all times, sharpness looked strong. No softness ever marred the image, as it consistently remained tight and concise.

I saw no signs of shimmering or jagged edges, and edge haloes were absent. Of course, print defects failed to materialize, so this was an image free from flaws.

With its variety of settings, Penguins came with a vivid palette. The different colors consistently looked dynamic and exciting, with lively reproduction of the tones.

Blacks seemed tight and deep, and shadows looked smooth and clear. This was a fine presentation.

The DTS-HD MA 7.1 soundtrack of Penguins also seemed positive. In the forward domain, the music showed fine stereo imaging, while effects blended together neatly and smoothly.

Those elements moved from speaker to speaker cleanly as the track created a solid sense of atmosphere. It even included a fair amount of dialogue from the side speakers, which offered a good impression of breadth.

Surround usage generally favored reinforcement of music and effects, but the rears came to life nicely during a number of scenes. For instance, shots related to the plane showed effective use of the surrounds, as did the other action sequences. The mix helped bring the material to life.

Audio quality consistently appeared fine. Dialogue was natural and distinct, and I heard no problems related to intelligibility or edginess. Music was rich and warm throughout the movie, with good clarity as well.

Effects boasted nice range and accuracy, with deep low-end as necessary. Though not an “A”-level mix, the audio worked well for the movie.

When we shift to extras, we open with Top Secret Guide to Becoming an Elite Agent. It goes for three minutes, 39 seconds and mixes movie clips with comments from Skipper and other characters. It becomes mildly amusing at best.

Two music videos appear. “He Is Dave” by Lorne Balfe & Antony Genn matches the Bond theme-style song with movie shots, while “Celebrate” by Pitbull offers a simple affair mildly improved by “interaction” between the artist and animated penguins. Neither makes much of an impact.

With Flipper Slap Shake Waddle and Roll, we get a two-minute, six-second reel. It matches dance video of the penguins with a polka song. Don’t expect a lot from it.

Along the same lines, we get Do the Penguin Shake, as “tWitch” and the penguins demonstrate how to do that dance. It’s two minutes, 26 seconds of nothing much.

A Deleted Scene called “Orangefinger” runs one minute, 20 seconds. Shown in storyreel form, it lets us see the Private as he dreams about Cheezy Dibbles. It proves to be vaguely interesting.

We can view the scene with or without an introduction. I thought this would come from the filmmakers, but instead, we get a joke opening from Skipper. Yawn.

Next comes Madagascar Mashup, a three-minute, 12-second piece. It gives us a montage of penguins shots from the Madagascar movies – which means it lacks much merit.

A one-minute, 29-second clip called essentially acts as a eecap of the Penguins plot. What purpose does it serve? Promotional, I guess, but it doesn’t go anywhere.

After this comes a Cheezy Dibbles Ad. A 32-second bit, the penguins promote the snack. It presents slight entertainment at most.

Under Gallery, we get 27 stills. These simply show images from the movie, so they’re not very interesting.

The disc opens with ads for Home and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb. Sneak Peek adds promos for King Julien and Turbo: FAST.

We also find the trailer for Penguins and additional promos under World of DreamWorks Animation.

A second disc provides a DVD copy of Penguins. It includes “Top Secret Guide”, “Mash-Up”, “Dibbles Ad”, the gallery and the ads.

As a spotlight for minor Madagascar characters, Penguins of Madagascar offers intermittent entertainment and no more. While it keeps us moderately amused, it feels inconsistent and less than fulfilling. The Blu-ray boasts excellent picture as well as very good audio but it supplements lack depth. Madagascar fans may get some enjoyment from the film, but it feels like a minor diversion at best.

Viewer Film Ratings: 2 Stars Number of Votes: 1
0 3:
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