The penguins, Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private, have always been my favourite characters from the Madagascar movies. I love the quick humour and the elaborate and carefully orchestrated manoeuvres that they some how manage to accomplish. I wasn’t expecting anything different from their long awaited movie, and I had high hopes, but my expectations were not met, perhaps I had them too high? Don’t get me wrong, it has its funny moments, but depth is missing. I didn’t leave the cinema thinking, “wow”.
Dreamworks Animation have long been producing animated movies, and they are enjoyable to watch, some more than others. But, it seems to me that they can have the tendency to produce an animation simply for the economic benefits that may come. If you recall I recently reviewed Big Hero 6, and I mentioned how detailed the animation looked. I was looking for the same detailed animation in the Penguins of Madagascar, but the animation seemed elementary at best. Come on, they’ve been in the business for 16 years, its 2015, they’ve proven that they have the technical ability in the How to Train Your Dragon films, so I was left scratching my head, as to why the animation wasn’t as clean cut and detailed.
Looking deeper, their quest for financial gain became a little clearer. Some of you may know that China is a growing market in all areas, including the cinema industry. But China has very tight censorship laws, plus it only allows 34 foreign films to be shown in their theatres every year. Penguins of Madagascar opened 2 weeks earlier, in China, than in the US. The film carefully submits to the Chinese censorship rules and it shows numerous scenes depicting some sort of Chinese element, for example the penguins travel to Shanghai, there are some Chinese Dolls shown, also there is an elaborate scene at an aquarium with ‘Chinese’ mermaid penguins.
It seems to me that the true motivation for this film is not artistic creativity, but rather a lucrative opportunity for financial gain. If you chose to munch on the Penguins of Madagascar, the ‘nutritional’ value from it will be junk food grade at best.
TRIVIA COOKIE: Benedict Cumberbatch does the voice for the character Classified. The actor can’t pronounce the word ‘penguins’ properly, he pronounces it as ‘pengwings’.