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Throughout the first Madagascar film, four cuddly penguins remained on the sidelines, waddling onscreen whenever comic relief was needed. In 2008, the penguins were given their own television show but limited profits caused it to be cancelled in 2012, after only three seasons. Now, directors Eric Darnell (Madagascar) and Simon J. Smith (Bee Movie) have decided to give the beloved penguins another go in their own film, entitled Penguins of Madagascar.
We open up with a prologue detailing how the four penguins came together. As soon as the voice-over narration by Werner Herzog is heard, audience should know what they’re in for, and that’s material that can be enjoyed by both children and adults alike. As Herzog’s documentary crew observes, Kowalski (Chris Miller) and Rico (Conrad Vernon) are trailing their leader Skipper (Tom McGrath) along a line of other penguins. As the trio is marching, an egg rolls by. »
- Matt Hoffman
Chicago – The only thing rarer than a spinoff that soars over its inspiration is a DreamWorks Animation production without “Dragon” in the title, and one that’s actually worth watching. Improbably, “Penguins Of Madagascar” is both.
To be honest, I’ve felt the “Madagascar” series to be typical of DreamWorks decidedly second-tier status in the field of animation. They lacked the imagination of Pixar’s best efforts, and settled for the usual collection of celebrity voices and overly hyperactive animation, topped off with a generic frenetic dance sequence that fades from memory before the beat even stops. While “Penguins” doesn’t exactly set itself apart per se, it does freshen up the formula and shows why it became popular in the first place.
This film sends the quartet of Skipper, Kowalski, Private, and Rico into their own secret agent spy adventure beginning with an inventive heist at Fort Knox. »
- email@example.com (Adam Fendelman)
Whether in TV or movies, spin-offs are risky, never more so than when the figures being spun off are wacky supporting characters who must now carry the story themselves. What made viewers happy in small doses may overwhelm them when it’s administered in jumbo servings. You may think you want a bowl of Lucky Charms with nothing but marshmallows, but really, you don’t. But the quartet of conniving penguins who have consistently been the funniest part of the Madagascar films (and who already have their own Nickelodeon TV series) have now successfully launched their own movie with Penguins of Madagascar, a zippy action comedy that’s closer in spirit to Looney Tunes than the usual DreamWorks offering. Directed by franchise veteran Eric Darnell and DreamWorks stalwart Simon J. Smith, and written by a trio of men whose experience is mostly in live-action, the film is stuffed with jokes for kids and their parents (including a »
- Eric D. Snider
Update, Wednesday 8 Am: Warner Bros./New Line’s R-rated sequel Horrible Bosses 2 nabbed an early bonus last night with $1 million at Tuesday night previews. The comedy about a trio of wacky business guys who kidnap their investor’s son will be playing at 3,321 locations today and expand to 3,375 on Friday. That figure outstrips the $365K chunk of cash Horrible Bosses stole from late night previews in July 2011.
Previous, Tuesday 1:18 Pm: Penguins will try to carve into a Katniss’ Thanksgiving feast this weekend at the box office but, despite a lower-than-expected debut from the penultimate Hunger Games entry last week, look for the Suzanne Collins adaptation to retain the holiday crown over Madagascar‘s latest entry.
Mockingjay, like Catching Fire last year, has the benefit of Thanksgiving traffic. However, Catching Fire was coming off a franchise record bow and spurred an all-time record for any film, opener or second-framer, »
- Scott Bowles
Penguins of Madagascar, out Wednesday and with a voice cast of John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom McGrath, Werner Herzog, Chris Miller, Conrad Vernon and Christopher Knights, follows the fun foursome of secret agents that offered comical scenes in the previous Madagascar installments as they finally gets their own feature. See more 'Penguins of Madagascar' Secret-Agent Backstory Revealed in New Trailer The 20th Century Fox title, co-directed by Eric Darnell (the three previous Madagascar films) and Simon J. Smith (Bee Movie), is one of many family films hitting the holiday box office this season, and is expected to post a solid
- Ashley Lee
Opening tomorrow is Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith's The Penguins of Madagascar. DreamWorks Animation's upcoming spinoff features the espionage-minded birds as they go off on a mission to bring down the nefarious octopus Dave (John Malkovich) even though they end up getting in the way of the professional spy organization the North Wind, which is led by the wolf "Classified" (Benedict Cumberbatch). The movie also features the voices of Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, and Peter Stormare. For more on the film, check out the trailer. To help promote the film, I recently got to talk with Benedict Cumberbatch (he plays Agent Classified) and Tom McGrath (he voices Skipper). They talked about the relationship between Agent Classified and the Penguins, script changes during production, how recording their dialogue separately can be an advantage, and their favorite animated movies. Hit the jump for what they had to say. Benedict Cumberbatch »
- Steve 'Frosty' Weintraub
First, let's state the obvious and get it out of the way. This is a crass piece of corporate product, an animation studio working more as an IP farm than as a storytelling unit, and it exists so that Dreamworks Animation can continue to wring money out of the "Madagascar" franchise. It is a perfect example of marketing driving the machine. It's also a profoundly silly movie that really isn't even trying to play by the conventional rules of family animation. They nod to creating a sentimental arc between Private (Christopher Knights) and Skipper (Tom McGrath), but they don't dwell on it, and they handle it with a fairly deft touch. The main goal of the movie is just to be ridiculous, and it does that in spades. The film starts with the penguins in their natural habitat, being filmed by a documentary film crew complete with the actual Werner Herzog narrating. »
- Drew McWeeny
Penguins of Madagascar waddles onto screens this holiday week, a spinoff of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar animated franchise. But as I say in my video review above, this film focuses on just one corner of that franchise’s winning collection of critters, the scheming pack of penguins. And it never quite takes flight, despite its manic pace and an evil octopus (!) voiced wonderfully by John Malkovich.
Other voice cast members include the seemingly omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom McGrath (director of the three Madagascar films), Chris Miller (Puss in Boots director), Christopher Knights and Conrad Vernon (director of Shrek 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens).
Penguins opens in the United States on Wednesday (it’s been in China and »
- Pete Hammond
On behalf of 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation we're excited to share with you a hilarious new "Mockumentary" for the highly anticipated action-comedy, Penguins of Madagascar, featuring Tom McGrath, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, John Malkovich, and director Eric Darnell.
Find out just how committed the cast were to their roles and how they literally became the animals they are playing!
In Penguins of Madagascar, super spy teams aren't born...they're hatched.  Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind.  Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then...you know), voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.
Check out the cast, »
Chicago – In the latest HollywoodChicago.com Hookup: Film, we have 40 pairs of advance-screening movie passes up for grabs to the new animated comedy “Penguins of Madagascar” starring John Malkovich and Benedict Cumberbatch!
“Penguins of Madagascar,” which opens on Nov. 26, 2014 and is rated “PG,” also stars Werner Herzog, Ken Jeong, Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare and Conrad Vernon from directors Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith and writers John Aboud and Michael Colton.
To win your free “Penguins of Madagascar” passes courtesy of HollywoodChicago.com, just get interactive with our social media widget below. That’s it! This screening is on Saturday, Nov. 22, 2014 at 11 a.m. in downtown Chicago. The more social actions you complete, the more points you score and the higher yours odds of winning! Completing these social actions only increases your odds of winning; this doesn’t intensify your competition!
Preferably, use your »
- firstname.lastname@example.org (Adam Fendelman)
Forty-eight hours after it was announced that Hasbro ended conversations with DreamWorks Animation about a possible merger, Jeffrey Katzenberg was at Bryant Park’s skating rink to celebrate the “Penguins of Madagascar” premiere.
The Sunday afternoon event featured hot chocolate, hot dogs and life size penguins on skates who entertained a gaggle of kids and their parents, including George Stephanopoulos, Mariska Hargitay and Brooke Shields.
Pic, about four penguins who join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine (voiced by John Malkovich) from destroying the world, marks the fourth film in the “Madagascar” franchise.
“John and Benedict just didn’t do voice recordings for this film,” Darnell said before hitting the ice. “They act »
- Addie Morfoot
Remember that footage from the Penguins of Madagascar New York Comic-Con panel showing how a young Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller) and Rico (John Dimaggio) first meet Private (Patrick Stuart)? The film’s latest trailer actually shows off a good deal of it, minus the leopard seal scuffle, before launching into a roll call montage featuring the penguins and their new cohorts, the North Wind. Together, they’ll take on Dr. Octavius Brine (John Malkovich), an accomplished geneticist. Or he is? Turns out, Dr. Octavius Brine is really Dave, an Octopus who used to live at the Central Park Zoo until the penguins completely overshadowed him, compelling the zoo staff to ship him off to another location. Hit the jump to catch the gang in action in the latest Penguins of Madagascar trailer. The film opens in 3D on November 26th and also features the voices of Benedict Cumberbatch, »
- Perri Nemiroff
Are you ready for the return of the Penguins? The break out stars of Madagascar are getting their own movie this Thanksgiving, with 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation releasing a third trailer for Penguins of Madagascar.
Audiences will discover the secrets of the most entertainingly mysterious birds in the global espionage game. Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private now must join forces with the chic spy organization, the North Wind, led by Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then... you know) to stop the cunning villain Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world.
Opening in theaters on November 26, the animated comedy features the voices of Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare and John Malkovich. Check out the latest footage as one of the greatest super spy teams of all-times hatches a new plan to stop the villainous Dr. »
"Tiny and helpless, the baby penguins are frozen with fear." Who would have ever thought that Werner Herzog would lend his voice to DreamWorks Animation film? It sounds like an impossible task, and yet here we are with the filmmaker seemingly parodying himself as a documentary director shooting footage of the Penguins of Madagascar as young ones. But then we're brought up to speed with the Arctic birds as top notch spies, and that's when a new adventure begins. There's some childish silliness, but there's also some clever writing here, and that's from someone who has never really enjoyed these characters. Watch! Here's the new trailer for Penguins of Madagascar from DreamWorks Animation: Don't forget about the teaser trailer and previous theatrical trailer for Penguins of Madagascar too. The Penguins of Madagascar is directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar franchise) and Simon J. Smith (Bee Movie) and written by John Aboud »
- Ethan Anderton
Alex the lion, Marty the zebra, Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippo are all great characters, but Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (John Dimaggio) and Private (James Patrick Stuart) definitely stole some of their thunder in the Madagascar films. In fact, the penguins are so popular, they’ve got their very own Nickelodeon TV show and, come November 26th, they’ll have their own feature film as well. Penguins of Madagascar pits our heroes against someone from their past, Dave the octopus. With the help of the undercover inter-species task force, The North Wind, the penguins must thwart Dave’s plan to take over the world. Immediately after the film’s New York Comic-Con panel, I got the chance to sit down with directors Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith to discuss making the decision to give the penguins their own movie, how the animated filmmaking process »
- Perri Nemiroff
Meet the young Penguins of Madagascar in a special 4-Minute sneak preview of the new 20th Century Fox and DreamWorks Animation spin-off, coming to theaters this November.
This latest look at the animated adventure shows us Skipper (Tom McGrath), Rico (John Di Maggio) and Kowalski (Jeff Bennett) on their first mission as they attempt to save an egg from being eaten by seals. Their impressive skills in retrieving the egg convince them that maybe they should defy mother nature and head off on their own. Of course, their celebration is short lived after the egg reveals itself to contain a whole new world of problems.
Penguins of Madagascar will expose the secrets of the most entertaining and mysterious birds in the global espionage game: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. The flightless birds must join forces with the chic spy organization, the North Wind, led by Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, »
DreamWorks Animation has released a new The Penguins of Madagascar clip that takes us through the beginning of the movie. Directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted) and Simon J. Smith (Bee Movie), the film finds the scene-stealing penguins leading a film of their own as they’re joined by a wolf named Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch), who leads a covert team of protective animals. This is one of the clips they showed at Comic-Con, and like everything else I've seen from this movie, it looks surprisingly charming and funny. Hit the jump to check out the new clip from The Penguins of Madagascar. The film also features the voices of John Malkovich, Andy Richter, Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, and Peter Stormare. The Penguins of Madagascar opens in 3D on November 26th. Click over to Apple to see the trailer in HD. »
- Matt Goldberg
Rico, Skipper, Kowalski and Private are headed back to the big-screen in their own feature, The Penguins of Madagascar, and a newly released second trailer reveals more about their hilarious double life. The DreamWorks spinoff of Madagascar from Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith features a voice cast led by Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong and Peter Stormare. The second trailer goes back to their beginnings as four brothers in the cold, and how they've moved up as secret agents to then take on their big-screen villain, Dr. Octavius Brine (Malkovich). Watch the trailer above to see
- Ashley Lee
As someone who hasn't really enjoyed the Madagascar films much, after seeing some footage from the DreamWorks Animation spin-off at Comic-Con a couple weeks ago, the Penguins of Madagascar doesn't actually look half bad. Now a new trailer shows off more of the action adventure that sees the titular Arctic birds leading a double life as spies, now forced to team up with a sect of agents known as North Wind (led by a wolf voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). We also get some glimpses of John Malkovich as the octopus villain Dr. Octavius Brine. I might actually be looking forward to this one in the fall. Watch below! Here's the new trailer for DreamWorks Animation's Penguins of Madagascar from Apple: You can also watch the first teaser trailer for Penguins of Madagascar right here. The Penguins of Madagascar is directed by Eric Darnell (Madagascar franchise) and Simon J. Smith »
- Ethan Anderton
Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private are back in DreamWorks Animation's Madagascar spin-off Penguins of Madagascar. Watch the all-new trailer, as this covert team reassembles to go on a new mission to stop the evil Dr. Octavius Brine! In theaters this Thanksgiving, Penguins of Madagascar boasts a stellar voice cast that includes Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Nicole Sullivan, Cedric the Entertainer, Andy Richter and may even include a surprise or two with returning Madagascar characters played by Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith and Chris Rock! Get ready for the Penguins' biggest adventure yet, as they hit theatres everywhere on November 26th, 2014...
Super spy teams aren't born...they're hatched. Discover the secrets of the greatest and most hilarious covert birds in the global espionage biz: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. These elitists of the elite are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome »
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