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Chicago – The only thing rarer than a spinoff that soars over its inspiration is a Dreamworks Animation production without “Dragon” in the title, and that’s actually worth watching. And 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
A spin-off of the popular “Afro Circus”-singing franchise sees sidekicks Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico upgraded to leading bird status in their brand new adventure that sees them coming nose-to-nose- or beak-to-tentacle, as it were - with a dastardly octopus named Dave (John Malkovich) who’s bent on destroying the world. But they’re not in this mission alone: the super-secret spy agency The North Wind has lent Agent Classified (Cumberbatch) to the cause.
The Penguins’ vocal cast includes all four of the original voice actors to provide their signature sounds while the film mixes in characters voiced by the likes of Peter Stormare, Andy Richter, and Ken Jeong. Tom McGrath, the voice of Skipper, is one of the writers and original creators of the Madagascar series. »
- Rachel West
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
To celebrate the release of Dreamworks Animation’s Penguins Of Madagascar, on 5th December, we’ve got 3 awesome goody bags to giveaway!
The Penguins of Madagascar are back in their very own feature film! Featuring the enterprising Penguins from DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar franchise, this 3D comedy adventure stars Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private in their very own spy thriller. It also stars the voice talents of Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Chris Knights, Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Annett Mahendru, and Peter Stormare!
Each bag contains an Activity Set, a Holographic Sticker, Lenticular Cards, a Drawstring Bag, Projector Watch, Character Earphones and a Kid’s T-Shirt – Perfect to celebrate the movie! Check out the trailer:
To grab yourself the chance of winning a bag, just tell us what original film these cheeky Penguins first appeared in!
Send your answer, with your name and address, to our box below with »
- Dan Bullock
Talking-animal spy comedy Penguins of Madagascar, a spin-off of talking-animal prison-break comedy Madagascar and its sequels, plays like a sampler of Dreamworks Animation's worst creative impulses: sugar-rush pacing, pandering meta-gags, and a slick, flavorless animation style. These pervasive shortcomings make it impossible to enjoy this desperate-to-please film's two most distinctive assets: voice actors John Malkovich's and Benedict Cumberbatch's comically unhinged performances as the film's wet-blanket antagonists. Malkovich's Octavius Brine, a malevolent octopus, and Cumberbatch's Classified, an uptight wolf-cum-superspy, serve as comic foils for the hyperactive, happy-go-lucky penguin protagonists: bossy Skipper (Tom McGrath), level-headed Kowalski (Chris M »
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
Can scene-stealers carry a movie? Or do some characters only work best in small doses? Even though they don't have big-name voice actors, the espionage-minded penguins from the Madagascar franchise have consistently been more appealing than the central characters. They almost feel like they're more for the adults in the audience and the kids can have the slapstick and fart jokes. Now Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), Rico (Conrad Vernon), and Private (Christopher Knights) have taken center stage, and their spin-off, Penguins of Madagascar, easily surpasses the first two Madagascar films (I didn't even bother with the third) through its rapid-fire wit, cuteness, and offbeat jokes that will amuse kids and adults alike. After seeing crack squad's first mission, we cut to the present and see the Penguins squaring off against Dave (John Malkovich), a mad scientist/octopus who poses as a human by day, but by night harbors »
- Matt Goldberg
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, »
With audiences growing tired of “Spider-Man” or “Transformers” sequels, Hollywood now has a solution — go back to the ’90s.
“Dumb and Dumber To,” which opened to atrocious reviews 20 years after the original, still scored an impressive $36 million at the box office last weekend. (Read all the reasons why it worked from my colleague Brent Lang.) It shouldn’t have come as a surprise: the ’90s are hot again. This week, Twitter went nuts over a “Dawson’s Creek” reunion photo of James Van Der Beek and Joshua Jackson, while Focus Features announced “Can’t Touch This” (borrowing from the Mc Hammer song), a ’90s-set high school dance-a-thon directed by Jon M. Chu. If Robin Williams had lived to star in “Mrs. Doubtfire 2,” it would no doubt have been a hit too.
As executives inevitably start to dig through the recycling bin of old titles that never got a second chapter, »
- Ramin Setoodeh
Update, Tuesday, 4:02 Am Pt: A couple of things have happened in the world of international box office since late Sunday night. We now know that The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part I will not be bowing in China in the 2014 calendar year, and we have a little more insight into why Korea is like the proverbial black hole for Interstellar (in the good sense). Exerting an incredible gravitational pull, Korea has advanced itself as a massive $35.9M play (so far) for Christopher Nolan’s intergalactic epic. Here’s why: There is a very strong and vocal Nolan fanbase in Korea, which has generated astronomical word of mouth in the market. I’m told there were a few midnight screenings the night before the opening on November 6, and online buzz began building immediately. The not-so-spacey elements have also played very well, with the emotional and family sub-plots broadening appeal. Worth »
- Nancy Tartaglione
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
Christopher Nolan's Interstellar had another fantastic weekend at the international box office. Playing in 63 markets, the movie added $107.9 million for an early total of $225.8 million.In China, Interstellar earned $41.7 million over its first five days. That's the second-biggest debut ever for Warner Bros. behind Pacific Rim (which received a boost from 3D pricing). The movie is now virtually guaranteed to earn over $100 million in this market.Interstellar's holdover markets dropped just 21 percent on average, which is a great hold for this kind of release. In South Korea, it was up 11 percent to $15.8 million, which brings its total to a stunning $35.9 million. Within a week, it will be the highest-grossing live-action import since Iron Man 3.The movie also held on to first place in the U.K. ($6 million), Russia ($5.5 million), France ($3.9 million), Germany ($3.8 million), Australia ($3.25 million), Italy ($3.1 million) and Spain ($2 million).So far, Interstellar is tracking 14 percent ahead »
- Ray Subers <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Penguins Of Madagascar are coming to theaters this Thanksgiving!
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 elitest of the elites are joining forces with a chic undercover organization, The North Wind. Led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his real name, but then…you know), voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch. Together, they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine, voiced by John Malkovich, from destroying the world as we know it.
The breakout stars of DreamWorks Animation’s hit “Madagascar” movies get their own big screen comedy-adventure, in which the stakes couldn’t be higher for the Penguins. Their globetrotting adventures take them to Antarctica, Venice, the desert, Shanghai, New York City and … Kentucky), during which they experience glory, engage in espionage, foil »
- Movie Geeks
Arriving in cinemas for the Christmas period on the 5th December is the animated spin-off The Penguins Of Madagascar from Twentieth Century Fox. Featuring a number of characters from the hit Madagascar franchise, The Penguins Of Madagascar is bound to enjoy similar success to it predecessors. To celebrate the upcoming release of the film, and to whet your appetite somewhat, we have an exclusive new clip titled ‘Giant Laser,’ for your viewing pleasure.
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 organisation, The North Wind, led by handsome and husky Agent Classified (we could tell you his name, but then…you know). Together they must stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.
The film boasts the vocal talents of Benedict Cumberbatch, »
- Paul Heath
We all know that the best part of the Madagascar films is King Julien, and now he is finally getting the chance to take center stage as his own series hits on Netflix. All Hail King Julien, which apparently takes place before the events of the films, is just centered on life in King Julien’s court, and the wild antics that must take place there.
This one is going to kick off with the first five episodes, with more on the way, and it is going to be a lot of fun.
The Wildest Party Ever Hits the Jungle When the Netflix Original Series
All Hail King Julien Debuts Dec. 19
Head Back to Madagascar for a Non-Stop Party as Julien Takes the Throne, »
- Marc Eastman
CW has big plans for the Thanksgiving holiday week later on this month. The network released their holiday line up regarding what shows they will air between November 24th-28th. The network is preparing some of their big holiday episodes, as well as special one off offerings to boost their viewership right at the end in time for sweeps calculations. Here is the list they recent of published for the special week.
Monday, November 24
“The Brothers That Care Forgot” — (8:00-9:00 p.m. Et) (Content Rating Tbd) (HDTV)
Guest Star Claire Holt Returns As Rebekah Mikaelson — Rebekah (guest star Claire Holt), who has spent months away living a normal life with baby Hope, finds herself on the run when she realizes Esther (guest star Sonja Sohn) has uncovered her whereabouts. Convinced that Vincent (guest star Yusuf Gatewood) and Kaleb (guest star Daniel Sharman) would be powerful allies »
- Sarah Peel
Discover the secrets of the most entertaining and 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 villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from taking over the world.
See Also: New character posters for Penguins of Madagascar
Penguins of Madagascar is set for release on November 26th in the States and on December 5th in the UK.
The post Penguins of Madagascar »
- Gary Collinson
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