Kernel Rating (out of 5):
MPAA Rating: PG Length: 92 minutes
Age Appropriate For: 6+. The film uses characters from the “Madagascar” animated films and the “Penguins of Madagascar” television show, so the tone for this movie is consistent with those other works. There is an action/spy vibe here that includes some chase scenes, explosions, and kidnappings; some insignificant violence like pushing and shoving; a scheme that involves turning penguins into scary monsters; and some crude and bathroom-humor jokes.
Dreamworks Animation gives its spinoff characters, the Penguins of Madagascar, their own film with a variety of spy-movie hi-jinks. The film has some zany charm, but its barely there plot and barrage of one-liners are an exhausting combination.
By Roxana Hadadi
Sometimes it’s easy to tell which animated characters will connect with audiences. Who could resist Olaf and his desire for warm hugs in “Frozen”? Or the willfulness of heroine Maria in “The Book of Life”? Or the adorable grossness of the titular “The Boxtrolls”? But all of those characters felt somewhat genuine, like they were actually layered creations with interests and motivations and personality. The protagonists of “Penguins of Madagascar” aren’t that complex, even though they have a television show to their name and now their own full-length animated film. Their superficiality is reflected in the overall film, which is occasionally funny amidst feeling wholly unnecessary.