Coram Deo ~

Looking at contemporary culture from a Christian worldview

Penguins of Madagascar

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Penguins of MadagascarPenguins of Madagascar, rated PG
*** ½

I’ve always felt that the best part of the three Madagascar films were the penguins, so I was really looking forward to seeing this film – and I was not disappointed. The writing was sharp and the humor came fast from start to finish. Sometimes it came so quickly it was easy to miss, and much will go over the heads of younger viewers.
The film starts with Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Chris Miller), and Rico (Conrad Vernon), as young penguins marching along with the rest of their colony in Antarctica (being filmed for a documentary, as a humorous reference to the popular 2005 film March of the Penguins narrated by Morgan Freeman). As a penguin egg rolls by and the adults let it go, in a very pro-life statement Skipper takes off after it, not willing to let the baby penguin die as the adults were content to do. Instead, the baby penguin, who comes out humorously with an Australian accent, and is named Private (voiced by Christopher Knights), becomes part of the team. That begins a series of funny adventures for the four friends in locations all around the world, with references to the previous Madagascar films thrown in as their story is told.
In the course of their adventures, they run into someone they had met previously in zoos they had been in – Dave the Octopus (voiced by John Malkovich who attended Illinois State University). Dave also transforms himself into the evil Dr. Brine, and he isn’t happy with our friends, or penguins in general. I won’t share any more of those details with you here or I’ll spoil it for you.
We also meet a high-tech spy team, called the North Wind led by the wolf Classified (voiced by Benedict Cumberbatch). The North Wind are searching for Dr. Brine and help out our friends along the way.
The film does include a few nods to homosexuality – an extra-long kiss and some bottom-slapping. I found it sad that something like that had to be included in a film made primarily for children. On the other hand, in addition to the pro-life message, there are also good messages about self-sacrifice for your friends and a deep caring for friends.
Overall I really enjoyed this film. It was fast moving and very funny.

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Author: Bill Pence

I’m Bill Pence. I’m married to my best friend. I’m a St. Louis Cardinals fan, a manager at a Fortune 100 company, a graduate of Covenant Theological Seminary, and in leadership at my local church. I am a life-long learner and have a passion to help people determine their callings, develop to their fullest potential and to utilize their strengths more fully. My favorite book is the Bible, and some other favorite books are Don’t Waste Your Life by John Piper, The Holiness of God by R.C. Sproul and Crazy Love by Francis Chan.

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