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The Penguins of Madagascar

TV review by
Kari Croop, Common Sense Media
The Penguins of Madagascar TV Poster Image
Scene-stealing schemers get their own gig; fun for kids.
Parents recommendPopular with kids

Parents say

age 6+
Based on 20 reviews

Kids say

age 6+
Based on 58 reviews

A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Educational Value

The show is designed to entertain rather than educate -- the penguins' hare-brained schemes shouldn't be taken as problem-solving tips for kids.

Positive Messages

Even "bad" characters usually learn lessons -- like that it's wrong to always try to be right.

Positive Role Models & Representations

The penguins use their smarts and teamwork to solve problems. Animal characters occasionally engage in rude behavior, like burping without saying "excuse me."

Violence & Scariness

Animals get injured in various ways -- by pushing, falling, slapping, getting crushed by rocks, etc. But it's all played for laughs, and no one is ever seriously hurt.

Sexy Stuff

Cheeky words like "booty" are as bad as it gets.


Part of the Madagascar line of products.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

The penguins are often shown sipping tropical concoctions -- but they're non-alcoholic smoothies.

What parents need to know

Parents need to know that kids who haven't already seen the Madagascar movies -- where the scene-stealing penguins got their start -- may or may not be interested in the shenanigans presented here, because the series doesn't offer any backstory (exactly who these penguins and their other friends are is never explained). There's also a bit of iffy behavior like cartoon violence and burping that parents wouldn't want their kids emulating on a good day. But on the whole, this is harmless entertainment.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byTimTheTVGuy October 12, 2012

It rocks!

The Penguins of Madagascar is one of my all time favorite nicktoons ever! It has some pretty cool characters,and a great storyline! I hope it lasts a long time!... Continue reading
Parent of a 4 and 6 year old Written bymikenlei March 8, 2011

Fine for older elementary, but not really the little guys.

My kids love it. I do find my 6 year old trying to repeat some of their kung-fu style moves but that's about it. On the up side, my boys like to replicat... Continue reading
Kid, 12 years old September 27, 2010

Best show ever!

This is a really good show! This is actually(in my opinion) the show that makes Nick so awesome. The other shows just aren’t as good as they used to be like Spo... Continue reading
Teen, 14 years old Written byAlexes7892 August 20, 2013


This show is not one of Nick's finer shows. It does have some-sort of an educational value but the characters are super annoying and some of them seem like... Continue reading

What's the story?

Set in the wake of the action that played out in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, this animated spin-off sets four of the film's secondary characters -- resourceful penguins Skipper (voiced by Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Jeff Bennett), Private (James Patrick Stuart), and Rico (John DiMaggio) -- firmly in the spotlight. While their other friends are living it up in darkest Africa, the flightless foursome have staked their claim in the Central Park Zoo. But now they're competing for supremacy against an old royal pain of a rival: pompous lemur "king" Julien (Danny Jacobs).

Is it any good?

Bottom line? Thanks to random plot lines and less-intricate animation, this Nickelodeon series isn't quite as good as the movies that inspired it. But if you love the Madagascar characters, you'll be thoroughly entertained.

Kids, especially, are bound to giggle when the penguins spring into action with the show-stealing Mission: Impossible antics that made them famous.

Talk to your kids about ...

  • Families can talk about the cartoon critters featured in the series. Why do you think they were chosen to get their own show? How does this series compare to the Madagascar movies?

  • How is a real-life penguin different from the animated version? How do lemurs really live in the wild?

  • How do animals' lives change when they're raised in captivity? Are zoos good or bad for animals' well-being?

TV details

Themes & Topics

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