What parents need to know
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.
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.
Families can talk 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?