The Penguins of Madagascar is a Nickelodeon cartoon series based off of characters from the hit movies, Madagascar. The show officially began to air as a series March 28, 2009. On February 10, 2010, Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Home Entertainment released a straight to DVD compilation of several episodes including the new episode “Revenge of Dr. Blowhole” featuring Neil Patrick Harris.
The show follows the four spy-like penguins known as Skipper (the leader), Kowalski (intelligence), Rico (weapons/demolition), and Private (the trainee). Although the original movies (Madagascar 1 and 2) were both highly hilarious, watching a series of the Penguins, King Julian, and various other zoo critters gets highly annoying after a short period of time.
The plots heavily relies sarcastic slapstick humor. This is not uncommon considering most children’s cartoons as of late use this as a method of comedy rather than full on plotlines and so on. The show follows the silly penguin spies doing various missions in their Central Park Zoo home whether it be to protect the zoo or themselves. On occasion, they'll even stop and help random zoo visitors out (for example in Season 1, Episode 31 when they helped a little girl retrieve her toy doll). The actions of the penguins are funny, don't get me wrong, but it gets old very quickly. It is a very fast paced and perhaps overly stimulating show for younger children (similar to Spongebob if you read my previous article).
Ironically, this show is one of the higher ranking shows on Nickelodeon, presumably riding on the fame of the Madagascar movies as well as the penguin craze that has been circulating the past 3 years or so. Although it has a high ranking as far as the stats go, the show itself probably won’t last a long time.
As far as the animation is concerned, it is about as much as you would expect from a computer animated cartoon series. Because episodes have to get out quickly, animators are unable to put the full time and effort into computer-animated series as they would a computer animated movie. Therefore, the textures are flatter and the characters not as smooth as the actual movies. However, it is not as bad as some other computer-animated cartoons out there.
The reason that this show is harder to watch (for older audiences anyway) is most likely due to the fact that it’s overexposure of goofiness. It can happen. The Madagascar movies had plots that invoked more emotion, for example, when in the second movie Alex the Lion and Marty the Zebra had some emotional battles having to do with their friendship. This series doesn’t feature as much emotion and therefore is over stimulating as far as fast paced overly excitable cartoons can be.
In conclusion, kids seem to love this show. Probably due to the funny talking animals or the fact that the high paced, high-energy comedy is never-ending. Adults might find it another show that causes you to get a headache after a while. This writer suggests that if your kids insist upon watching it, have them do it in the other room.