Voices: Benedict Cumberbatch, John Malkovich, Chris Miller, Tom McGrath
Directors: Simon Smith and Eric Darnell Running time: 92 mins
Verdict: Fast-paced, good fun
If you thought the lovable penguins were out of control in 2012's zany third instalment of the Madagascar franchise, Europe's Most Wanted, then think again. Given their own film, the penguins prove there's still life in this series by taking things to a whole new level of crazy.
When it comes to selling us an over-the-top, ridiculous yarn, directors Simon Smith and Eric Darnell, who worked on the previous Madagascar films, are pros - even if they borrow from nature documentaries and spy and action genres. The film begins amusingly with documentary film-maker Werner Herzog narrating how Rico, Kowalski and Skipper ended up in a New York zoo after saving Private, the youngest member of the quartet.
The rest of the film sees the four battle vengeful octopus Dr Octavius Brine (Malkovich), who is determined to rid the world of adorable penguins. Benedict Cumberbatch also joins the fun as Classified, the wolf leader of an elite task force. Add a seal, an owl and polar bear and it's getting pretty crowded but this is still very much the penguins' story, one which has fun playing on their cuteness.
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But when it comes to this squad, it's their impulsiveness and their overconfidence in their abilities that keeps things interesting - whether it's free-falling or dancing in lederhosen.
Just when you think it couldn't get any sillier, the ending does, but sensibly Darnell and Smith know there's a limit to how long this can last and wrap things up in 90 minutes.
Not a bad way to kill a few hours these holidays.