4 Things That Work Well in the Penguins of Madagascar Movie

Blame it on the Holiday Season, but I decided to write about something different – a movie we watched in the last few days.

One of the most eagerly awaited animated movies of this year for us was unarguably Penguins of Madagascar! From being just supporting cast members in the Madagascar series, the adorable penguins – Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private – have been upgraded to playing the protagonists in this latest offering by DreamWorks. Their cuteness and cuddliness was evident in the trailers and the teasers had set the stage for a perfect Christmas! When we finally headed to the movie hall, kids in tow, to watch the Penguins on the big screen, it was easy to see that the kids had a lot of expectations, and fortunately, we weren’t let down. Needless to say, my kids loved the movie and so did we. Here are 4 reasons why I think everybody must watch it!


Image Credit: http://www.jumpstart.com/penguins-of-madagascar/mobile-apps/dibble-dash

The Penguins

Never before have penguins looked so swashbuckling as in Penguins of Madagascar. The movie starts with little Skipper, Kowalski, and Rico who take it upon themselves to look after the little bird that hatched from a stray egg, and name it Private. With this simple act, the flightless birds steal our hearts immediately, gearing us up for all the unconventional choices and thrilling adventures they have in store for us. With their characteristic charisma, they team up with the elite spy agency – the North Wind – and outwit Dr. Octavius Brine, an octopus in the guise of a man, who is out to turn lovable penguins the world over into ugly monsters. Their antics and never-say-die attitude is a definite show stealer!

The North Wind

Not even the world’s greatest spy, James Bond, is as arrogant and elite as the North Wind! Comprising a pretty little female owl named Eva, a witty harp seal named Short Fuse, a mammoth white polar bear named Corporal, and led by a wolf named Agent Classified (because, you see, his name is classified), the North Wind’s objective is to “help the animals that can’t help themselves”. Their state-of-the-art gadgets and machines would put any contemporary sci-fi thriller to shame. Don’t forget to check out their simulation device which projects 3D images with the snap of two fingers!

Octavius Brine/Dave

The beauty of the Penguins of Madagascar movie is that there is a human element and emotion even in the evil Dr Octavius Brine. The audience feels his pain when when he reveals the reason behind his actions – The octopus was kept in a zoo where he used to be the center of attraction for a long time. Kids and adults would throng the park only to have a look at its celebrity octopus who would keep the visitors mesmerized with its clever tricks. His monopoly was soon toppled when the park had new entertainers – the Penguins! There on started Dave’s downfall. He was soon moved to a corner in the park that didn’t witness much footfall, and then eventually he was removed from the park to another place. That day onwards he ate and lived to only avenge his downfall!

There are comic elements added to his nature as well, making the moments he is on screen as entertaining as when the penguins are on.

The Messaging – Looks are deceptive, and everybody is capable of big things

There’s a strong message that my little ones came home with, after watching the movie – looks are deceptive. It’s little Private (the youngest penguin) whose wit and presence of minds save the penguins all over the world and lend the movie a befitting climax. The small and puny Private plays a plot-turning role in the Penguins of Madagascar movie and makes us fall in love with him!

With the kids liking it a lot, I guess we’ll watching it again sometime soon!


Play is important for Kids

You would think everyone would know this, but parents sometimes do not comprehend the importance of play. They get caught up in keeping jobs and schedules, completely overlooking the fact that their kids need to play outdoors when the weather permits or indoors.

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According to the American Association of Pediatrics, the media diet for kids must be designed and monitored with care by the parents. Kids spend an enormous amount of time in front of screens – TV, computers and other devices. Parents feel they are safer when inside a house and playing a game rather than actually going outside and playing. With busy lifestyles parents also find it difficult to take their kids out to play and monitor them.

It was not so just a few decades ago, when kids had to be pestered to get home. In fact the inventiveness of kids at designing toys comes through in books and movies like ‘To Kill a Mockingbird’ where the kids from the Great Depression era do just that. This improves imagination and lets kids do a lot of free thinking.

In fact kids under two years need to spend more time with people than screens for the development of their brains. The physical aspect of play is also very important. Exercise is great for kids to build stamina and strength. Hunger is built naturally and fussiness over food is reduced.

In fact in many of the online games, heroes have gone from the colosseum into a mobile game! The interest in such spectator games has not reduced, just changed. Sport is wonderful for spectators, but it cannot be compared to actual play. The thrill of participation is something else.

One aspect of play, which is rarely spoken off is what kids learn from games. They learn balance – the healthy attitude of you lose some, and you win some. Play teaches kids in a demonstrable fashion about how practice can improve skill. Kids learn to take defeat well – they move on instead of letting loss bring them down. Sportsmanship is a skill that helps on and off the field.