Penguins of Madagascar

click to enlarge Penguins of Madagascar
Penguins of Madagascar

Animated spin-offs of fairly funny franchises tend to send up warning flares. With the focus on secondary characters that may have stolen attention in a few carefully scripted moments, does that guarantee that they can hold center stage on their own? The non-flyers of the DreamWorks zoo appear ready, willing and able to seize the full-on bright spotlights in their thrilling send-up of classic spy spoofs. And they most certainly are not alone, with vocal talent assistance from the likes of John Malkovich, Ken Jeong, Peter Stormare, Werner Herzog and, of course, Benedict Cumberbatch (the man of the hour, and likely everyone’s real pick for Sexiest Man of the Year — all apologies to the thundering Chris Hemsworth, but Cumberbatch is sexy without even being seen, right?). Penguins of Madagascar might not fly away with a win at the box office, but it will steal hearts and thunder from the bigger birds on display this Thanksgiving. (Opens wide Wednesday) (PG) Not reviewed

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