The Penguins of Madagascar

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The Penguins of Madagascar
The Penguins of Madagascar logo.png
Titlecard image used since late 2009.
GenreAnimated comedy action adventure sci-fi
Created byCharacters:
Tom McGrath
Eric Darnell
Directed byBret Haaland
Nick Filippi
StarringTom McGrath
Jeff Bennett
James Patrick Stuart
John DiMaggio
Danny Jacobs
Kevin Michael Richardson
Andy Richter
Nicole Sullivan
Conrad Vernon
Mary Scheer
Tara Strong[1]
Composer(s)Adam Berry
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes138 (aired), 11 (unaired)
(List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Mark McCorkle
Bob Schooley[2]
Running timeApprox. 11 minutes (11-minute episodes; 7 specials)
Production company(s)DreamWorks Animation
Nickelodeon Productions
DistributorDreamWorks Television
Broadcast
Original channelNickelodeon
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
First shown inUnited States
Original runNovember 29, 2008 (2008-11-29) – present
Chronology
Preceded byMadagascar (2005)
The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005)
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
Followed byMerry Madagascar (2009)
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
External links
Website
 
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The Penguins of Madagascar
The Penguins of Madagascar logo.png
Titlecard image used since late 2009.
GenreAnimated comedy action adventure sci-fi
Created byCharacters:
Tom McGrath
Eric Darnell
Directed byBret Haaland
Nick Filippi
StarringTom McGrath
Jeff Bennett
James Patrick Stuart
John DiMaggio
Danny Jacobs
Kevin Michael Richardson
Andy Richter
Nicole Sullivan
Conrad Vernon
Mary Scheer
Tara Strong[1]
Composer(s)Adam Berry
Country of originUnited States
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes138 (aired), 11 (unaired)
(List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Mark McCorkle
Bob Schooley[2]
Running timeApprox. 11 minutes (11-minute episodes; 7 specials)
Production company(s)DreamWorks Animation
Nickelodeon Productions
DistributorDreamWorks Television
Broadcast
Original channelNickelodeon
Picture format480i (SDTV)
1080i (HDTV)
First shown inUnited States
Original runNovember 29, 2008 (2008-11-29) – present
Chronology
Preceded byMadagascar (2005)
The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005)
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008)
Followed byMerry Madagascar (2009)
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012)
External links
Website

The Penguins of Madagascar is an American CGI animated television series airing on Nickelodeon. It stars nine characters from the DreamWorks Animation animated film Madagascar: The penguins Skipper (Tom McGrath), Kowalski (Jeff Bennett), Private (James Patrick Stuart), and Rico (John DiMaggio); the lemurs King Julien (Danny Jacobs), Maurice (Kevin Michael Richardson), and Mort (Andy Richter); and Mason (Conrad Vernon) and Phil the chimpanzees. Characters new to the series include Marlene the otter (Nicole Sullivan) and a zookeeper named Alice (Mary Scheer). It is the first Nicktoon produced with DreamWorks Animation.

A pilot episode, "Gone in a Flash", aired as part of "Superstuffed Nicktoons Weekend" on November 29, 2008, and The Penguins of Madagascar became a regular series on March 28, 2009. The series premiere drew 6.1 million viewers, setting a new record as the most-watched premiere.[3][4]

Although the series occasionally alludes to the rest of the franchise, The Penguins of Madagascar does not take place at a precise time within it.[5] McGrath, who is also the co-creator of the film characters, has said that the series takes place "not specifically before or after the movie, I just wanted them all back at the zoo. I think of it as taking place in a parallel universe."[5]

The show finished 2010 as the number two animated program on television among kids age 2–11 and in basic cable total viewers.[6]

Contents

Plot

The Penguins of Madagascar is a spin-off of the Madagascar films. The series follows the adventures of the four penguin protagonists: Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private, who perform various paramilitary-like missions to protect their home in the Central Park Zoo. The penguins often have to deal with problems caused, or made worse, by King Julien XIII (a ring-tailed lemur), Maurice (an aye-aye), and Mort (a mouse lemur).

Characters

The Penguins of Madagascar features the four penguin characters from the Madagascar franchise, as well as the two chimpanzees and the three lemurs. Characters new to the franchise include Marlene the otter and Alice the zookeeper, among others.

All four of the penguin characters are designed differently in the cartoon than they are in the movie to make them more unique and easier to tell apart. Skipper's head is flatter in the series, Kowalski is taller, Private is shorter and rounder, and Rico has an unexplained scar over his mouth, a double chin, and a feathery Mohawk. Their personalities and abilities were also exaggerated. The texture of the characters was also changed to be better suited for television work.[5]

Main characters

Secondary characters

Episodes

SeasonEpisodesOriginally aired (U.S. dates)
Season premiereSeason finale
148November 29, 2008 (2008-11-29)[8]February 15, 2010 (2010-02-15)
268March 13, 2010 (2010-03-13)March 31, 2012 (2012-03-31)
322April 16, 2012 (2012-04-16)[9]N/A
Unaired11N/A

In addition to episodes that have aired, a number of other episodes have been produced. Some of these were scheduled for broadcast but never aired, while others are yet to be placed on Nickelodeon's U.S. schedule. In the past, some episodes were first released on DVD before being aired on TV. The first such episode was "Popcorn Panic", which was originally released on DVD but eventually aired on May 9, 2009.

According to the executive producer, Bob Schooley, the unaired episodes of Penguins should air in October and November 2012.[10]

Production

In mid 2006, Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation announced that they would collaborate to create a Nicktoon based on the Madagascar films. The new series would star the penguins from the film series. Nothing was confirmed on what the series would be about until November 2007.

At first, in November 2007, Nickelodeon advertised a sneak peek of three new Nicktoons coming to Nickelodeon, The Mighty B!, Making Fiends, and The Penguins of Madagascar all on November 25, 2007, as part of Superstuffed Nicktoons Weekend. Then, in December 2007, Nickelodeon advertised many events that were going to premiere in 2008 (The Mighty B!, Fairly OddBaby, The Penguins of Madagascar, KCA 2008, Sidekicks, and "Pest of the West").[11] Since then, The Penguins of Madagascar was delayed at least twice in 2008, and saw a debut in March 2009, most likely due to Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa being delayed to November 7, 2008. On November 28, 2008, Nickelodeon aired an episode from the series as a sneak peek. The Double DVD Pack of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa includes an early preview of the show.

Casting

Some of the voice actors who voiced the characters in the films were unable to reprise their roles for the series. Chris Miller, who had voiced Kowalski, was replaced by Jeff Bennett, while Christopher Knights was replaced by James Patrick Stuart for the voice of Private. Danny Jacobs took over from Sacha Baron Cohen as the voice of King Julien, and Cedric the Entertainer's character, Maurice, is now voiced by Kevin Michael Richardson. Tom McGrath, John DiMaggio and Andy Richter reprised their roles of Skipper, Rico and Mort for the TV series, respectively. Other characters are voiced by the same actors who had voiced them in the films, while some characters, like Marlene and Alice the zookeeper, are new characters created especially for the series.

Nickelodeon debut

After some delays of the series to air, The Penguins of Madagascar debuted on Nickelodeon in 2009. The series is produced at the Nickelodeon Animation Studio in Burbank, California, with animation carried out in India,[5] New Zealand and Taiwan. Both Nickelodeon and DreamWorks Animation were planning on a 26 episode season.[2] The Penguins of Madagascar aired after the 2009 Kids' Choice Awards on March 28, 2009 at 9:30 p.m. ET/PT.[12]

International release

Country / regionSeries premiereNetworkEpisodes aired during premiereSource(s)
 AustraliaApril 18, 2009Nickelodeon (Australia)[13]
 BrazilJune 4, 2009Nickelodeon (Brazil)[14]
April 5, 2010Rede Globo
 BulgariaMarch 6, 2009Nova TV[15]
 CanadaSeptember 12, 2009YTV / Nickelodeon Canada[16]
 FinlandSub Juniori / MTV3 / Nickelodeon (Finland)[17]
 FranceOctober 26, 2009TF1[18]
September 1, 2010Nickelodeon (France)[19]
 GermanySeptember 12, 2009Nickelodeon (Germany)[20]
 GreeceSeptember 3, 2010Nickelodeon (Greece)| Popcorn Panic, Gone in a Flash[21]
 HungaryFebruary, 2010Nickelodeon (Hungary)[22]
Comedy Central[23]
 IndonesiaMay 15, 2010Nickelodeon Indonesia[24]
 IrelandApril 12, 2009Nickelodeon Ireland / RTÉ Two[25]
 IsraelFebruary 28, 2010Nickelodeon Israel[26]
 ItalyDecember 2, 2009Nickelodeon (Italy) / Italia 1[27]
 JapanApril 4, 2010NHK Educational TV / Nickelodeon (Japan)[28]
 KazakhstanApril 12, 2011NTK[29]
Latin AmericaJune 5, 2009 ("sneak peek")Nickelodeon (Latin America)Popcorn Panic/Gone in a Flash[30]
August 10, 2009 (official launch)Launchtime, Haunted Habitat
 NetherlandsApril 12, 2009Nickelodeon (Netherlands)[31]
 New ZealandApril 18, 2009Nickelodeon (New Zealand)[32]
 PakistanOctober 3, 2011Nickelodeon (Pakistan)[33]
 PolandOctober 24, 2009Nickelodeon (Poland)[34]
February 21, 2011Comedy Central[35]
April 15, 2012TVP1[36]
 PortugalOctober 9, 2009Nickelodeon (Portugal) / SIC[37]
 RomaniaFebruary, 2010Nickelodeon (Romania)[38]
 RussiaDecember 7, 2009TNT / 2x2 / Nickelodeon Russia[39]
 SerbiaJanuary, 2010Nickelodeon (Serbia) / B92[40]
South East AsiaSeptember 10, 2009Nickelodeon (South East Asia)[41]
 South KoreaApril 10, 2009Nickelodeon (South Korea)[42]
 SpainAugust 10, 2009Nickelodeon (Spain)[43]
August 27, 2010Clan TVE[44]
December 28, 2010Canal Super3[45]
 TurkeyApril 4, 2010Nickelodeon (Turkey)[46]
February 6, 2010CNBC-e
 UkraineJanuary 1st, 2011QTV / STB / Nickelodeon (Ukraine) / Novyi Kanal[47]
 United KingdomApril 12, 2009Nickelodeon UK / CITV[48]
 United StatesNovember 29, 2008 ("sneak peek")Nickelodeon (TV channel)Gone in a Flash[8]
March 28, 2009 (official launch)Launchtime, Haunted HabitatN/A

Critical reception

The Penguins of Madagascar has been given mixed to positive critical reviews. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times gave the show a favorable review. She said that the show had strong comedic timing and action scenes, saying that it recalled both Wile E. Coyote cartoons and 1940s gangster movies.[49] Tim Goodman's review in the San Francisco Chronicle is also favorable. He said that he considered the penguins and Julien as having the most comedic potential from the movies, with his review focusing on the voice actors' comedic timing, and said that the show also contained several jokes which would make it appealing to adults.[50]

Brian Lowry of Variety described the show as "loud, exuberant and colorful" and praised its animation quality, but he did not think that it was funny and said that the show seemed more like a "merchandising bonanza".[51]

Awards and recognition

YearAssociationCategoryNomineeResult
2009Artios AwardsOutstanding Achievement in Casting – Animation TV ProgrammingSarah Noonan, Meredith LayneNominated
BAFTA[52]International children's programmingWon
Golden Reel Awards[53]Best Sound Editing: Television AnimationEpisode: "Gone in a Flash"Nominated
2010Annie Awards[54]Best Animated Television Production for ChildrenWon
Directing in a Television ProductionBret Haaland (for "Launchtime")Won
BAFTA[55]International children's programmingWon
Daytime Emmy Awards[56][57][58]Outstanding Special Class Animated ProgramBob Schooley, Mark McCorkle, Bret Haaland, Dina Buteyn, Dean Hoff
Tied with SpongeBob SquarePants
Won
Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and CompositionAdam BerryNominated
Outstanding Writing in AnimationBrandon Sawyer, Bill Motz, Bob Roth, Eddie Guzelian, Bob Schooley, Mark McCorkleNominated
Golden Reel Awards[59]Best Sound Editing: Television AnimationEpisode: "What Goes Around"Won
Kids' Choice Awards[60]Favorite CartoonNominated
2011Golden Reel Awards[61]Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in TelevisionEpisode: "The Lost Treasure of the Golden Squirrel"Won
Daytime Emmy Awards[62][63]Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and CompositionAdam BerryWon
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – Live Action and AnimationJames Lifton, Paulette Lifton, Dominick Certo, Ian Nyeste, Matt Hall, Lawrence ReyesWon
Outstanding Casting for an Animated SeriesMeredith LayneWon
Outstanding Children's Animated ProgramBob Schooley, Mark McCorkle, Bret Haaland, Chris Neuhahn, Dean Hoff, Dina ButeynWon
Outstanding Direction in an Animated ProgramNick Filippi, Christo Stamboliev, Dave Knott, Lisa SchafferNominated
Outstanding Performer in an Animated ProgramDanny Jacobs (for "King Julien")Won
Outstanding Performer in an Animated ProgramTom McGrath (for "Skipper")Nominated
Outstanding Writing in AnimationBrandon Sawyer, Bill Motz, Bob RothWon
Kids' Choice Awards[60]Favorite CartoonNominated
BMI Film/TV Awards[64]Cable MusicAdam BerryWon
2012Annie Awards[65]Best Animated Television Production – ChildrenNominated
Directing in a Television ProductionSteve Loter, Christo Stamboliev, Shaun Cashman, David KnottNominated
Music in a Television ProductionAdam Berry, Bob Schooley, Mark McCorkleNominated
Voice Acting in a Television ProductionJeff Bennett (for "Kowalski")Won
Editing in Television ProductionTed Machold, Jeff Adams, Doug Tiano, Bob TomlinWon
Golden Reel Awards[66]Best Sound Editing: Sound Effects, Foley, Dialogue and ADR Animation in TelevisionEpisode: "The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole"Won
Daytime Emmy Awards[67][68][69]Outstanding Children's Animated ProgramBret Haaland, Mark McCorkle, Bob Schooley, Nick Filippi, Chris Neuhahn, Ant Ward, Andrew HuebnerWon
Outstanding Performer in an Animated ProgramJeff Bennett (for "Kowalski")Nominated
Outstanding Directing in an Animated ProgramDavid Knott, Shaun Cashman, Christo Stamboliev, Steve Loter, Lisa SchafferWon
Outstanding Achievement in Music Direction and CompositionAdam BerryNominated
Outstanding Original Song – Children's and AnimationAdam Berry, John Behnke (for "Off the Clock")Nominated
Outstanding Original Song – Children's and AnimationAdam Berry, Brandon Sawyer (for "In the Happy Little Land of Hoboken Surprise")Won
Outstanding Writing in AnimationBill Motz, Bob Roth, Brandon SawyerNominated
Outstanding Achievement in Sound Editing – AnimationPaulette Lifton, James Lifton, Adam Berry, Dominick Certo, Michael Petak, D.J. Lynch, Matt Hall, Ian Nyeste, Aran Tanchum, Chris Gresham, Lawrence ReyesNominated
Primetime Emmy Awards[70]Outstanding Animated ProgramEpisode: "The Return of the Revenge of Dr. Blowhole"Won

Toys

DreamWorks has licensed to a number of manufacturers, including Hooga Loo Toys, who had a successful run creating a line of plush toys associated with the second Madagascar movie. Based on its success, Hooga Loo was granted a license to create an entirely new toy line for the new series. Hooga Loo recruited the creative development team, Pangea Corporation, the company who assisted Playmates Toys in the development of the phenomenally successful Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, to work systemically with DreamWorks and develop toys inspired by and for the series.[71] The toy line included a full range of unique and funny feature plush characters, as well as clever collectible figures and wacky vehicles. Fast food restaurants courted DreamWorks to glean the rights for a QSR deal, which finally materialized in late 2009. McDonald's had produced a line of toys based on the second film. This relationship forged a new deal with McDonald's.

Licensed merchandise based on the show began debuting in January 2010.[72][73] In February 2010, McDonald's began their "Mission: Play" Happy Meal toy campaign, which featured eight toys based on the penguins in the series.[74]

Video games

DVD releases

Feature film

A spin-off feature film, starring the penguins from the franchise, is slated for release on March 27, 2015.[85][86]

References

  1. ^ Tom McGrath, Jeff Glen Bennett, James Patrick Stuart, John DiMaggio, Danny Jacobs, Kevin Michael Richardson, Andy Richter, Nicole Sullivan, Mary Scheer, Tara Strong (May 9, 2009). "Popcorn Panic". The Penguins of Madagascar. episode 16. season 1. 11:26 minutes in. Nickelodeon. 
  2. ^ a b "The Penguins of Madagascar are Coming!". ComingSoon.net. Los Angeles, CA: CraveOnline. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=40112. Retrieved October 7, 2008. 
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