Netflix caused a stir about a month ago when they removed 2018’s The Grinch just a few weeks before Christmas. Now, maybe to make up for that cruel swipe, the streaming giant has added another animated effort starring Benedict Cumberbatch instead.
Namely, Penguins of Madagascar: The Movie, a spinoff of the hit DreamWorks franchise that you might’ve forgotten existed, let alone that it appears on the Doctor Strange actor’s filmography. The pic was added to the platform’s library on Friday, January 15th.
A spinoff of both the Madagascar movies and the TV series of the same name, 2014’s Penguins of Madagascar follows the ever-resourceful flightless birds – Skipper, Kowalski, Private and Rico – as they set off on a globetrotting adventure to foil the schemes of evil octopus Dave (John Malkovich). Cumberbatch co-stars as Classified, a wolf secret agent who works for an interspecies intelligence agency known as North Wind along with Ken Jeong’s seal Short Fuse and Peter Stormare’s polar bear Corporal.
Penguins unfortunately didn’t make as much money as the other Madagascar flicks, sitting as the lowest-grossing by some distance, even though it still earned a respectable $373 million worldwide. DreamWorks must’ve been disappointed with its performance, though, as another of their 2014 releases – Mr. Peabody and Sherman – also underperformed at the box office.
On the brighter side, it was critically well received, sporting a neat 73% on Rotten Tomatoes. “Penguins of Madagascar is fast and brightly colored enough to entertain small children, but too frantically silly to offer real filmgoing fun for the whole family,” reads the site’s Critics Consensus.
The spinoff isn’t as fondly recalled as the core Madagascar trilogy, but maybe now folks will rediscover it through Netflix. Especially if they’re looking for more Benedict Cumberbatch content to watch. And good news, fans, he’s not doing his American accent in this one!