TCA Tour, Jan. 2009: “The Penguins of Madagascar”

Although I have a wonderful daughter, I would not begin to claim that she’s quite ready to embark on a regular schedule of seeing movies in the theater. She’s getting there, having successfully sat through both “The Simpsons Movie” and “Kung Fu Panda,” but she really burned me when we had to get up 15 minutes into “Horton Hears a Who” (she was big on Horton, but not so much on the Whos), and, unfortunately for her, it’s the latter experience that I tend remember when it comes to considering taking her out for an afternoon at the picture show. As a result, I’m not really up on my “Madagascar” mythos…well, except to know that David Medsker disliked the second movie so much that he gave his screener DVD to to my daughter just to get it the hell out of his house. But what can I tell you? The kid and I watched it, and maybe it’s just because I hadn’t seen the first one and had nothing with which to compare it, but I kind of enjoyed it.

I’m guessing, therefore, that I will also probably enjoy the new Nickelodeon spin-off series, “The Penguins of Madagascar,” since it seems to maintain the same general kind of humor as the films.

Jeffrey Katzenberg was proud enough of the series to turn up and introduce it personally, though he quickly made it clear that his only interest was to praise the show and the franchise which spawned it, because when he was asked if the show was perhaps a sign that TV and the movie industry were becoming more closely intertwined, he merely blinked and began, “So the reason why I’m so excited about ‘The Penguins’ TV series…”

Katzenberg quickly laughed, but his eventual answer wasn’t terribly illuminating. “‘Madagascar 2’ was the Number 1 film released in the last quarter of 2008,” he said. “It’s done outstanding business here and around the rest of the world, and I think we’re just excited about being able to broaden the franchise and move these beloved characters, these core characters of the penguins, onto Nickelodeon. I don’t think it changes our distribution opportunity.”

Boring, Jeffrey, boring.

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