Film review by Poppy Chesterman aged 10 years old
On Saturday, I went with my dad to the Barbican Children’s Film Festival. Before the film, I made an animation using tracing paper, see-through plastic, coloured paper, black trees and patterns and it was really amazing. I was on the computer doing the snapshots and editing it. When we watched it back I was amazed, as we worked on it for ten minutes and it was a five second animation. This made me think how dedicated people must be to work as animators.
After the film I was very keen to try another workshop. This one was animation drawing, where I was given five minutes to make a drawing. Above me was a camera, which filmed what I was doing. I decided to draw what I had seen in the film and it also had to be linked to London, so I set the animation in London Zoo. I was very impressed with the finished product. When I had finished the animation, I was asked to go to a separate area. Here I was filmed being interviewed about what I had done. They asked me questions such as; “what has been your favourite day in London?” “What inspired you to make this picture?” I said that my favourite day in London was when I went to the London Eye and my inspiration came from The Penguins of Madagascar!
The Penguins of Madagascar is a very exciting 90 minute animation. It continues the story from the previous characters, who starred in an animated film called Madagascar, which I really enjoyed; so I was looking forward to watching the new one.
The film begins when the penguins are babies. They are really cute and funny when they are little. These are the main characters and we next see them when they are older. There is Skipper, the main leader; Rico, who seems able to regurgitate any item the gang need and Kowalski, who is the clever one that creates all the plots and plans. Private, another penguin, joins the gang when he is young, so he is known as the cute one until he eventually proves his courage.
The team of four penguins have many adventures and travel to many different countries. They save a lot of other animals using all their different skills. They also meet another group of four who they join with. This group includes a wolf, a bear, a seal and an owl, who were all white and grey. They seem really professional in comparison to the penguins. Though they have many differences, the film shows that when they work together they have the most success. I like the fact that all the different animals are together. For example, the wolf takes charge of his group and often wolves are given leader characteristics in other stories. The writers have also made each animal’s characteristics funny and quite believable.
The four try to save the penguins from an octopus called Dave. Dave is a very clever scientist and he challenges the penguins and the other gang all the time. They spend a lot of the film trying to work out how to outwit him. This creates a lot of the suspense and adventure in the film, as the outcome is often unknown. It also makes the film move along very quickly. I really enjoy fast-paced action films and this aspect of the film worked really well.
The film is also full of humour, suitable for both children and adults. My favourite comedy moment is when the penguins break into a bank to try to get lots of cheesy crisps. It is so funny that they leave all the money, but take all the crisps. Another comic element is the character of the bear. He cuddles the penguins and thinks they are really cute, whereas bears in the wild would see penguins as food and would probably eat them! My dad thought that the funniest part was when Dave the octopus was trying to control the gang’s computer and ended up needing their help to do it properly.
My favourite character was Private. I liked him the best because he tries really hard to be part of the gang. The other penguins treat him as if he is too little to do anything. I think I feel the closest to this character as I am the youngest in my family and sometimes feel that I would like the others to treat me as though I am more mature. He is often called “cute” when he really wants to be seen as being strong and clever. It is Private who eventually saves the day and uses his brains and strength to finally outwit Dave the octopus.
This is a funny, adventure animation, which I would recommend to everyone. It is the perfect film for the whole family.
What is the latest film you have seen and liked?