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The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper
The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005)
Movie
  • Director:
    Gary Trousdale
  • Category:
  • Writer:
    Michael Lachance
  • Cast:
    Tom McGrath,Chris Miller,Christopher Knights
  • Time:
    11min
  • Year:
    2005
On Christmas Eve, Private slips out of the zoo for some last-minute shopping. In the city he's mistaken as a cute chew toy by a mean old woman named Nana, who gives Private to her vicious dog, Mr. Chew. On a mission to rescue their penguin pal, Skipper, Kowalski and Rico risk life and flipper as they take on Nana and Mr. Chew with an explosive solution that will leave you laughing out loud.
Casts
Complete credited cast:
Tom McGrath Tom McGrath - Skipper (voice)
Chris Miller Chris Miller - Kowalski (voice)
Christopher Knights Christopher Knights - Private (voice)
John DiMaggio John DiMaggio - Rico (voice)
Elisa Gabrielli Elisa Gabrielli - Old Lady (voice)
Bill Fagerbakke Bill Fagerbakke - Ted the Polar Bear (voice)
Sean Bishop Sean Bishop - Doorman / TV Announcer (voice)
Mitch Carter Mitch Carter - (voice)
Rif Hutton Rif Hutton - (voice)
Richard Miro Richard Miro - (voice)
Holly Dorff Holly Dorff - (voice)
Hope Levy Hope Levy - (voice)
Lynnanne Zager Lynnanne Zager - (voice)

The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005)

This short was played in theaters with the feature film, Wallace & Gromit - Auf der Jagd nach dem Riesenkaninchen (2005).

Available on DVD and VHS with Madagascar (2005)

When Skipper, Rico, and Kowalski find the Private, they see him in a sidewalk cart with the old lady inspecting its merchandise. Skipper then dons a pair of night-vision goggles to zoom in and view Private and subsequently the old lady purchasing him as a toy. When the action is shown as if the viewer was looking through the goggles, red text on a HUD very quickly scrolls above the green night vision image with the following text:

  • Initializing penguin tracking system I/O....... Successfully booted. Welcome to penguin threat interaction system. Acquired potential danger: Granny aka blue hair searching database for personal file. Done. Warning: Psychotic subject, behavior out of whack. Proximity to Private 30 ft and closing. Looking for similar subject matches to subject "Blue Hair" for [ The scene switches back to the penguins inspecting the situation ] Indexing database of known humanoid perpetrators for pattern match...... done. Feeding boolean matches to query engine: Psychotic & neurotic Nice & bluehi Full matches: None. Listing partial matches in that incripted [sic] super secret penguin code, /amandafrancois/nicolas/guy/jacqueline/pierre/finarricangrace/carlosakydri/alexadidem/davidarwra/pavel/sasha/joaquim/cheannelson/alex/duff/jasmine/cole/carter&amya&emily/amanda/gary/ben&owen/ ... Partial match ignored.. No user input. Flushing 5K memory. Attempting to access web for search on 'blue hair' through local coffee shop wi-fi network. Connecting... Connecting... Connection established. Booting 'flipper v0.001' web browser........ Fatal error... Core dumped. System message to user: An unknown fatal error has occurred please reboot. Shutting down network services and switching to failsafe. [ The penguins march behind nuns, and then take cover behind a trash can. "Skipper" brings out the goggles one last time to examine the action ] warning: target "blue hair" has intercepted penguin "private", searching for alternate course of action. Submitting case id of penguin abduction to internal systems. potential danger for penguin imminent. recommend immediate course of action. abnormal penguin stretching detected. penguin "private" height to width ration decreased by 3. That cannot feel good! Hailing all other penguins within proximity for assistance. No reply. Potential danger for penguin [ The penguins then discuss the situation and their options ]

The Taxi the elderly lady gets into has the license plate "I8BIGAPEL."

This is the first DreamWorks Animation's short film to be rated G by the MPAA.

The song that the penguins play on the stereo (while Private is talking about the polar bear) is "Jingle Jingle" from the classic television special 'Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.'

Mr. Chew has a toy of Alex the Lion from 'Madagascar.'

Skipper exclaims "Take mushrooms!" omitting the first syllable of this type of mushroom, which would be "sh*t."

Felolune
Felolune
There are so many sight gags and jokes in this 12-minute animated short it would make your head swim. The artwork is fantastic and the humor is equally fabulous. It's all a story about four penguins ready to celebrate Christmas when one of them goes out to cheer up a lonely polar bear. The others, with the "Black Hawk Down" credo of never leaving anyone behind, go after him and rescue the little guy from a brutal old woman and her vicious poodle.

The story really is secondary to all the clever gags and visuals, too many to mention in here. Suffice to say that if you own the "Madagascar" DVD, do yourself a favor and check out this bonus feature. It is about as entertaining a dozen minutes as you ever hope to find. This is something you will want to watch over and over.....guaranteed!
Gold as Heart
Gold as Heart
THe Penguin Christmas Caper is a blisteringly funny and fast paced little short that is far funnier that the film from which it spun.

Private, the least insane of the gang of Madagascar Penguins, decides to venture out into the streets of New York to buy a present for the lonely Polar Bear, who is all alone on Christmas. He is mistaken for a chew toy, and brought home by an old lady to be a present for her vicious, salivating but tiny dog. THe rest of the crew embark on a rescue mission.

Skipper barks orders, Kowlaski has the logistics and Rico, he just wants to blow something up. The jokes are in every line, and every corner of every frame of this short. Its ten minutes well spent. ***1/2 out of ****.
Buriwield
Buriwield
I haven't even seen "Madagascar" yet, but because of this, I want to. I've been bragging about this to my friends ever since I saw it in front of the "Wallace and Gromit" movie. I don't care if I have to buy "Madagascar" just for the penguins, I will. I'll give you insight on what to watch out for without giving away too much: the bowling pin, "kaboom!", the #1 rule of penguins. If you don't like "Wallace and Gromit," fine. Go see it just for this. If you liked "Madagascar," you'll love this. I was always a fan of short animated films. My girlfriend and I both thought this was one of the funniest we've seen in years.
Pruster
Pruster
I went to see Wallace and Gromit last night and was surprised to see this little gem tagged on to the start.

The story follows a group of penguins that are trying to rescue one of their own after he leaves to buy a Christmas present for someone else, only to wind up being put in a stocking himself.

This short was just as well made as the full length features in every way.

I wasn't overly impressed with Madagascar, but this short was superb. It was far funnier than Madagascar itself, and possibly even Wallace and Gromit. As someone else has already said, it seems odd to tag a Christmas theme on the front of a Halloween one.

It's worth the admission fee for this alone.
Envias
Envias
It's Christmas Eve. Private is concerned about Ted the Polar Bear being sad. He disobeys orders and goes out to get a gift for him. Skipper leads the squad to find him. A mean rich old lady mistakes Private for a toy and buys him for her dog Mr. Chew. Mr. Chew turns out to be a vicious dog and the squad arrives just in time.

The Penguins have always been my favorite characters of the Madagascar franchise. This short has a good density of jokes. The gang is fun. There is good hijinx. The main leads of Madagascar aren't really in this and that is perfectly fine. It's nice that Private is looking out for others and the gang looks out for each other.
Xal
Xal
The three main characters of the film Madagascar are fairly stereotyped and have one-hit wonder stamped all over them. The penguins, one the other hand, have true potential as they make reference so many classics of the past e.g. Bilko. The short film demonstrates some of this potential and was a very welcome bonus to the also excellent Curse of the Wererabbit. There were certainly echoes of Toy Story 2, as the old lady tests the penguin to see if he squeaks with a great "bottom gag" much appreciated by the children and a similar plot line which was very well executed. Above all, children appreciated the concept of looking after each other in a world dominated by grown ups and the penguins epitomise this ideal. Needless to say, the animation is excellent.
LONUDOG
LONUDOG
Scrat was arguably the funnies character in 'Ice Age' and he was awarded with his own very funny animated short film. The funniest characters in 'Madagascar' were the penguins and they as well get their animated short. The difference is that this short is actually better than the animated feature film.

I liked 'Madagascar' up to a point but we are spoiled with films like 'Shrek' and 'The Incredibles' and 'Madagascar is nowhere near that good. 'The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper' comes a lot closer.

The story with the penguins out in New York, three searching for a fourth, gives us plenty of laughs. I have seen this before 'Wallace & Gromit in the Curse of the Were-Rabbit' and it was almost as entertaining. That really does say something!
Rageseeker
Rageseeker
My wife and I saw this movie with some of our grandchildren as it was tagged on Wallace and Grommit. Now I loved Wallace and Grommit but we all thought this little short was very, very funny and deserves to be released on a DVD. We would definitely buy it and so would many others I am sure of it. The grandkids loved this short and it caused them to laugh out loud many times. We also laughed out loud at Wallace and Grommit, though my wife thought that the Madagascar penguins were much funnier I would have to say I liked the penguins a little bit more then Wallace and Grommit. I would say that anyone with kids or are big kids themselves need to see these two flicks as soon as possible or regret it for a long time.
Benn
Benn
That is for some reason tagged onto the reels for the very halloween-y Wallace and Gromitt's Curse of the Wear Rabbit. It would have made more sense for this film to be tagged onto something in December but hey-ho.

I've not actually seen Madagascar, so I'm not immediately familiar with these characters. But I have to say that the penguins were very funny. The story has one of them leave Central Park Zoo to look for the perfect Xmas present, only to end up an Xmas present himself. The other penguins soon follow him to a posh apartment building where a blind old lady plans to give him to her evil pet poodle.

Very funny antics and hijinks follow. I wouldn't be surprised if this cartoon were nominated for an Oscar come February.
Jark
Jark
I saw the Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper before Wallace and Gromit:the curse of the were-rabbit during a special screening a few months ago (if your wondering how could I its because Wallace and Gromit came out a few months ago in Australia) and I was surprised to see this before Wallace and Gromit, I wasn't interested because i haven't seen Madagascar and thought it was going to be a crappy kids short animation film ( like a few of the pixar short animation films),but I was surprised this was entertaining and funnier then the Wallace and Gromit movie that was after it and found it funnier then most other kids animation films. It had a good christmassy feel and I wouldn't mind watching it again especially at Christmas time. I highly recommend this for adults and children alike and hope this appears on the Wallace and Gromit: the cures of the were-rabbit DVD as a special feature!
Zieryn
Zieryn
First of all, when me and my bro's saw this movie (ages 16, 20, 22, and 23) we were bagging up! It was so funny we had to watch it three times because we missed some stuff because we were laughing so hard. The best character was Rico (Kaboom!) and the second best was Skipper, however the best part was when Kawolski used the abacus to calculate the number of presents-to-people ratio. Also the trip-on-a-lid part was well done too what with the jump spin and stomach slide thing. The animation and voice for the doorman (what with his dumbfounded look and all) were great, and the part where Rico almost dropped the anvil on the old woman was hilarious as well. Last but not least, the part where Skipper keeps slapping the bowling pin was great, and had the best replay value.

-joshua "the man" ...
Nto
Nto
As many a movie-goer has said...the penguins were the best thing in Madagascar. There seems to be an alarming trend in animated films where secondary characters outshine the main cast, eg: Scrat from the Ice Age films.

What more could you ask of the penguins? Great characters, wonderful quotes, hilarious visual antics and fantastic animation. I was so excited the DVD contained this wonderful Christmas short, and I constantly watch it in favour of Madagascar...although sometimes I just watch the penguin bits.

I'll leave you all with some of my favourite penguin lines:

"Hoover Dam! We're still in New York! Abort! Dive! Dive! Dive!" "Shittake mushrooms! No more cute and cuddly!" "Never bathe in hot oil and Bisquick?" "Gotcha! Just kiddin' doll, the people are fine. They're on the slow boat ride to China." "This is all some kind of whacked-out conspiracy. We're going to the wide-open spaces of Antarctica." "Eggnog at 2100 hours, writing our names in the snow at 2105."
Phenade
Phenade
I'm not sure why this film was tagged onto the Halloween release of Wallace & Gromit but it was a nice addition for the most part. I could have done with sharper comedy but for the majority I was laughing and enjoying the antics of the penguins who were (I'm told) one of the few good things about Madagascar. The plot sees one penguin go out to buy a present, only to end up taken home as a present by an old woman while the others rally to rescue him. It is a simple affair but was apparently bewildering to some of the adults (yes, not kids) around me in the cinema. One woman without kids saw some kids asking their mum where W&G was, so she got up, had a very loud conversation with them about it, then got up to go and complain to UGC staff that the wrong film was on (stopping on the way to inform some other parents that she would sort it out). Back again she informed everyone around her that it was a short film on before the feature – a practice she apparently had never heard and couldn't see the point of (meanwhile I struggled to just stay out of it).

This may have distracted me somewhat but more distracting was the fact that this film was seeped in festive cheer at the start and end – not something I really want in October thanks all the same. This produced a typically American bit of smaltz at different points and I didn't see why they had set it at Christmas instead of just giving the penguins an adventure anyway. This was a bit annoying but for the most part the funny penguins carry it and make it good fun. Amusing regardless whether or not you've seen Madagascar, this is an enjoyable short film despite the Christmas theme basically taking the edges off it somewhat.
Bukus
Bukus
The Wallace and Grommit feature originally was prefaced with a short about how tedious the process of creating it was. The opening cities reported that the short was ruining the fun of the feature, so at the last minute, this was inserted.

It was originally intended for another purpose, and a Christmas release, then shelved because it is so bad.

You see, we already know a lot about what makes an animated feature appealing, and the Dreamworks formula just doesn't cut it. Oh, they make money, but the mark is set by Pixar.

Ted's Evaluation -- 1 of 3: You can find something better to do with this part of your life.
Haal
Haal
The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005)

*** (out of 4)

Charming ten-minute short has Private sneaking out of the Zoo so that he can find a Christmas gift for a lonely polar bear. While walking around the streets he ends up getting kidnapped by a mean old lady and soon three other penguins must try and rescue him. Even if you haven't seen MADAGASCAR it's likely you'll still enjoy this short, which has plenty of fast action, a nice pace and some pretty big laughs. I thought the entire story was a fairly strong one that managed to mix in laughs with the Christmas spirit, which is obviously the main time of the year that this is going to be watched. I thought the film displayed a large amount of imagination and this includes the very funny bit where the three penguins try and get into the old woman's apartment building. The snowman gag was terrific as were the scenes inside the apartment building as the penguins must deal with an angry dog. The action in the film is very fast and furious and I think it really does show how much thought went into the production. Quite often these spin off shorts have weak stories to go with them but that certainly wasn't the case here and adults and children should have a good time.
Vojar
Vojar
I enjoyed the two Madagascar movies, and also found much to like about Merry Madagascar, but I liked The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper better than either put together. I loved it, although the title is perhaps a little too obvious, and found it so much fun. I do agree that the story is secondary to the animation and gags, but that is not disputing it in any way, it is still a solid one. It's just that the animation is so clean and gorgeous, and the writing and gags come by thick and fast and hit the mark every time(and there are a lot of them). The soundtrack is suitably rousing and festive, the characters have great personalities and the voice work is done with lots of enthusiasm. In conclusion, so much fun and highly recommended. 9/10 Bethany Cox
melody of you
melody of you
The Madagascar penguins are very funny and this short goes to prove just how hilarious they can be. Packed with great gags and hilarious one lines, this short is fast, furious, fun and packed with entertainment. A cheeky, witty script, great voices for the Penguins and lots of fun little trivia pieces to look out for, this short kept me laughing. Easy to sit back to and relax with and very enjoyable with a bag of popcorn. Many great scenes include the funny battle scenes against the dog in the apartment. The characters are fun and lovable, especially Private, who was sweet and caring about poor Ted (the lonely polar bear), and Rico, the funny loony who pulls stick of dynamite from his stomach and is content with trying to blow things up. The plot is fun and fast paced and revolves around Private, who wants to find a nice present for Ted. He ventures out into the human city and stumbles upon a vendors stall with gifts. He is then mistaken for merchandise by an elderly lady and is purchased and taken back to her home. Meanwhile the other penguins (Rico, Skipper and Kowalski) realise Private is missing, and run off into the city just in time to spot the elderly lady climb into a taxi and take Private back to her apartment. The penguins follow her back to her apartment and the hilarious antics follow, as they try and rescue their friend from the evil clutches of the elderly lady's psycho dog, Mr. Chew. The short, directed by Gary Trousdale, maker of such masterpieces like Beauty and the Beast, includes plenty of visual gags which made me laugh, like... - The TV Fireplace. - Rico playing the Knife Game at the table - Private's face on a 'missing' sign on the milk carton - Skipper slapping the skittle, mistaking it for Private - The Penguin's ride on the sliding dustbin lid - The Penguin's crafty snowman outfit - The idea of using Rico for a "gun", by spitting out the candies as 'bullets' - Rico's obsession with dynamite - Rico dangling the anvil over the lady.... the list goes on and on. I recommend this short wholeheartedly and hope you all enjoy it as much as I have and will continue to. Ten stars and two thumbs up.
kewdiepie
kewdiepie
Whether you're a fan of the Penguins of Madagascar or you like holiday comedies for younger children, then you and your family can watch this hilarious short. Full of laughs, a whole lot of Jingle Bells to sing along with and some brief (but important) heart of the holiday spirit. My parents and I laughed at some funny moments and we enjoyed every bit of it. Fun for the whole fun!
Kelerana
Kelerana
This is an 11-minute short film from 10 years ago and was released directly after the first Madagascar movie. The main characters from the film have short cameos at the beginning and end of this one here, but it's really all about the penguins this time, quite a while before they got their own television series and, more recently, their own theatrical movie.

The penguins are busy with Christmas preparations, but one of them feels sorry for the polar bear being alone during the holidays and heads off to town to buy him a little present. Unfortunately, during this adventure, he gets caught by the Old Lady (another cameo) and is in danger of becoming a present himself. Luckily, his pals are already on their way to rescue him and fight an evil poodle while they are at it.

The film's director is Gary Trousdale, who directed very famous animated movies such as "Beauty and the Beast" and "The Hunchback of Notre Dame" long before this was made. Michael Lachance, the writer, worked also on "King Fu Panda", "Shrek 2" and of course "Madagascar". These 11 minutes are mostly for children. You could see that they did not want to go too serious for example in the one scene when we see fish wrapped as Christmas presents and they were still alive and moving. Death should not have a place in light films like this one. All in all, worth a watch I would say, especially if you like the feature films. I always found the penguins funny and it's nice to see them get some love here. Oh and feel free to sing along at the end. Recommended.
Bralore
Bralore
I first saw "A Christmas Caper" in Nov. 2005, when it was a "curtain-opener" for the Wallace & Gromit feature film. Blessings, it arrived a month later on DVD as a supplement to the "Madagascar" video. I've seen it about a half-dozen times with my young son, and it's still a hoot. The premise is that a quartet of penguins act like an Army squadron, headed by their all-knowing (at least HE thinks so) "Skipper," as they rescue "one of their own" when he ventures out of the zoo into the real world to get a Christmas present for a forlorn member of his zoo. The whole cartoon plays as though Wile E. Coyote got every one of his schemes absolutely right for once. If you don't watch to watch "Madagascar" for some reason, play "A Christmas Caper" as a prelude to watching "March of the Penguins" and make it an all-penguins viewing night. "Caper" is a hoot.
Sardleem
Sardleem
God is this ever worth a peek! Computer generated penguins doing crazy stunts. It's stupid fun but it is most assuredly FUN. The plot is one penguin thinks the polar bear needs some cheering up but he makes a big mistake in breaking the penguin buddy rule and goes off alone to try to do it. Hence the adventure begins and it is your typical toy story level of over-hygienic scenes but they are still very humorous.

I thought penguins were rather gay and the thought of anyone watching them was just inviting disaster but then I watched this and I laughed out loud and realized they can be funny. But penguins are still gay. :-)

The tail end is basically an advertisement for the Madagascar Brand of whatever the hell they are hawking to little kids this season.
LiTTLe_NiGGa_in_THE_СribE
LiTTLe_NiGGa_in_THE_СribE
and loved the penguins..... It's a must see! armed with their wit and spy-like tactics, popular phrases (Hoover Dam!) and Ricco's trusty stick of Dynamite, they set off to rescue the private who has gone in search of a present for Ted the polar bear. The private gets mistakenly gets purchased by an old lady as a chew toy for her rather destructive poodle. All of the penguins characteristics are let loose as each one is developed more and more making the Central Park zoo animals seem more like us than we think. Its laughs galore as everyone gets what they want for Christmas, and includes a typical Madagascan style rendition of Jingle Bells.
Cia
Cia
Note: This was originally written when "Christmas Caper" was released with "Curse of the Were-Rabbit" in 2005 before there was a page for this short film. Please forgive the dated references.

Matched with "Curse of the Were-Rabbit" is a CGI animated short, "A Christmas Caper" staring the Penguins of this summer's "Madagascar". This is about a group of four militant penguins who live in the Bronx Zoo. It's Christmas Eve, and the youngest penguin, Private (Christopher Knights), feels bad for the zoo's resident polar bear who is alone. Private sets out to find him a present. When the rest of the group realizes that Private has gone missing, they set out to bring him back. Ultimately, they must rescue their junior member from an elderly Manhattan resident and her bloodthirsty miniature poodle.

There were moments of humor, but no tone seemed to hold the entire production together. The scene on the street with the souvenir vendor was easily the funniest. There the penguins "blend in" with a group of nuns and inexplicably regurgitate dynamite. However, the whole affair felt misplaced as a prelude to the kind of story to be told in "Wallace and Gromit". Although the computer animation is eye-poppingly good, the penguins move frenetically and spend most of their time shouting at each other. It will probably satisfy any 5-year-old on a sugar rush, but wild behavior by itself simply doesn't amount to humor.

The story resolves with a nod to friendship over presents, but it seems less genuine when the entire cast of "Madagascar" characters is suddenly there to sing a goodbye song. How coincidental that the DVD release happens to be only a month away. The Christmas theme also seems aimed to prime kids for the shopping season. Aside from the fact that penguins fit well in snow and ice, couldn't this have been set during some other time of year, perhaps say, Halloween?

If you're late for "Wallace and Gromit", don't sweat it. This will pad the start time, so you can grab a snack for the real show.

3 out of 10 for "A Christmas Caper"
Opimath
Opimath
How do you make a lackadaisical movie and then a featurette short that is worse and only 11 minutes long? Beats me, but somehow the people in charge decided to give everybody a little XMas gift. And quite frankly I wish I could return it and get my time back.

Anyway, the little penguins from the main feature are back and this time they are celebrating Christmas. They want to spread Christmas cheer and gifts with everyone, but somehow some are not getting it. So they go out and try to find a way to spread it.

Yeah, I guess its cute, but it doesn't relate well with the main story. But at least it is in CGI. So overall, its weak but its only 11 minutes long. "D"
Dilkree
Dilkree
This was the first short spin off of the Penguins of Madagascar. The main characters just turn up at the end.

It is an agreeable short which kids will like especially with the Sgt Bilko riff mixed with Tony Curtis's impression of Cary Grant in Some like it Hot.

On Christmas Eve the youngest penguin, Private is sad that the polar bear at the zoo is all alone while the rest seem to be happy the night before Christmas.

The rest of the penguins realise that Private has wandered off to find the polar bear a present and before long an elderly lady has taken him to her New York apartment and it is up to the rest to rescue him especially as she has a vicious poodle after him.

It is decent enough animation for a short with some inventive moments and some fast moving action.