Trivia for Penguins of Madagascar
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- Originally scheduled for release in March 2015, the film was completed ahead of schedule, allowing the release date to be pushed up to November 2014, swapping release dates with Home (2015).
- John Malkovich's second role in an fully animated film; his first was Beowulf (2007).
- Both Ken Jeong and John Malkovich had previously starred in Transformers: Dark of the Moon (2011).
- John Malkovich had been offered the role of Dr. Octavius Brine three and a half years before the film's release, and thought that it would be funny to use his voice for an octopus.
- One of the penguins in captivity on Dave's sub is getting "Lara" tattooed on his chest, a nod to producer Lara Breay.
- The sheep that North Wind was holding hostage is from the "How to Train Your Dragon" series also produced by DreamWorks.
- Dave's direct orders to his octopus cronies incorporate a celebrity's name, e.g. "Drew! Barry! More power!"; "Nicolas, cage them!"; "Charlize, they're on the ray!"; "Hugh, Jack, man the battle stations."; "Halle, bury them."; "Kevin, bake on; we're still gonna need that victory cake."; "Robin, write this down."; "Helen, hunt them down!"; "William, hurt them." ; "Elijah, would you please take them away?". The relevant celebrities are Drew Barrymore, Nicolas Cage, Charlize Theron, Hugh Jackman, Halle Berry, Kevin Bacon, Robin Wright, Helen Hunt, William Hurt and Elijah Wood.
- Conrad Vernon replaces John DiMaggio as the voice of Rico.
- When Dr. Brine in first seen in full regalia, he walks on his hands in a manner evoking an image of Humma Kavula from The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy (2005), another character of John Malkovich.
- Skipper's order, "Don't shoot until you see the whites of their eyes," is an 18th-century military command most famously given by William Prescott at the Battle of Bunker Hill, Massachusetts, in 1775.
- When Kowalski says "Nope, I still can't read", it's a reference to the first Madagascar (2005) where he says "Sorry skipper, I can't read" when the sign says the ship is going to Africa.
- The coordinates shown in the North Wind's binoculars when on Dave's secret island are in the middle of the Philippine Sea (21.5526 N, 131.2627 E).
- Series trademark: Twilight Zone. Most if not all entries in the Madagascar/Penguins series contain an homage to Rod Serling's original The Twilight Zone (1959). In this one, Dave says "The monsters are due in Manhattan," a variation of the title of The Monsters Are Due on Maple Street (1960). Also, the "you maniacs" speech from Planet of the Apes (1968), a movie partly written by Serling, is paraphrased by characters in both this movie and the original Madagascar (2005).
- Another celebrity mentioned was "Parker! Posey! Go all terrain!" during the chase scene in Venice.
- Dave the Octopus goes by Dr. Octavious Brine in his human disguise. The Marvel Comics character, Dr. Otto Octavious is otherwise known as Dr. Octopus.
- Classified is left-handed, a nod to his left-handed character voice, Benedict Cumberbatch.
- The final film to be produced by Pacific Digital Images (PDI) before its closure in January 2015.
- Kowalski does a flutter like jump related to Luigi's jump when the ships explodes.
- First film in the Madagascar series not to be released same year with a Batman film. Madagascar (2005) was released same year as Batman Begins (2005), Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) was released same year with The Dark Knight (2008), and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) was released same year as The Dark Knight Rises (2012).
- Despite playing a major role in this movie about penguins, Benedict Cumberbatch has a difficult time correctly pronouncing the word "penguin." You can hear this in the movie whenever Classified says the word, and it sounds more like he is saying "peng wing."
- Dr.Octavious Brine who is an Octopus is a reference too the Spider-man villan Dr. Octopus or also kwown as Octavious.
- An interesting fan theory about Rico says that why he can't talk normally is because he eats all sorts of things like paper clips and dynamite and other dangerous objects which have damaged his vocal cords.
- The Opening Scene with an Egg rolling down the hill at the start of the film of which Private hatches from is pretty similar to a scene from Happy Feet (2006), another animated film about Penguins. One of the Celebrity Name references that Dave uses when giving an order to one of his minions is to 'Elijah Wood', who voiced Mumble, the Main Character in that film.
- Ken Jeong's second Dreamworks film after Turbo (2013).
- 3rd Animated Film for Ken Jeong (Short Fuse), after Despicable Me (2010) as the Talk Show host, and Despicable Me 2 (2013) as Floyd Eaglesan.
- Is the 2nd Dreamworks Animation film where characters voiced by Studio Members (in the case of the Penguins themselves) are listed during the Casting Call of Major Cast Members outside the Credits. The first film like this had been Shrek Forever After (2010) with Walt Dohrn.
- From the Creators of "Madagascar".
- Billy Eichner who voiced the New York Reporter in the scene where Dave sends the Mutated Penguins into New York has the same birthday as Jada Pinkett Smith, voice of Gloria in the Main Madagascar films, being September 18th.
- Dreamworks Animation's 2nd Spin-off film, after Puss in Boots (2011).
- The first feature length film in the Madagascar franchise to feature the character of King Julien without the voice of Sacha Baron Cohen.
- Before penguins meet with the North Wind team you can see the wolf and owl hidden through the scenes.
- When Eva looks longingly at Kowalski during the grimmest moments, he calls to her, "I know," a repeated line used in similar contexts by Han Solo in the "Star Wars" saga.
- The pest control crew uses trucks with vacuums on the front to scoop up the mutated penguins, a scene eerily identical to the "people-scoop" trucks in Soylent Green (1973).
- Though this film takes place right after Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) and is no way related to The Penguins of Madagascar (2008) TV Series, it still does borrow some elements from the Continuity of the TV Show, such as animals running Human Establishments, and a ray that mutates whatever it zaps (as well as to those that use it as a Side Effect). Even though the Main Madagascar Franchise has taken place in a Modern Realistic Environment, set through an Animal's Perspective, as opposed to one that's Cartoony.
- This is Benedict Cumberbatch's 1st Animated Movie