Penguins of Madagascar waddles onto screens this holiday week, a spinoff of DreamWorks Animation’s Madagascar animated franchise. But as I say in my video review above, this film focuses on just one corner of that franchise’s winning collection of critters, the scheming pack of penguins. And it never quite takes flight, despite its manic pace and an evil octopus (!) voiced wonderfully by John Malkovich.

Other voice cast members include the seemingly omnipresent Benedict Cumberbatch, Tom McGrath (director of the three Madagascar films), Chris Miller (Puss in Boots director), Christopher Knights and Conrad Vernon (director of Shrek 2 and Monsters vs. Aliens).

The film was directed by Eric Darnell and Simon J. Smith, from a script fashioned by McGrath, Brandon Sawyer, Eric Darnell, John Aboud and Michael Colton. Producers are Laura Breay and Mark Swift.

Penguins opens in the United States on Wednesday (it’s been in China and Ireland for a couple of weeks now), with a few dozen other territories joining through the weekend. Fox is distributing for DWA in the U.S. and a number of other territories.

Will you see the film? If you do, let us know what you think.