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Headscratchers / The Penguins of Madagascar

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  • Why did they need to change Kowalski's and Private's voice actors for the show? Replacing Sacha Baron Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer I can understand, but the original VAs were DreamWorks staff anyway. Not that I have a problem with the replacements (Jeff Bennett is made of win), but it was just an interesting change.
    • My guess would be because the two who voiced Kowalski and Private were career animators who, unlike Tom McGrath (Skipper), were not involved in creating the show, they likely wanted to work on other projects in their field without being constantly needed for voice work as major characters (with the most lines, no less) of a TV show. In other words, they wanted to be free to work in their field instead of doing voice work on a show they don't animate for. So the studio just hired two career voice actors for the roles.
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    • It's also possible that even if Chris Miller and Chris Knights actually wanted to, it could have been easily accommodated along with their regular duties. I doubt if most animators would not jump at the chance for even more recognition. Even though they are full time animators on other shows, it is possible for them to dedicate a few days to recording voice over for several ten minute episodes. Voice actors often record their lines separately so it's not impossible for them to record them whenever they have the time. The issue might be that they are not professional voice actors. Kowalski and Private's dialogue was sparse in the movies so we didn't see a wide range of character from them (this was before their Solo movie). Skipper carried most of the lines for the Penguins. It's plausible that the studio didn't feel the need to invest in professional voice actors for two characters that would have minimal dialogue at best. But when the Penguins proved to be unexpected BreakoutCharacters, the studio may not have felt confident that the two Chris' acting skills could carry a series in which their roles would naturally be greatly extended. Hence the need for pro voice actors who can really inject something into the character. And it's hard to deny the fact that Jeff Bennett really does this for Kowalski. Most people wish he'd done Kowalski in the movie.
  • The reason Alex and co. aren't in the cartoon is implied to be because they stayed behind in Africa. But by that logic, how are the lemurs in this show? They stayed behind too.
    • Alternate Continuity.
    • The opening animation-sequence seems to imply that the lemurs were shipped to the zoo from Madagascar (or Africa in the sequel). Not only that, but there is a gag in one episode where a radio broadcast mentions a "little old lady beating up a lion" indicating that the movie is canon to the series. "The All Nighter Before Christmas" had a Continuity Nod to Merry Madagascar as well.
    • If Alex and co had been in the show, it would have been almost impossible for the Penguins to star. That's why they're not in it.
    • The third movie has Alex, Marty, Gloria, Melman, and Julien arrive at the zoo, but they decide not to stay (Julien even gives up being king) - and Tom Mc Grath has said that the show isn't canon to the movies. Which doesn't explain things like Skipper mentioning that the Penguins have been to Madagascar in "Field Tripped" or Alex showing up in the second Dr. Blowhole special and mentioning that he and Skipper were once neighbors, but eh...
  • In Lost Treasure Of The Golden Squirrel, why did Marlene not go psycho the moment she was taken out of the zoo?
    • The same in "Work Order". Penguins have built a fake zoo to fool the repairman. Obviously, the fake zoo was outside of the real zoo, but Marlene didn't go wild when she was there even when she knew the truth. I guess, the writers forget about this habitude, when this isn't relevant to the plot.
    • Or she was so distracted by the possibility of a treasure and the absurdity of the penguins building a replica of the zoo in one night that she didn't really realise she was outside.
  • In the "Work order", how did even Marlene and lemurs appear in fake zoo? They did not know, about the zoo is fake, so why they went to fake zoo at first, and why on Earth they thought, that they are in real zoo?
    • Could be the penguins planted them there to make sure the lemurs or Marlene don't accidentally screw up the whole plan. They are pretty much the animals other than the penguins who can freely leave their habitats.
  • The episode "Brush With Danger" bugs me. So, in this episode, Burt gets hold of a brush and starts painting, an becomes a major attraction. Them, a critic comes and labels all of Burt's paintings as crap. Seriosuly, did she ever realize that those paitings were done BY A FREAKING ELEPHANT? I really don't understand art at all, but if I saw a picture done by an animal, I'd be amazed, no matter how cruddy it could be.
    • I guess that was done intentionally, for comedic effect and to show how far that critic lady is from reality.
  • If the penguins are illiterate, how do they manage to type words in their talking device when they "speak" to humans?
    • Touch-typing may play a factor... although it doesn't explain how they can spell...
      • I had a similar question. If they can read and understand English (or whatever language it's airing in), how come people can't understand them? Are they replying in their own animal language? I guess this has always been a Headscratcher for "talking animal" cartoons.
      • I think they are speaking in an animal language and we just hear the translation.
      • They can't read, they keep getting the chimps' help for that. And real animals can somewhat understand human speech(obviously not to this extent) but obviously can't speak it.
      • One possible reason may be how the animals hear. Even in real life, many animals can hear sounds humans can't. And many of the animals at least seem to think they're speaking English, and don't understand why the humans don't understand them (like when Alex talks to the humans in the films).
      • But Dave the octopus can communicate with humans when he's disguised as one.
  • One thing that's fairly noticeable is that neither the Penguins or any other animal are ever seen directly addressing any human in dialogue or vice versa. Even when the animals speak to each other in the presence of humans, the humans don't seem to notice that the animals are "talking". This is even true in direct confrontation with humans like Alice or Officer X.
  • After Skipper's memories are removed with Dr.Blowhole's Mind Jacker you see him fall into the ocean and sink. You later see him wash ashore in the morning. If he couldn't swim, how did he survive that long underwater?
    • In cases like this, the words "They're just that badass" apply.
    • It could have also been muscle memory, which is a form of procedural memory. People with brain damage such as the famous patient, Henry Molaison, was still able to complete certain tasks despite significant impairment to other brain functions such as severe anterograde amnesia. Penguins are naturally good swimmers, so Skipper would have still been able to swim even if he didn't know how, the same way a person can still walk even if he doesn't know the precise mechanics behind it, kind of like the opposite of the [[Centipede's Dilemma]]. For all his smarts, Dr. Blowhole has shown himself to be something of a blowhard, so he probably doesn't know everything despite what he says.
  • Rico has the most genuinely Ambiguously Gay moments among the Penguins (because it's funny for the Dumb Muscle to maybe be gay) with moments like the mating calls, and being asked to groom Skipper, and getting accidentally close to the other guys in falls. This could also suggest HE is actually the SHE. But he ALSO has Miss Perky, whom he loves very much. That I don't get. Any Fridge Logic or Fridge Brilliance to help explain that?
    • Bi?
    • Miss Perky seems to have been Put on a Bus.
    • Rico's quite often implied to be near completely insane. He's a merciless pyromaniac who if not kept under control could destroy the whole zoo, skipper even refers to him having "Devil Made Psychosis" at one point, so any irregularities in his personality are probably just an example of that.
  • Why was the show put on hiatus?
  • In "Officer X factor" there is very hot weather in zoo, but water in all of animals' pools is drained, so much water, it could not be only evaporated (and if, Alice has to fill their pools up, does not she?)... What, Alice?
  • In "Skipper makes perfect" danish guard called Skipper "Skipper". So how is it with animals' names, anyway? Clemson and Savio seems to be named by people (because people know their names) and Doris and dr. Blowhole got names from people too (and did not keep them, because they already have names) dr. Blowhole kept his show name Flippy when he was brainwashed and sent to Seaville (he did not know it is not his name), but when his memories were back, he calls himself dr. Blowhole again. So if Skipper is called Skipper even from humans there, does it mean, that he is actually from Copenhagen zoo?
  • In "The Lost Treasure of the Golden Squirrel", why did they have to go to all the trouble of finding the treasure and destroying it, when it would have been so much simpler to destroy the key? Is there any reason for this other than just not thinking it through?
  • In "The Lost Treasure of the Golden Squirrel", only the treasure on the scale acorn platform thing went down in flames. Presumably, all of the treasure that wasn't on the platform is still perfectly fine. Is there any reason than just not thinking it through that the cast couldn't go back and get it?
  • In episode Mental Hen, Kowalski tries to distract Blue Hen by dancing and singing a weird song. While he does that, the other three penguins are watching and are weirded out, as if they weren't expecting Kowalski to do that. Skipper then tells Rico to "put the man out of his misery". Rico chokes up a bomb and gets ready to throw it at Kowalski. However, after Kowalski gets stopped by Alice, it's revealed that it was just a plan to distract Blue Hen so that Rico could switch her bowls. The same Rico that wasn't informed about Kowalski's plan and was ready to throw a TNT bomb on him to "end his misery"... huh?
    • It's possible that Kowalski just counted in them catching on. They've been working together for so long that if they think about it they would understand the plan quickly enough. And apparently he bet on the right penguins.
  • Unlike most other cartoon franchises with talking animals, the Penguins never befriend any humans, not even children. In fact, their prejudiced attitude towards humans seems to be consistent. Yet they go out of their way to make sure that no humans are harmed in either their activities or the activities of other animals.
    • There are people who distrust certain group of people for whatever reason, but still don't want to hurt them and will even gladly protect them. For example, there are people who do not hate LGBT community as much as they are just kind of weirded out by them and do not actually want to hurt them. I guess there are just different levels on discrimination and penguins' racism towards humans works the same way. I mean, Skipper has prejusticed throughts about mammals in general, but is still friends with Marlene...
  • Weird question, but "In the Line of Doody", what was the significance of Frankie's poop having blueberries in it? Surely any poop would be bad.
    • Blueberries are known for causing stains.

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