Plugged In exists to shine a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving you and your family the essential tools you need to understand, navigate and impact the culture in which we live. Through reviews, articles and discussions, we want to spark intellectual thought, spiritual growth and a desire to follow the command of Colossians 2:8: "See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy, which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of this world rather than on Christ."


Family uses Plugged In as a ‘significant compass’

"I am at a loss for words to adequately express how much it means to my husband and me to know that there is an organization like Focus that is rooting for us. Just today I was reading Psalm 37 and thinking about how your ministry provides ways to 'dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.' We have two teenagers and an 8-year-old in our household...Plugged In has become a significant compass for our family. All three of our kids are dedicated to their walk with Christ but they still encounter challenges. Thanks for all of your research and persistence in helping us navigate through stormy waters."

Plugged In helps college student stand-up for his belief

"Thanks for the great job you do in posting movie and television reviews online. I’m a college freshman and I recently had a confrontational disagreement with my English professor regarding an R-rated film. It is her favorite movie and she wanted to show it in class. I went to your Web site to research the film’s content. Although I had not seen the movie myself, I was able to make an educated argument against it based on the concerns you outlined. The prof said that she was impressed by my stand and decided to poll the whole class and give us a choice. We overwhelmingly voted to watch a G-rated movie instead! I’ve learned that I can trust your site and I will be using it a lot in the future.”

Plugged In brings ‘Sanity and Order’ to Non-believer

“Even though I don’t consider myself a Christian, I find your Plugged In Web site useful and thought-provoking. No one reviews movies like you do. Instead of being judgmental, you put entertainment ‘on trial.’ After presenting the evidence, you allow the jury of your readers to decide for themselves what they should do. In my opinion, you bring sanity and order to the wild world of modern day entertainment. Keep up the good work!”

Mom thinks Plugged In is the ‘BEST Christian media review site’

"Our family doesn't go to the movies until we go online and check out your assessment of a given film. I think this is the BEST Christian media review website that I've found, and I recommend it to my family and friends. Keep up the good work!"


Our hope is that whether you're a parent, youth leader or teen, the information and tools at Plugged In will help you and your family make appropriate media decisions. We are privileged to do the work we do, and are continually thankful for the generosity and support from you, our loyal readers, listeners and friends.


Watch This Review

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Movie Review

Back in the days when Skipper, Kowalski and Rico were just a trio of baby penguin bros marching along with the rest of their Antarctic colony, things were simpler. Just sun, snow and cute marching penguins. Simple, see?

Too simple, if you had asked Skipper.

He didn't mind the cute part. After all, that's a penguin's bread and butter. But he was itching to break from the huddle and find some larger purpose to life, something more exciting to waddle through than mile after mile of irritating ice.

So when a stray egg just happened to roll down the hill past the guys one cold winter's day (and aren't they all?), it was a perfect excuse to take wing (which in this case means sliding on their bellies) and give chase. Of course that led to falling off a cliff, thumping down on the deck of a deserted ship, running from bird-eating leopard seals, barely avoiding a huge explosion and being set adrift on a small chunk of floating ice.

But … it was better than mushing through all that boring snow. And along the way an egg was saved, too—a soon-to-be hatchling they named Private. Protecting that cute little fella gave this crew plenty of purpose.

Jump ahead 10 years and the penguins just keep finding more purpose. They've used their cuteness to entertain humans around the globe and finally discovered what they were meant to be: heroes. Yup, they will be super-agents! World travelers! Penguins of intrigue! And eaters of Cheesy Dibbles! (Especially that last one.) And it's a good thing they've finally fumbled upon this true meaning of life. For there's a grave danger afoot, that is, aflipper.

A vacuously vengeful and somewhat slimy baddie by the name of Dr. Octavius Brine has come up with a scheme to threaten penguins everywhere. No, no, he's not going to kill them. He plans to corral the world's penguin populace and steal away … their cuteness. Now that's nefarious!


Positive Elements

Skipper and his crew may often be caught up in their own ridiculous and slapstick pursuits, but they definitely care about one another. Skipper tells a newly hatched Private, "You've got us, and we've got each other. And if that ain't a family, I don't know what is." Later, when Private is grabbed by Dr. Brine, his mates move ice and earth to get him back. Private is also willing to put his life on the line if it means a chance to help all the others swept up in the evil doc's plot.

When that selfless effort results in Private being turned ugly (taking onto himself the others' deformities), Skipper assures his little pal, "If there's anything we've learned from this adventure, it's that looks don't count! It's what you do that matters. And look what you did!"

There's also another group of animals that takes action to help others. Clever critters in a high-tech spy team called the North Wind use every tool at their disposal to help those who Dr. Brine has captured. And even though the penguins tend to bumble around and cause even more havoc for this team to deal with, they eventually all become friends.

Spiritual Content

In a moment of stress, Skipper cries out, "Sweet chariot of the gods!"

Sexual Content

An excited Private joyfully moves to kiss all his brothers—and Rico grabs him and holds him for an overly long smooch on the lips (I mean beak). "Mess with the bull and you're gonna get the horns," Skipper tells the surprised young bird. Later, Private is dressed up in a bikini top and tail to blend in with a group of "mermaid" girl penguins.

Just before an explosion, Skipper cries out, "Grab your coconuts and hold them tight!" It appears that he and his compatriots grab their crotches—but in truth they're actually picking up coconut shells. Two of their number then put the shells over their ears, while the third holds the shells up as if to make a coconut bikini. After crashing through an airliner's overhead bin, Skipper crawls out with a woman's bra on his head.

Rico slaps other birds' butts, and he wiggles his own to draw the attention of some seals. While stranded at sea, Riko attempts to eat another penguin's backside.

Dr. Brine refers to Skipper and the others, saying, "I see you've met my old zoo mates." Skipper quickly corrects him with, "We were never 'mates.' There was no mating." Kowalski talks about his attraction to Eva, a female owl on the North Wind team, repeating his desire to kiss her. By movie's end they share a kiss behind her spread wing.

Violent Content

A deserted tanker ship blows up. And several of the North Wind helicopter-like vehicles explode. The penguins fall off a high cliff (but are saved by deep snow). Dr. Brine is hit by a truck. "Evil" octopuses chase our heroes, smashing and demolishing everything around them. Skipper hits an octopus foe (the creature disguised as the human Dr. Brine) in the crotch as they battle. A monster-fied Skipper gobbles up a live cat (then spits it back out). A leopard seal snatches up a sea gull and swallows it whole.

Crude or Profane Language

"Heck" and "crikey" pop up four or five times each. "Oh my gosh" and "gee" two or three.

Drug and Alcohol Content

North Wind's leader, Classified, shoots the penguins with tranquilizer darts.

Other Negative Elements

Private sprouts a "butt hand." His tail feathers are zapped off by a ray gun, exposing his bare pink backside. Other mild toilet humor jokes and sight gags are scattered throughout the script. Two examples: The penguins empty the contents of a portable toilet (that Rico had recently used) on Classified. Skipper calls Classified a "flea-bitten toilet-drinker!"

The penguins break into a government facility.


Well, here it is. The scene-broadsiding penguins from the Madagascar films finally get their own "origin story" movie. Sorta. It's really much more of a rollicking "superspy-guy" flick that's just as zany and frenetically screwball as you might have imagined it would be.

Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and young Private frantically flap their wingless way from Venice to Shanghai to New York in pursuit of Penguin Enemy No. 1. One-liners zig, sight gags zag, and all manner of silly schlock is thrown at the cinematic wall to see how many giggles will get you to groan.

While moving at the speed of a greased-up goose (sorry, penguins), the quick-paced-and-shallow tale doesn't really give kids much to think or care about. But the story's final statement that looks aren't nearly as important as actions is certainly a tasty treat well worth munching on in the age of Kim Kardashian.

So it's a tad sad that there's also an abundance of less flavorful guffaws and goofiness in this particular bag of Cheesy Dibbles. It's the kind of cross-dressing, bum-slapping, unwelcome lip-locking nonsense between animated male animals that in the days of Bugs Bunny didn't raise too many eyebrows. But today, when filmmakers so often swing toward including their own personal political agendas and/or sexual leanings in the midst of kid-fare fun, well, you kinda suspect they're trying to wink at more than just wabbit hunting.

And this band of penguin brothers certainly does some winking.

Pro-social Content

Objectionable Content

Summary Advisory

Plot Summary

Christian Beliefs

Other Belief Systems

Authority Roles



Discussion Topics

Additional Comments/Notes

Episode Reviews

We hope this review was both interesting and useful. Please share it with family and friends who would benefit from it as well.

Get weekly e-news, Culture Clips & more!