Dreamworks’ latest animated franchise feature film plays up what happens behind the scenes with some of your favorite characters when they’re alone.

In this case, those lovable penguins from the “Madagascar” series are secret agents.

Ironically enough, this very loose and broad plot structure plays out much better than “Horrible Bosses 2.” It could be because of the lighter nature of the film, which targets kids 8-12, or just the fact that viewers are more forgiving of animation than regular film.

While the four penguins themselves are voiced by lesser known actors, the supporting cast is littered with big name actors, including Benedict Cumberbatch and John Malkovich, who always plays a compelling villain regardless of whether or not you can see his face.

Adults will enjoy the special homage to spy films of yesteryear as the lovable foursome replicate a secret takedown of Fort Knox ala “Goldfinger” and dodge ruffian octopi in the waterways of Venice in a hilarious take off from the Venice chase scene in “Moonraker.”

The film is bright and colorful, jumping from landscape to landscape as the penguins trot across the globe on their mission to save penguin-kind and it’s that lightness that keeps viewers engaged and the movie afloat.

No prior knowledge of the “Madagascar” franchise is necessary to enjoy this humorous, yet slightly long animated comedy that will delight adults and children alike.

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