Dreamworks Animation: The Exhibition at Canadian Museum of History (Gatineau, Quebec)

I’m going to confess right now that I procrastinated in transferring my pictures to the computer and that is why this is only going up today. Honestly, I wanted it to be posted a little earlier so that if anyone in the area could go check it out before it ends. It runs until April 8th if you are in the area and want to see it! You can more info HERE.

This is our first time at the Canadian Museum of History. It did feel a little pricey when we first went to pay $20 per person for entry fee but then we realized it included not only all the exhibits: 2 (or it seems more) special exhibits and the 6 other permanent exhibition plus the Children’s Museum along with a film viewing of Shrek 4 – Forever After (it changes every week, I think). Anyways, thats quite the bang for the buck since we did get there late but managed to skim through a lot of the permanent exhibits and hopefully will come back for another exhibit and get there earlier.

Journey from Sketch to Screen

dreamworks animation exhibition

There are days I sit at home watching animated films, especially when Disney (or Pixar) drops sequel non-stop that I think about how great Dreamworks Animations are in general. With that said, I have my definite love for them from Kung Fu Panda to Rise of the Guardians (review), Flushed Away and of course, How to Train Your Dragon (review). So many things to love about this exhibit since it had a lot of the models and sketches and artwork. It had some cool parts where it showed off how the whole creative team goes from sketches to the drawing board. There was even this video that took us for a first person view as we saw Berk be built.

This is only a super tiny portion of exhibition. It was pretty enlightening and lots of stuff to learn from.

After this exhibition, we went to check out the First Peoples Hall, Tsimshian Prehistory and the Canadian Stamp Collection and then wrapped up with the top two floors with the The Canadian History Hall.

Tsimshian Prehistory

Canadian Stamp Collection

Canadian History Hall

This is such a small snippet of what we walked through in the few hours we were there.

Its a pretty awesome museum and we’re definitely looking forward to going back to have more time. I’ll be keeping an eye out for any other cool exhibitions that’ll be going on in the future and hopefully when that happens, we can spend an entire day there to just carefully go through everything. Just the Canadian History Hall was a whole two floors from the very very start to modern history, which is pretty interesting even if I’m not much of a history nut (although my husband is.).

Overall, it was a great experience! Dreamworks Animation: The Exhibition was all kinds of awesome and has me wanting to add on the Dreamworks movies to my Baking project although the title would have to be changed.

Netflix A-Z: Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Next up on Netflix A-Z is our P selection! It really wasn’t much of a decision here! I haven’t seen an animated film in a while and I just needed time to relax and just be entertained.  Mind you, I’m a fan of Madagascar to a certain extent but my feeling towards Madagascar is something like my current feeling of Ice Age. However, Madagascar has always been able to entertain me a little more.  I guess that’s a plus so there are higher hopes of a spin-off movie working.

Let’s check it out! 🙂

Penguins of Madagascar (2014)

Penguins of Madagascar

Director: Eric Darnell & Simon J. Smith

Voice Cast: Tom McGrath, Chris Miller, Christopher Knights, Conrad Vernon, John Malkovich, Benedict Cumberbatch, Ken Jeong, Annet Mahendru, Peter Stormare

Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private join forces with undercover organization The North Wind to stop the villainous Dr. Octavius Brine from destroying the world as we know it.-IMDB

 The goal of most animated films is to entertainment.  Penguins of Madagascar should have one goal: entertaining families.   Animations are aimed towards a younger audience usually and Madagascar franchise has always had that sort of appeal.

Penguins is a hard one to pinpoint. It really is a sequel to the previous Madagascar since it shows them escaping the circus.  It gives it some continuity and context to what is going on.They definitely have comedic value. This animation should be probably more engaging for children especially with the cute and cuddly penguins and the not too long run time mixed with constant action and some funny visual comedy. Its also quite colorful and energetic.  For adults watching this, it still has a fun value and the humor has its smart moments especially using actor names in the context of sentences. We had a good laugh over catching those bits.

Penguiins of Madagascar

While our heroes are the silly penguins and its a lot based on their absurd and spontaneous plans, it adds in a villain just for them called Dave who is an octopus that lost its popularity at zoos because of penguins. Dave disguises intelligently as a successful scientist and while being a villain, he also is pretty old school especially when he is being voiced by the talented John Malkovich and is bad at technology. In contrast, our side heros is an elite group called the North Wind put together but a wolf, polar bear, seal and snow owl. An abnormal group still but one that has some fun moments when interactimg with the penguins since they are rather more professional and uptight and the penguins are not. All this is to say that the balance and character design is done well.

Penguins of Madagascar

One of the outstanding parts of any animation are their voice actors and this cast has some big names that add a lot more to the characters. I previously mentioned John Malkovich as our villain. I’ve always thought that he has a rather distinctive voice and he just grasped the character of Dave so well that it actually made us find him rather fun to watch.  In North Wind, there is Benedict Cumberbatch (which I totally did not recognize before), Ken Jeong and Peter Stormare.  While I don’t think that the North Wind group in particular was a huge part of the movie or even memorable, I do think that Ken Jeong and Peter Stormare did a good job as their roles as the dorky (and sometimes angry-ish) seal and the big softy polar bear respectively. On that note, our stars of the show Penguins hold a few familiar looking names but none other than Chris Miller than I seem to recollect however, they are enthusiastic and energetic and breathes a lot of life into the Penguins we know and love from the Madagascar series, keeping them as fun to watch.

Penguins of Madagascar

Overall, Penguins of Madagascar was a fun and entertaining watch.  It doesn’t take a lot of attention to understand whats going on because it has a simple plot.  I can say that because I watched this 2.5 times over three days but each time I was doing something else and still enjoyed it but didn’t get lost despite missing different parts.  Its a nice one to put in the background.  However, I do believe there is some appeal to kids because of its bright colors and energetic characters along with a rather action-packed and/or silly parts that are put rather frequently throughout the film.  Penguins of Madagascar is a good one!

Have you seen Penguins of Madagascar? Are you a fan of the Madagascar franchise?

Dreamworks Holiday Classics (2011)

Its Friday and well, yesterday, my attention span was a bit short so I decided to watch the Dreamworks Holiday Classics with includes 4 short-ish animated flicks. I’m trying to keep a touch of Christmas everyday even if its not in the form of reviews and its crazy.  I’m happy that weekend is around the corner so I can plan this out a tad better. Dreamworks really are maximizing on the Shrek and Madagascar franchise. Anyways, lets check it out!

dreamworks holiday classics cover

1) Merry Madagascar

First feature is a Christmas feature based on Madasgascar. This one is about 50 minutes long and is the longest one out of the four, I believe.  The idea is that Santa has an accident and gets amnesia while in Madasgascar.  However, the four want to help him out to give out the gifts and use it as a way to get back home to New York.

merry madagascar

Honestly, I really loved the first Madagascar and then I can’t remember much of the last few.  How many are they at anyways? 3? Either way, I fell asleep watching the 3rd one last year on the plane if thats the last one.  I had zero expectations out of this one but hey, I had fun with it.  I thought it was a pretty good Christmas movie.  Its a nice family fun flick. It has some nice messages attached to it as as well.

2) Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury

Who doesn’t love How to Train a Dragon? I actually bought this last year, this Christmas feature I mean.  Of course, in Berk its called Snoggletog for the winter holiday instead of Christmas. We still have the mega cute Toothless and the very awesome Hiccup, plus the whole crew from the main feature that its based on.  This is a second viewing and I’m telling you, I think this franchise is great.  I loved it once more.  You can check out my review of it for last year’s Christmas marathon right HERE!


3) Donkey’s Christmas Shrekatacular

Our 3rd feature is very short, maybe 10-15 minutes I guess.  I wasn’t paying a lot of attention to this one since I’m not a huge Shrek fan. I liked the first one but never watched it again.  This one is full of Christmas carols, like two, Shrekified (if thats a word).

4) Madagascar Penguins in A Christmas Caper

The last one is also based on Madagascar, but most specifically the very evil and slightly crazy penguins.  In this one, they are still at the zoo and one of them escape to try to find something to make the lonely polar bear happy on Christmas.  However, the penguin gets caught and his buddies launch a plan to try to help him escape.

a xmas caper

The penguins are pretty hilarious to watch.  They do have a nice over the top entertainment value and I think I appreciate it about this.  Its a simple and cute one.  I really don’t have much else to say about it.

Overall, Gift of the Night Fury is the best one but the Madagascar’s are pretty fun to watch as well.  Its a pretty good time.  I’d say that Dreamworks has some decent franchises, especially with How to Train the Dragon.  I seriously can’t wait for the sequel 🙂

What do you think about these Dreamworks franchises? Whats your fave?