"In Madagascar, a group of talking animals living comfortable lives in the Central Park Zoo are sent to a nature preserve in Kenya under pressure from animal rights activists, which results in them becoming stranded in the wilderness along with dangerous predators and, even worse, annoying dancing lemurs.

On the boat ride to Kenya, the crew of the ship carrying the animals is overrun by a group of sociopathic penguins, who take over the vessel and set sail toward Antarctica. Amid the confusion, the main characters are washed overboard and drift to Madagascar, where they learn important lessons about friendship and being true to their own nature, etc.

But what we want to focus on is the penguins hijacking the boat.

Now, the boat was not piloted by animals (that would have been unrealistic), so taking over meant subduing the humans. The next time we see the penguins (after returning from Antarctica), the humans are nowhere to be found. A penguin quips that the people are "on a slow boat to China."

What Happened to the Ship's Crew In Madagascar?

  • 1
    Don't the animals fly a plane in this movie or Madagascar 2? That's just as little realism as driving a ship/boat. If you ask me, the piguins did take it over, and put the human crew on a life boat (hence the on a slow boat to China)
    – paddotk
    Jun 24, 2013 at 17:32
  • Sorry, I see that I kinda said what wallyk already answered. Aw well.
    – paddotk
    Jun 24, 2013 at 17:33

1 Answer 1


If a pod of penguins boards a cargo ship, overruns its human crew, and then sails away, why is it "unrealistic" to imagine that penguins cannot pilot a ship? At what exact point did the reality get too thin?

No one doubts a penguin's navigational abilities. They have arms and eyes and great sea sense (ability to read the weather and seas). And each is their own lifeboat in case the ship sinks. At feeding time, they can jump overboard, catch something, and then come back aboard. (I am not sure, but I don't think they need fresh drinking water.)

I am pretty sure the crew was left on an unpowered craft slowly making its way along the dominant currents and winds. China is probably where it will go: maybe not directly. Maybe international pirates will help get it past the equator.

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