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An Encumbrance of Cumberbatch

I just went out to see “Penguins of Madagascar” recently. It’s a movie. It may be based around a television show? A television show based on another movie. The former had the same title, and the latter’s is just missing the first two words. I don’t know. The show might actually be largely irrelevant in all of this.

But all of this is largely irrelevant.

Listen. Maybe I write about truth. That truth doesn’t necessarily have to pertain to anything particular.

Anyway, I was walking around shortly before I went off to the cinema, and I was listening to a podcast in which the hosts’ discussion happened to come around to Benedict Cumberbatch. The man has a central role in this film, though that was never mentioned in the podcast. The crux of the Cumberbatch talk was the revelation of his inability to say the word “penguins” in any sort of traditional manner after he narrated a documentary about the apparently flightless birds.

The protean peculiarities in his pronunciation bore themselves out in the animated feature I saw too. Furthermore, I noticed that the teammates of his character were voiced in ways that made them say “penguins” in even stranger ways. A deliberate attempt at disguise? I don’t know. Incidentally, there are multiple instances in which the diction of the Cumberbatch character is called into question by one of the penguins, but it’s never about that specific word. Or related ones. But the penguin that engages in these quibbles is a bit of a Shatner analogue. Such arguments fit in with that persona already. On that note, there’s a bit in the climax that feels like a rendition of that sacrifice scene from “Wrath of Khan”. Or the spiritual remake with Cumberbatch. In favour of the former, the Shatner analogue is the one on the outside. But it follows the latter in resolving the ensuing sickness by the end of the film instead of making an entirely separate movie about the resurrection of the martyr. That sickness also involved the growth of a new hand that came with a glove that perfectly matched the animal's distinctive tuxedo colouring.

So . . . Connections. They abound.

Oh. And that also seemed to be the day on which the confirmation of Benedict’s starring role in the Doctor Strange movie was made. I noticed that when I saw a picture of him on the IMDb page for “Penguins of Madagascar”. That picture made me comprehend the propriety of the choice more thoroughly. That’s helped further by the fact that he’s someone who transcends character acting by being an actor who also happens to be a great character. Like that thing with the penguin pronunciation! That sort of transcendence seems to follow in the tradition of Vincent Price, and there generally seems to be a fair amount of Vincent Price in the mien of Doctor Strange. If they’re not going straight to Johnny Depp for the role, Benedict makes an equal kind of sense.


Bonus Question!

Best flightless bird?

The Big one.

Copyright © 2011, Jaymes Buckman and David Aaron Cohen. All rights reserved. In a good way.