The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper is a computer-animated short produced by DreamWorks Animation, and the first Christmas-themed production spun off from the Madagascar films. The 12-minute film showcases a Christmas-themed adventure starring the Penguins of Madagascar (as titled by their series on Nickelodeon). The short premiered in theaters on October 7, 2005, in front of the film Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. It was directed by animation veteran Gary Trousdale, produced by Teresa Cheng, and written by Michael Lachance.
In the story (which takes place before the events of the original Madagascar film), the animals of the New York Zoo are all celebrating on Christmas Eve, except for the lonely polar bear, Ted. Private, seeing how sad Ted is, asks Skipper if they can go give Ted a present, but Kowalski says they do not have one. In spite of this, Private slips out of the zoo on Christmas Eve to find a present for Ted. About half an hour later, the other three Penguins notice that Private is missing and go looking for him.
While roaming the streets of Manhattan, Private searches for Ted's present at a toy kiosk, but is suddenly nabbed by Nana (the mean old lady from the first film), who mistakes him for a chew toy. She purchases Private and brings him home as a Christmas present for her vicious dog, Mr. Chew. Unbeknownst to Nana, the other three penguins manage to sneak into the apartment building in which she lives and break into her apartment to save Private. They escalate into chaos against Mr. Chew, all-the-while unnoticed by Nana, who is very occupied watching a football game. When they are done, they blow up the door with dynamite (something Rico has been wanting to use throughout the picture) and make their getaway, leaving Mr. Chew to be harshly scolded by Nana for what the penguins have done to her place.
As the penguins head back to the zoo, Private admits he still feels sorry for Ted, so the penguins invite Ted to their home for Christmas. But he has already invited several other guests (including the main characters from the movies), resulting in a massive sing-a-long to a parody of "Jingle Bells".
Right after the short's original theatrical release, it was included as a bonus feature on the original DVD release of the first Madagascar movie on November 15, 2005, and later as part of a DVD titled Party with the Penguins, sold only as part of a two-disc DVD set with Merry Madagascar at Walmart stores starting November 19, 2009, in the USA. When Merry Madagascar was re-released as a wide retail DVD, the short was included as a bonus feature. It was later featured on the DreamWorks Holiday Collection compilation DVD and Blu-ray, released on October 30, 2012. The short can also be found on Netflix, under the DreamWorks shorts collections, DreamWorks Holiday Collection, and Happy Holidays from Madagascar, released by 20th Century Fox.
|Bill Fagerbakke||Ted the Polar Bear|
|Frank Welker||Mr. Chew (uncredited)|
|Sean Bishop|| Doorman|
| Hope Levy|
Note: Alex, Marty, Melman, Gloria, Mason and Phil appear at the beginning and ending of the short, but do not have speaking parts.
- DreamWorks Wiki: A Christmas Caper
- Madagascar Wiki: A Christmas Caper
- The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper at the Internet Movie Database
|"Spawn of Santa" • Surviving Christmas • The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper • Shrek the Halls • Merry Madagascar • Kung Fu Panda Holiday • Donkey's Caroling Christmas-tacular • "The All Nighter Before Christmas" • Dragons: Gift of the Night Fury|