The mood you're in when you see a movie has a big impact on how much you enjoy it. I saw this in a cinema packed with young families and it went down well. I laughed a lot, so did my kids, and so did the cinema. I explained to my daughter that pansy meant softy, so I even felt useful.
Having young children means I have sat through quite a lot of this genre, and the use of computers in animation makes things a little over-refined. I seem to be the only person who finds Pixar movies too polished, faultless, and stale. This film can be abrupt and patchy, but in my opinion that makes it more spontaneous.
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The movie looks great, the penguins are funny, the king is funny, and the pace and energy are good. About 90 minutes is also the correct length. The plot may be thin but the survival concepts that pepper the movie are good intellectual fodder for children.