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The Penguins of Madagascar – “Loathe At First Sight/The Trouble With Jiggles” Recap

by on February 23, 2012

Loathe At First Sight: Kowalski invents the “Loveulator,” a machine that causes whoever’s struck by it to fall truly, madly, deeply in love with each other. He wants to use it to make Doris the Dolphin fall in love with him. After initial testing (including one involving Alice with a trash can), Kowalski accidentally blasts Private with a stray shot, causing him to develop deep resentment towards Kowalski. It only gets worse when the Loveulator backfires, causing everyone in the zoo to hate and attack Kowalski. Can Kowalski make things right again, or is he destined for a life as the most hated Penguin on Earth?


The Trouble With Jiggles: It starts in a courtroom (the HQ), with Skipper as the Judge, Private as the Prosecutor, Rico as the Defense Attorney, Kowalski as the Defendant and King Julien as the Scribe. The crime? Kowalski did not destroy Jiggles; instead he altered Jiggles biological structure to not grow into a monster (as it doesn’t eat fruit anymore). Instead, Jiggles multiplies when subjected to physical harm. When the Jiggli escape, they exponentially multiply after the zoo animals attack them. It’s only a matter of time until the Jiggli completely cover the Earth. Will the Penguins be able to find a solution before then?


Courtesy of Bob Schooley (@Rschooley)

Let the day of Nickelodeon’s “Crush Night” event be known as the day Private despises (or is that loathes?) Kowalski; both of these Penguins episodes involve Private showing disdain towards the smart one in some way, shape or form. “Loathe At First Sight” and “The Trouble With Jiggles” aren’t the same episodes, otherwise the Penguins team will have some really irritated fans on their hands.

After watching “Loathe At First Sight,” I only have this to say: Poor Kowalski, and everyone in the zoo owes him an apology. This episode follows a well-tested plot: everyone in the world now hates one character, and they don’t know why. At the same time, however, it introduces us to another part of Kowalski’s personality: he doesn’t take rejection lightly. He’s determined to be with Doris the Dolphin at all costs, to the point that he ends up stalking Doris.

Remember when I wrote in the recap for “The Big S.T.A.N.K.” how Penguins has taken a turn for the weird? Well, traces of that weirdness continues here, starting with Alice and the trash can, sitting by the sea, you know how this song finishes. Feel free to sing that last line to its beat. It was pretty funny, though, and similar to when the Penguins put Alice through the humiliation of kissing Bada the Gorilla in “Time Out”. Meanwhile, if Kowalski tracking Doris’ every move wasn’t weird enough, there’s also King Julien falling in love with Mort and Kowalski’s line below.

From @PointFromNorway: “FARM FRESH KOWALSKI!” I’m going to be saying that all the time now. #NewPenguinsRock


The weirdness is toned down though, aside from Alice with the trash can of course. There are references to past episodes here as well, such as the McGuthium 239 from “It’s About Time,” a reenactment of the scene with the anti-intruder controls from “King Julien For A Day,” and to the fact that Doris is just not that into Kowalski from “Gone In A Flash.” The only truly negative point that I can think of is the way that they’ve been treating Kowalski lately. The crew just loves to have him be shrunk, put on trial, polka-dotted, misshaped, attacked, blown up and other forms of torture I probably didn’t or can’t mention.

Courtesy of Bob Schooley (@Rschooley)

From @JHNguyen93: “Ergo, he will never grow to the size of a Party Like A Rockstar tour bus!”#WaytoUsePopCultureKowalski

Let’s move on to “The Trouble With Jiggles.” This is where the real weirdness happens. You have King Julien fantasizing about being a secret agent with a mustache-wearing bulldozer (possessed by the spirit of President William Howard Taft) as his partner. That’s the weirdest, most random thing that I’ve seen on Penguins since he rode a Tuna Melt sandwich in “All Tied Up With A Boa.” Then there’s Rico, who doubles as a lawyer and the executioner. Private still has remnants of his experience in the previous episode, evidenced by his stink-eye towards Kowalski. And we find out that one of Burt’s biggest fears is little green cubes.

This time around, Jiggles goes from, in Skipper’s words, a “cube-shaped demon” to a more mellow cube-shaped multiplier. Fans liked its debut, self-titled appearance and wanted to see it back again. But this time around, Jiggles was kind of shifted to the back for the first half of the episode as they focused on Kowalski’s “trial.” The second half, obviously, has more Jiggles to love. Especially when we see them invade Mars, by which the space squids (that we should’ve seen introduced in the yet-to-be-aired “Alienated”) will have to put their Earth-destroying plans on hold to deal with the Jiggli. 

You also see a lot of cartoon cliches here, such as Skipper continuously striking Jiggles (thus causing him to multiply) while Kowalski explains what happens when it’s struck. Further evidence of cartoon cliches appear when Rico coughed up whipped cream (which Jiggles is attracted to) and it lands on the floor, seemingly without releasing the food within for a brief moment. You can only predict what happens next after the obligatory sigh. So yes, there were some predictable moments. But that doesn’t make “The Trouble With Jiggles” a bad episode. Far from it, actually.

Skipper: “We’ll… repopulate the Penguin species!”

Private: “Skipper, won’t we need girls for that?”

Skipper: “What?”

The trial may have felt a little random, but it did a nice job explaining their current predicament. And while “Secret Agent King Julien” was another random scene involving a certain ring-tailed lemur, it worked to comedic effect. So clearly, there’s evidence of the new era of Penguins there. But, there’s also classic Penguins moments, such as the slapstick way the Jiggli kept multiplying outside the Penguins’ HQ. And after watching this episode, I don’t think that anyone can question the Annie Awards for giving Jeff Bennett the “Best Voice Acting In A TV Production” award for his work here. There’s just so much emotion emanating from his voice in this episode, and it adds to the performance as we see Kowalski bring back his slightly-mad scientist side.

From YouTube: “Does anyone else think Jeff Bennett is better at voicing Kowalski than Chris Miller?”


I agree with that comment above. Both of these episodes brought their A-Game to Nickelodeon’s “Crush Night” event. Of the two, “The Trouble With Jiggles is the better episode overall because of the successful balance of classic and new Penguins scenes. Am I ready to crown them the best Penguins episodes yet? Not by a long shot. Am I ready to claim these the best pair of 2012? Well, since it’s only the second new set of episodes, so I can say that it’s better than “The Big Move/Endangers Species”, though that pair wasn’t terrible. We don’t know what to expect this year, only that it’s a matter of time before the Penguins’ adventures come to an end.

A little note about continuity: I thought that the Penguins were warm-blooded, as seen in “Tagged.” So, how come they didn’t complain when subjected to freezing temperatures here? Another note: This marks the second
episode that Skipper acknowledges Kowalski being the last name. So,
what’s Kowalski’s first name? The world may never know…

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