Billy Madison is a comedy film directed by Tamra Davis, and is starring Adam Sandler, Bradley Whitford, Bridgette Wilson, Norm MacDonald, and Darren McGavin. It was released in theaters on August 4, 1995. The movie is written by Sandler & David Wise and produced by Columbia Pictures, and was starring Tyrel Clark, Brett Ratner, John Aston, and Jason Priestley. It also starred Mark Linn-Baker and Sidney Poitier.
Billy Madison follows the life of Billy Madison (Adrian Brodsky), who is working as a call center agent for a private company. Along with his best friend, Madison’s wife, Beverly (Sherry Collins), become increasingly more distant and he begins to worry that he has turned out to be more of a liability than a help to their growing family. When Madison decides to take his family on a family vacation to the West Coast, Billy gets the chance to spend time with his father.
While doing so, Billy witnesses the tragic death of his grandmother, Madeleine (Sandra Oh), following an argument with her husband over the way he’s treating their daughter. Madison’s own daughter, Holly (Diane Lane), develops a crush on him, but Billy is hesitant to let go of his relationship with Beverly. To make matters worse, Billy’s boss, Lee (John Aston), begins to doubt that Billy is doing his job properly, so as a result, he lets go of his promotion to regional salesman and asks Madison to go back to his small consulting firm. But Madison doesn’t want to leave his old friends behind, so he decides to give them one last chance at a professional relationship before taking on his new job. On this final visit to his friends, Billy discovers that everyone in the group has changed for the better, except for Madison. Madison realizes that he has let his friendship slip and now he must learn to regain it before going back to his old life.
Although Billy and Madison enjoy their time spent together, their relationship with their school principal is the film’s most touching and entertaining scene. When asked by Madison if he feels like he’s done what he should in order to be a good principal, Billy responds with a heartfelt “I try.” Following his response, however, we cut to a shot of Principal Darren McGavin checking in on the classroom. As he walks into the room, he sees Madison and Beverly sit in the chairs across from him. He walks over to them, wondering how they are able to manage to work with their schedules and work, but is shocked when they both answer “yes.”
It’s at this point, we cut to Mr. Madison walking toward the door as the camera follows him, until we finally look up at the door of the principal’s home. We all know that Billiard halls are places of fun for everyone, but we don’t know how the two of them are getting along. We also don’t know where the penguins are going next. After Mr. Madison realizes that Madison and Beverly are sitting in the class the two were in just before he goes back to his office, we cut to a shot of the penguins on the beach next to Billy and Madison.
While we never really see the penguins again (unlike some of the other animated Disney movies), the lesson that the movie wants to convey is that even though something might seem ridiculous, it can often provide the best lessons. In this case, the lesson is about how working together can lead to success, while having different opinions can create arguments and problems that only serve to grow worse over time. In the case of the teachers’ lounge, the lesson is about how a group of students who get along well enough to enjoy their school and its activities can grow together and make something of their own. It’s a message that are relevant to a lot of children, but it is one that got lost in ” Penguins! Island”.
While it’s true that “P Penguins” is not as funny as” Pigs in Paper Shirts”, it is an alright film. Billy Madison and Craig T. Nelson have both made better films, like “Election” and “Dumb and Dumber”, so it’s hard to pick apart the movie to make a judgment. Regardless, it’s still a nice and charming film, which makes it a more pleasant to watch than some of the other animated Disney movies that you may have enjoyed in the past (which is why I give it a four star instead of five). Like “Election” and “Dumb and Dumber”, “P Penguins” is a movie that will likely find its way into the Hall of Fame of the greatest animated films ever.
In closing, I liked “P Penguins” and thought it was a great movie. The music is catchy and has a familiar Disney tone. Brian Murray’s voice did bring some life to the penguins and it was nice seeing some good Ben Stiller and Jennifer Aniston at the same time. I’m not the biggest fan of the animation, but I liked it and thought it was a good time watching it. If you’ve never seen “Election” or “The Secret Life of Bees”, you might give “Penguins!” a try, it may just surprise you!