At New York's central park zoo, a lion, a zebra, a giraffe and a hippo are best friends and stars of the show. But when one of the animals goes missing from their cage, the other 3 break free to look for him, only to find ... more »themselves reunited ... On a ship en route to Africa. They will learn what life in the wild is like.« less
L. Maggy S. (maggy) from LYON MOUNTAIN, NY Reviewed on 6/22/2011...
My granddaughter watches it so much that I'm getting tired of it. However the movie is very good although the lemur king character is REALLY annoying.
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Dawn C. from GROVETOWN, GA Reviewed on 2/8/2011...
my grand daughter loved it!!.... I cant wait to "GET MOVING MOVING"
0 of 2 member(s) found this review helpful.
Julie W. from KEY WEST, FL Reviewed on 9/7/2009...
0 of 1 member(s) found this review helpful.
Laugh Out Loud Funny
Graboidz | Westminster, Maryland | 05/31/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"I have to admit I was underwhelmed by the ads for "Madagascar", it just didn't look that good. But my kids were anxious to see it so I dragged myself into the theater on Saturday ready to see another kiddie movie along the lines of "Shark Tale" or "Home on the Range". I did not expect to enjoy the movie as much as my seven year old....if not more. "Madagascar" is not only a great animated film and packs as many laughs into it's hour and half as either "Shrek" movie did, "Madagascar" is just a great comedy. There were several times in the movie that were just laugh out loud funny, the scene with the Penguins in Antarctica was worth the price of admission for me! There are plenty of jokes aimed at an older audience, like the reference to "The Twilight Zone" episode "How to Serve Man". The story is great and the characters are really fun. The visuals are stunning and the animation is top-notch. Add all that together with a great soundtrack, and I think "Madagascar" is a great way to kick off the summer movie season. This one ranks right up there with "The Incredibles" and "Shrek"."
Amusing Fun for Young and Old
thornhillatthemovies.com | Venice, CA United States | 05/31/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Recent animated efforts have tried to create 3-D characters and environments, but the filmmakers have wisely chosen another course for "Madagascar". Adopting a stylized form of animation, the film looks like a living picture book. Everything is cartoonier than we are used to. Alex, Marty and Melman are still rendered in 3-D, but they are not lifelike and appear to be adapted from a children's book, actually adding to the humor. These characters look like stuffed animals and its funny to watch little kids carrying a small toy of Alex home after their visit to the zoo. They seem more believable as zoo animals and they are certainly cute as the dickens.
In all animated films today, a certain level of irreverence, of zaniness is expected. "Madagascar" doesn't reach the heights of the "Shrek" films, but it comes darn close. Everything from Tom Wolfe to "The Twilight Zone", "American Beauty" to "The Planet of the Apes" is parodied in the film. Most of the kids won't get these jokes and the filmmakers know that. They are included for the adults, to keep them interested in the story. The mark of a great animated film is if both adults and children enjoy the experience. For instance, "The Incredibles" was a fantastic blend of story, action, character and humor which will continue to delight people of all ages. "Madagascar" has a very funny story, great characters, and a lot of humor. On a couple of occasions, the story was a little slow, but I think all of the other areas more than compensate for any shortcomings. And adults will laugh at many of the jokes, probably more so than the kids in the audience.
Ben Stiller and Chris Rock are very good. David Schwimmer seems to be injecting a lot of Ross from "Friends" into the role of Melman, not very original but it works. The real standouts are Tom McGrath and Sacha Baron Cohen.
There are a couple of brilliant additions to the film, which help it rise above. Marty's ideas of visiting the wild are originally fed by Skipper the Penguin (Tom McGrath). Skipper and his sidekicks, two other penguins, are determined to break out of the zoo and return to Antarctica. They skulk around corners like CIA operatives, act in clandestine ways, and manage to accomplish most of their goals. The penguins are a brilliant addition to the story and really liven up the proceedings. I laughed out loud during most of their appearances. For a while, their story takes them in a different direction from the rest of the gang and we lose track of them. Because they are so funny, you long for their return.
When the animals land in Madagascar, they meet King Julian the lemur (Sacha Baron Cohen, TV's "Ali G") and Maurice, his right hand lemur (Cedric the Entertainer) and their entire kingdom of lemurs. Cohen seemed to be channeling the spirit of Peter Sellers, because his voice was an uncanny reproduction of some of Seller's characters. He is very funny as the King, always working on an angle as he tries to figure things out. The Lemurs add a level of frenetic activity and zaniness to the film, ratcheting the humor up a few notches.
The least interesting voice actor is Jada Pinkett Smith. She simply doesn't add anything to the character. IMDb.com lists a handful of other people who were considered for the role and I have to say that I don't think any of them would have made a significant contribution either. A comedian would have been a nice touch. Instead, Gloria seems to be the lone voice of reason among the group, dragging everything down.
"Madagascar" is a really good, very funny film suitable for the entire family. But it is also a great choice if you are with a date or simply alone and want to watch a funny film. You'll enjoy it. "
Great for the family...
cassidrm | 05/28/2005
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Madagascar is a cute and funny movie. Parents and kids were laughing through most of the movie. (there was an little while where the story gets boring.) But, I love the penguins and the fact that they are always so sneaky; they really steal the show from the main characters. If you have kids this is a definite must see, we had kids laughing the whole time and most loved the bright colors, music and especially dancing. You saw a lot of little kids dancing in their chairs. People without kids or older kids will also enjoy the movie as it has a lot of jokes for adults to keep us entertained and laughing; the bright colors are also great for us as well as the dancing and music. I felt this cartoon lived up to its previews and the way it was perceived. My only hope is if they do a 2nd one that they include more of those sneaky penguins."
A genuinely enjoyable and colourful watch
Frodo | Bag End, The Shire | 07/11/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
"Over recent years, Dreamworks have produced a string of films aimed to entertain young children. However with the exception of "Shrek," to the older audience, their films are somewhat lame and bland. But after watching "Madagascar," for which I had low expectations, even I had to admit that Dreamworks did a mighty good job. I sat down with my younger sister (who I'll add ADORES this film) and I chuckled and smiled my way through this surprisingly charming Dreamworks success.
Marty (voiced by Chris Rock) is an ambitious zebra who has spent the past decade cramped in Central Park's New York City zoo. Unlike his best friend Alex, who, ironically, is a lion (Ben Stiller), Marty dreams to live in the wide open spaces of "the wild." In the film's introduction we also meet Melmen, a giraffe who is a hyperchondriac ("Friends"' David Schwimmer) and Gloria, a self-assured hippopotamus (Jada Pinkett Smith). In an amusing twist of events, the four friends manage to escape the confinds of the zoo. To Marty's delight and Alex's sheer horror, they consequently land themselves on ship to a game reserve in Africa. In ANOTHER twist of events, they then become stranded on the island of Madagascar. The film then takes an interesting turn when Alex's carivorous instinct soon threatens his friendship with Marty, thus encouraging Marty to make the ultimate decision between his dream and his friendship.
I actually thought the storyline of "Madagascar," was quite well-shaped and original. All animals, even those demosticated always carry with them those instincts and abilities that help them survive in the unforgiving wilderness. I want to really commend the film for their interesting exploration of this concept.
The film's story is accentuated and brightened by its child-friendly, yet pleasant humor. Stiller, Rock and Schwimmer are all renowned for their experience in comedy, which is evident through many of the film's amusing scenes. However, I didn't feel that the characters of Melmen and Gloria were given enough limelight. The film focussed a little too much on Alex and Marty's characters, and didn't explore the other two nearly as much. David Schwimmer's Melmen, I think, was the funniest character of the four, and so it would have been great if the audience saw more of him.
Unlike Pixar films, which are aimed to appeal across the ages, "Madagascar" is predominantly aimed at younger children, so naturally the gags were somewhat repetative. But this is hardly a bad thing. As I mentioned before, my nine-year-old sister simply loves this film, and she was in barrels of laughter throughout. For older viewers, although not to the same extent, there is certainly a charm that I found endearing.
Another aspect I must comment on is the film's abundant colour. I personally, am more of a Disney animation fan, however I am at awe at the vibrance and brightness of computer-animation, making it wholly appealling to its target audience of young children.
In conclusion, "Madagascar," is not quite "Finding Nemo," but I really did enjoy and chuckle my way through. With a surprisingly interesting and original story accompanied nicely with the comedic flair of its lovable characters, "Madagascar" is a film that with have the young ones laughing outloud and the older ones enjoying the colourful ride."
But what are Mommy and Daddy laughing at?
Lawrance M. Bernabo | The Zenith City, Duluth, Minnesota | 03/05/2006
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Madagascar" must be a very maddening movie for young kids who go with their parents, because at moments when they are not laughing their parents very well could be and the kiddies will have no clue why. After all, how many pre-teens have seen the end of the original version of "The Planet of the Apes," the beginnings of "Saturday Night Fever" and "Chariot of Fire," or have even heard the theme song from "Born Free"? I expect they may have seen "Castaway" and might well recognize a homage to the dancing hippos from "Fantasia," but is it reasonable to think they saw "The Twilight Zone" episode "To Serve Man"? I realize that when kids are laughing they probably are not aware of what their parents or guardians are doing, but since they will not be laughing at most of these pop culture references to other films, they may well be awrae that the older people are watching a different movie.
Ultimately the problem is that the different "Madagascar" that the grownups are watching is clearly funnier than the one that is trying to keep the wee folk entertained. The story is about four animals who are best buds at the Central Park Zoo. Alex the Lion (voiced by Ben Stiller) is the star of the show and a devotee of raw steak, while Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock) is tired of looking at the fake jungle painted on the wall and longs to be free in the wild, not really knowing what that means. Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) is a hypochondriac, worried about the brown spots on his skin, while Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinikett Smith), is a rather contented soul. But when the quartet of penguins decide to make a break for Antarctica, Marty gets out on the streets of New York City, which forces Alex and the others to rescue him. Their trip to Grand Central Station is seen by the humans as a quest for freedom and against the will of three of the four friends, they are crated up and put on a ship bound for Africa so they can be happy (the humans who come up with this saw the movie "Free Willy," but never read the news stories about what happened when the star of those films was released into the ocean).
To say that they end up in Madagascar rather than Africa might seem like a minor distinction since the island is off the coast of the continent and therefore part of the same land mass, but it is important that the place is NOT Africa. Africa is a place where there are prides of lions, herds of zebras, and so forth. Madagascar is a place where there is a division between the lemurs and their small friends, ruled by the wacky Julian (Sacha Baron Cohen), who is advised by the more sedate Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer), and the hyenas, who do not talk, following the tradition of really bad animals in movies populated by talking animals (e.g., the rats in "Lady and the Tramp"). This matters because it makes the newcomers the biggest animals around (the "New York giants" to the locals), and Alex a true king of the jungle (he terrifies the hyenas when he is not trying to and Julian wants Alex to try really hard to terrify the hyenas).
"Madagascar" is an anti-"Call of the Wild" in that the biggest conflict becomes not the ability of the zoo animals to survive in the wild or to save the lemurs from the hyenas, but rather keeping Alex from converting to his natural state in which case Marty and the others are literally the walking steaks he misses so much. Few friendships can survive one friend sinking their teeth into the butt of another, and the tightrope this 2005 animated film must walk is that we have to fear that Alex is going to eat the rest of the cast. But then we remember, to adapt the wise words of Chandler Bing, that this would just mean they stop drawing the zebra. However, it is hard to complain about the rhetorical aspects of a film whose chief message is that you should not eat your friends (I bet small kids would get the idea that film is the anti-"Silence of the Lambs"). Not a classic by any means, but I know how often I laughed out loud, so I have to round up."