THE BEST PROMOS
- Runtime:86 min
- Release Date:2015-03-31 08:16:13
- Director: Eric Darnell
- Genres: Adventure, Animation, Comedy, Family
Four animal friends from New York Zoo decide that they must go "home"
to Africa, only when a twist of fate allows this to happen some of them
realise the grass is not always greener
With unexpected results.
Another largely harmless film that is hardly a classic but has a few
jokes and will distract the little monsters for 90 minutes. Madagascar
also features the laziest voice acting in the history of animated
films, aside from Sacha Baron Cohen who steals the entire movie as the
king of the lemurs.
* David Schwimmer was obviously told to play the giraffe as "vaguely
* Jada Pinkett-Smith was told to play the hippo as "sorta sassy".
* Chris Rock was told to play the zebra as "Chris Rock" and
* Ben Stiller was told to play the Lion as "the most annoying Ben
But once the filmmakers decided to use cuddly zoo animals they
basically had a free kick here, simply have them run around and crack a
few jokes in as inoffensive a way as possible and parents will
definitely take their kids to the film, but the merchandise and show up
for a sequel.
But I ask you, how many Madagascar toys and products do you see now a
few years on compared to Toy Story, Cars and even Shrek. This shows
that this is hardly timeless stuff.
(And the sequel SUCKED!!)
What you hope kids will learn: The grass isn't always greener.
What they'll take away: Zoo animals must have it made. Lemurs rock!
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The first time I saw this 2005 DreamWorks Animation effort was in
September 2008. I had seen "The Wild", a 2006 CGI film from Disney
earlier that month, and wasn't that impressed. Knowing it was widely
considered a ripoff of "Madagascar", I decided I had to see this film,
and knowing that it was more popular than its successor, I had higher
expectations for it, which were not exactly met. From what I remember,
I thought it was only very slightly better than "The Wild", and I was
hoping it would be higher above the 2006 Disney flick than that. Nearly
two years later, I've deleted by previous review of the movie and
watched it again. While it still certainly isn't a masterpiece in my
book, it definitely was better with a second viewing.
A zebra named Marty, a lion named Alex, a hippopotamus named Gloria,
and a giraffe named Melman are four friends who live at the Central
Park Zoo in New York City. However, it's Marty's tenth birthday, and he
dreams of seeing the wild. After he learns that the zoo's penguins are
planning their escape, the zebra decides to leave as well. When his
three friends find that he's missing, they leave the zoo and head out
to Grand Central Station to catch up with Marty and convince him to
return. They make it to their destination and catch up with their
friend, but all four of them are soon shot with tranquilizer darts and
later wake up to find themselves in wooden crates, not knowing that
they are now on a boat, being taken back to the wild! On the voyage,
the four animals accidentally fall overboard and are separated, but all
of them wash up on the same mysterious shore in their crates! They
don't know this at first, but they haven't been sent to another zoo.
They are on the island of Madagascar, near the continent of Africa, and
life here is more difficult than what they're used to!
The voices of the four lead characters are provided by Ben Stiller,
Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer, and these cast
members all do a decent job with the voice-overs. The voice acting in
general is very impressive, with comedian Sacha Baron Cohen as King
Julien (a lemur in Madagascar), the voices for the military penguins
(provided by Tom McGrath, Christopher Knights, Chris Miller, and John
Di Maggio), etc. The characters generally may not be the most
outstanding ones in the history of animated films, but they can be
interesting and provide a lot of humour. The leads can be funny with
their conflict and Alex finding himself really craving steak, and so
can the penguins on their separate adventure and King Julien, who is
entertaining with his really funny lines and his version of "I Like to
Move It", the hit song by Reel 2 Real. Cohen's talent probably helps.
The humour isn't always great, as there are maybe too many sight gags
at times, but there are still many funny parts, with not just sight
gags but also some very humorous dialogue. As usual, the animation here
is outstanding, with the characters and the backgrounds, starting with
a very urban setting and then moving to the jungle, with some gorgeous
CGI scenery! The plot may be a bit bland, but isn't exactly bad, and
several other aspects really help to carry the movie.
When I first watched this movie from DreamWorks Animation, I could
certainly understand many would consider "The Wild" a ripoff of it.
Both films are about animals from a New York zoo going across the ocean
to a jungle, where life turns out to be different and more dangerous
than what they're used to. They're obviously not EXACTLY the same, but
the major similarities are very noticeable. I haven't seen the second
of the two since the first time I watched it, but have now seen this
one twice, and like I said, my second viewing was definitely better.
Since it's been nearly two years since I first and last saw the 2006
Disney film, it's not as easy to compare them, but I think I can
understand why this DreamWorks one has wider appeal. I still can't
imagine ever being blown away by this one, no matter how many times I
watch it, but overall, it's still pretty good, and I recommend it for
fans of these CGI family adventures, as long as they don't have a
problem with it not being 100% clean.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
What would happen if Central Park Zoo animals who are best friends
escape and are forced to go to Africa? A fun animated movie.
We start out introduced to four best friends in the Central Park Zoo.
Alex the Lion (voiced by Ben Stiller) is happy with how his life is. He
is visited by thousands of people daily. He gets to have steak for
dinner every day. Marty (voiced by Chris Rock) is a zebra who just
turned 10 and wants more out of life than putting on a show for people
every day. He wonders where the grass is greener. Gloria (voiced by
Jada Pinkett Smith) is a hippo who is not afraid to take charge. She is
a good friend, but not one to mess with. Melman (voiced by David
Schwimmer from Friends) is a giraffe who always finds something wrong
with him. He is always taking medicines.
The penguins steal the show from the best friends as a group who is up
to no good in trying to escape from the zoo and go to Antarctica. They
are a funny and original group of characters.
Marty sets out to go to Connecticut. Before he gets a chance to get on
the train, his friends stop him. They are all caught by the New York
police and are put in crates to go to Africa. The penguins hijack the
boat and the four friends end up in Madagascar. They learn to adapt to
the new environment they are put in.
While this movie is fun for the whole family, it does a great job of
sending a message about how important friends are and keeping them
Dreamworks would be years away from making a watchable movie. But this
has one thing that really appealed.
The characters and gags are designed by committee, and thoroughly
tested, as is the game with SKG. But one craft is the work of a single
master. We don't know who it is, because Hans Zimmer's massive
operation did the music and some uncredited person put this together.
Whoever, whether Sunny Park or someone in in a Zimmercube, we are
treated to possibly three dozen themes from old movies. All of them are
quoted in a more pure fashion than the original, all with great respect
and all adding substance to the film that it otherwise lacks. This is
hard to do, to judge from how rarely it is even attempted.
Cohen has a few funny jokes. The rest is pap.
Ted's Evaluation — 2 of 3: Has some interesting elements.
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