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Overall Rating
3.21

Awesome: 15.15%
Worth A Look30.3%
Average: 23.48%
Pretty Bad: 22.73%
Total Crap: 8.33%

10 reviews, 72 user ratings



Madagascar
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by brianorndorf

"I hear they like to move it"
4 stars

“Madagascar” is a cute, hilarious step forward for Dreamworks animation, as well as a great family film diversion in a time where that’s hard to come by. Richly acted by the voice cast and unafraid to get silly, “Madagascar” is a fun little treat.

Housed in the Central Park Zoo, star performing lion Alex (voiced by Ben Stiller), neurotic giraffe Melman (David Schwimmer), and sensible hippo Gloria (Jada Pinkett-Smith), are all content with the adoration they get from the capacity crowds and their pampered lifestyle. However, depressed zebra Marty (Chris Rock) desires to be free in the wild, much to the disbelief of his friends. Sneaking out one night into the big city, Marty gets a taste of freedom, but it’s cut short when his friends come to “rescue” him, and they all are caught. Packed in boxes and kicked out of the zoo, the group is sent on a journey overseas, which quickly goes awry, sending them to a new foreign land where they attempt to survive outside of Central Park.

After chasing Disney and Pixar with their own knockoff productions since their inception (“Shrek,” “Shark Tale,” “Antz”), Dreamworks animation has finally found their own footing with the charming and unexpectedly hilarious “Madagascar.”

Taking their cue from “Shrek,” the production has front-loaded the voice cast with heavyweight celebrity names. Normally a distracting practice, “Madagascar” works with the voices delightfully and the talent brings their own sense of exuberance to the roles. While some of the cast, notably David Schwimmer as the hypochondriac giraffe Melman, were born to be animated voices, trickier talent, such as Ben Stiller, are a real surprise. Stiller, Pinkett-Smith, Schwimmer, and Rock make for a great group, sharing skillful chemistry and comic timing. “Madagascar” is defined by this core team, and the strange mixture of personalities makes for solid comic returns. For added fun, the production brings in Cedric the Entertainer and Sacha Baron Cohen in the film’s second half as the two lemur leaders of the strange new land. Cohen (Ali G in his day job and starring in his first animated feature) is a scream here, giving a riotous performance and adding the right drop of insanity to the picture’s sagging midsection. I’m hoping Cohen makes a career of this.

Filmmakers Eric Darnell (“Antz”) and Tom McGrath elect for a more cartoonish mood for “Madagascar,” deciding to pursue a good time with the feature in place of unnecessary heart or obligatory morals. The CG animation is heightened by strong, vivid colors and boxy character design, which gives the feature a more personable flair, and strengthens the comedy, much like a Pixar feature. Deliciously silly, the picture gets heavy mileage out of its frantic situations and strange characters, the best of which are a group of militaristic penguins that are hatching their own plans for escape, yet fail at every turn. Serving only as a passing gag every now and again, the penguins are indicative of the entire film, which isn’t afraid to get refreshingly weird and broad when needed.

“Madagascar” is a slight, throwaway animated feature, but that’s where its charm comes from. In an ocean of family films that either try too hard or aim too low, “Madagascar” is a charming, genuinely funny picture that provides a good ride for adults and kids.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12362&reviewer=404
originally posted: 05/28/09 06:37:38
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User Comments

12/19/09 Jeff Wilder Funny in spots. But humor is of the cheap variety. 3 stars
1/15/09 Anonymous. cute and forgetable, not one of the better animated movies. 3 stars
8/30/08 Shaun Wallner Great Kids Film! 5 stars
6/13/08 PAUL SHORTT A BRIGHTLY COLOURED, GOOD-HEARTED FILM 3 stars
3/28/08 sweeta-kt Sorry, but what is kimerikas? Jane. 1 stars
10/06/07 Marty It was super!, I really liked marty the zebra!! 5 stars
6/21/07 Dark Enchantress i love this movie! I love the head lemur as well. 5 stars
5/28/07 fools♫gold Has anyone who rates this 5 stars seen a single cartoon on television? 2 stars
5/19/07 APosterTest Good site, thanks! APosterTest 2 stars
2/08/07 Matt Starts off all right but goes clean off the rails around half way through. 3 stars
11/04/06 Tony Myers Why why WHY are studios like DreamWorks and Disney insisting that CGI is "the big thing"? 1 stars
7/29/06 Generic User Name People are too blinded by their own complaining to see some of the real meanings. Loved it. 5 stars
7/23/06 PM it's a great movie!!!! not only for kids. AWESOME!!! 5 stars
7/20/06 David Cohen I've seen enough "hip" comedies to last me for life, now can we please see some funny ones? 2 stars
6/20/06 Sarah it was aweosme.. the little small thing with big eyes was soo CUTE!!! 5 stars
6/05/06 mary terrible 1 stars
4/22/06 Poopy Woopy A Funny very worth while 4 stars
4/15/06 Joe Schmoe cOtToN-eYeD Joe Awesome!!!!!! 5 stars
4/03/06 JRE penguins are cool but the rest is the stupidest most unfunny plot ever 2 stars
1/09/06 Bad Critic Good animation, but the rest is just so so. 3 stars
1/06/06 JM Synth Dreamworks score a winner after the dull "Shark Tale", and the middiling "Shrek 2" 5 stars
12/29/05 fargat King Jullian, is all they've got! i like to move it move it! 3 stars
12/17/05 Ala'a Haddad The movie's idea is new and really funny and not only for kids 4 stars
11/22/05 J.D. Pittman III Animation got on my nerves and alex isn't a very good mean lion. PENGUINS! 3 stars
11/21/05 tatum Your kids will love the "American Beauty" reference!? 4 stars
10/16/05 Japanamie Cool film, loved the penguins. 3 stars
9/30/05 laura peńaloza 1 stars
9/13/05 bbbr funny 4 stars
8/26/05 Quigley too short with a weak ending, but man, it was pretty funny. I like to move it move it! 4 stars
8/15/05 Frenzy funny 4 stars
8/11/05 LopsyBunny Totally great. What are these people talking about saying it's bad? It's hilarios! 5 stars
8/10/05 Erica Bobifacio Greatest movie ever!!!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/29/05 The Man With No Name funny, but doesn't live up to "shrek" or "finding nemo" 3 stars
7/27/05 Willam Marley Not on par with Shrek but gets the target audience's attention 4 stars
7/26/05 Jon Tamer NO HINTS ABOUT SITUATION IN THE REAL MADAGSCAR-EG. EXTREME POVERTY, EXTENSIVE DEFORESTATION 1 stars
7/18/05 bullit16 Had its moments. Cute for kids. 4 stars
7/14/05 Ronald Newbold What a hoot! 4 stars
7/11/05 Brooke I thought it was great especially the lemurs 5 stars
7/11/05 Peteca It's good if you don't have anything else to watch / Buena solo para pasar el rato 3 stars
7/08/05 Uncle Salty it puts the ZZZZZZZZZ in Zoo 1 stars
7/08/05 Kendra Amorson i loved it, i laghted, cryed, adn smiled 5 stars
7/05/05 helen yost this was an awsomely funny flick that would warm any cold kids heart especially the lemurs 4 stars
7/03/05 Natalia i though it waz kool 5 stars
7/01/05 Jack Farnsworth Not the best movie but kicks Robots ass! 4 stars
6/30/05 John Ay Okay for the kids, slow for adults. 3 stars
6/28/05 ashley trosclair it was freakin awesome and it was also hilarious!!!!! 5 stars
6/28/05 isabella great movie for kids and teens parents need to live a little happyer to get the movie 5 stars
6/26/05 ryan I liked the characters, the song, and the quote " I like to move it". 4 stars
6/25/05 Samantha Not on same level as Shrek but still funny. Ending annoyingly inconclusive. 4 stars
6/25/05 Njakalahy Excellent summer movie. Looking forward to Madagascar 2. 5 stars
6/24/05 andrew thomson great family movie 4 stars
6/23/05 azpinoy Better than expected, loved the penguins! 4 stars
6/19/05 Quigley definitely not shrek 2 or the incredibles, but had it's laughs. king julien rocks! 4 stars
6/15/05 Kayla AWESOME!! 5 stars
6/13/05 Steven Awesome Movie!!! 4 stars
6/13/05 Holly I LOVE the baby lemur, it's soo cute!!! 5 stars
6/13/05 Jean I thought it was a cute childrens movie 4 stars
6/11/05 KingNeutron AVOID, AVOID - these people are obviously trying **WAY** too hard (and failing) to be funny 1 stars
6/11/05 katelyn I loved It (I love king Julian!) 5 stars
6/07/05 Darcy ok for family but not a classic 3 stars
6/06/05 Naka It's, well, total crap. 1 stars
6/05/05 Brian the uninspired dreamworks crapfest rolls on 1 stars
6/04/05 Abigail This was one of the best movies I've ever seen! 5 stars! I only wish they had pictures of t 5 stars
6/03/05 Quigley had some pretty hilarious scenes, but it felt too forced for its own good. 4 stars
6/01/05 Robbie my 2 year old and myself(33) enjoyed alot 4 stars
6/01/05 Titus It ain't pixar, but it was definitely fun, and had some moments of greatness. 4 stars
6/01/05 Ham Sandwich These filmmakers don't understand kids. Kids want violence. 1 stars
5/31/05 Gary Pretty Weak!!!!!! 2 stars
5/31/05 mary todd lincoln save your money!!!! 2 stars
5/30/05 yuk double yuk 1 stars
5/28/05 HL The penguins could not save this movie. 3 stars
5/27/05 Christy Schultz The first ten minutes are kind of slow..but it gets pretty funny after that. Penguins rule. 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  27-May-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Nov-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  16-Jun-2005




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