Monday, May 30, 2005


Based on Dreamworks previous showings (e.g. Shrek) which were great and ground breaking in terms of technology animation as well as full blast jokes I looked forward to Madagascar. So what did I think of the movie? A good show but nothing much new, yes it has the laughs, the great animation and a great cast of voice actors but it’s just like a carbon copy of Shrek. Maybe the novelty of computer generated animation has faded, we’ve all wowed at Toy Story, ooo at Shrek’s humor, loved the cuddliness of Monster Inc and the stunning scenery of Finding Nemo, but face it computer animated movies are no longer the exception but the norm. Thus Madagascar has a lot to live up to its predecessors and its not easy to infuse new elements every year to catch the audiences. Yet it is still worth a watch, for a Summer flick you’ll laugh at the antics of the cast with powerhouse comedians like Chris Rock and Ben Stiller at the helm as well as Jadda Pinkett Smith. A nice family movie with no profanities to speak of and just good clean humor.

At the center of the movie are several captive born zoo animals which have never been to the wild before; Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) the star of the New York Central Zoo who loves the attention he has been lavished as a celebrity, Marty (Chris Rock) the smart mouth zebra with an attitude that wants to live for once the wild life, Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith) the sexy and motherly Hippopotamus and lastly Melman (David Schwimmer) the hypochondriac giraffe. Marty laments that he hasn’t been in the wild before and bemoans the zoo life and decides to experience the wild side on his birthday. When his friends finds out about his jailbreak they decide to go after him. Before they know it they were caught in the act and were shipped to Africa.

Yet due to the antics of 4 penguins who are in fact psychopaths which believes the zoo is involved in a conspiracy to keep them locked up, screws up the plan as they hijacked the ship and soon all four friends find themselves adrift and landing in all places, Madagascar. Soon in the wild they have to learn to survive with their new freedom with some of them taking it up whole heartedly while others just want to go home. It continues with its family theme of finding friendship in the toughest of situations, forgiveness, helping one another and learning to live together. Along the way meet partying lemurs who rock the jungle lead by their eccentric chief, King Julian (Sacha Baron Cohen) and dour advisor who sounds too much like an Indian with a bad accent.

The graphics were up to standard, the acting was so-so with Ben and Chris going into the spotlight with their fast mouth jokes and you got to love Gloria’s antics and acting, Schwimmer’s performance was a bit disappointing and to my opinion does not contribute much to the movie. But you just got to love the penguins, they are undoubtedly the stars of the show even with their brief appearance and will make you laugh out your heart. All in all Dreamworks could’ve done better else they’re loosing steam, it doesn’t catch the imagination like Toy Story did.


Adam said...

Got the DVD but have yet to watch it.

Omni said...

This sounds like a VERY cute movie!! :-)