A few weeks ago we watched both volumes of the Dreamworks animation Madagascar. (I hear that a third one is coming out, so eventually that will make it to our screen too.) We were amused by the songs, characters and vivid colors. But it had nothing to write home about, so I write to everyone here.
The moral of both stories that people (or animal) of all sorts can work together for a lofty goal, that friendship can concur all obstacles, you get the picture… The first one also encourages to go beyond your boundaries, which may not be the most appropriate lesson for small kids, who probably consist most of the target audience. Both movies are rated PG for “mild crude humor”, so I might be wrong about the audience. If the lesson is worded though as “go seek out your roots” it can apply to anyone. This message can be distilled more from the sequel, where both Alex the Lion and Marty the Zebra meet their family finally.
What really carried both movie was the animated voices of Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen and most of all Chris Rock as Marty. He is such a lively character that his voice filled the hyperactivity of the striped protagonist.
What the movies won’t answer are questions about the values and disadvantages of domestication of wild animals, what should anthropomorphized omnivores eat if the other animals are also human-like. It also will not satisfy any quest for knowledge. But as entertainment it was just fine. Now I can forget about the visual and verbal jokes. I already did.
The DVD @ Amazon.com.
IMDB’s summary: 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 three break free to look for him, only to find themselves reunited … on a ship en route to Africa. When their vessel is hijacked, however, the friends, who have all been raised in captivity, learn first-hand what life can be like in the wild.
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa
The DVD @ Amazon.com.
IMDB’s summary: The sequel to 2005’s “Madagascar”, in which New York Zoo animals, Alex the Lion, Marty the Zebra, Melman the Giraffe and Gloria the Hippo, still stranded on Madagascar, start to leave the island. All of a sudden, they land in the wilderness of Africa, where Alex meets the rest of his family, but has trouble communicating with them after spending so much time at the Central Park Zoo.