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Madagascar (2005) Poster

(2005)

Trivia

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Originally, Julien was intended to be a minor character with only two lines. However, when Sacha Baron Cohen auditioned for the role, he improvised not only an Indian accent, but eight minutes of dialogue for his recording. The filmmakers found Cohen's performance so funny that they rewrote the script and made Julien a much more prominent character in the story as King of the Lemurs.
Sacha Baron Cohen improvised the line "It's got a gecko on it", and all of the following dialog related to the gecko. The filmmakers found it so funny that they went to the extra work of creating a CG gecko for the shot.
Melman the giraffe wears tissue boxes on his feet. This is a reference to Howard Hughes who was also a hypochondriac and suffered OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). In his later years, Hughes wore tissue boxes on his feet believing this would keep away germs.
The airplane that the Lemurs hold court in is a Lockheed Electra, the same airplane as Amelia Earhart disappeared in on July 2, 1937.
When Alex and Marty find each other on the beach and Alex remembers that he is mad at Marty, Marty swears by assigning words to the letters of an acronym. They are "O"h "S"ugar "H"oney "I"ce "T"ea.
The lead quartet were originally to be a lion, a zebra, a hippo, and an okapi. Melman was changed to a giraffe to make him a more familiar animal.
None of the main character animals (lion, zebra, giraffe or hippo) are actually housed at the Central Park Zoo. There are penguins, however.
The look of the jungles in Madagascar is based on the paintings of Henri Rousseau.
When the camera pans backward from Alex's crate in the ocean, the sea foam around him creates the head of a lion. Foam makes the face, and the absence of foam around that makes the mane. Alex is in the left eye of the face.
Early on, the plot was based on a group of activists who liberate the animals from their cages.
Series trademark: Twilight Zone. Most if not all entries in this series contain an homage to Rod Serling's original The Twilight Zone (1959). In this one, a lemur spoofs the cook book scene from The Twilight Zone: To Serve Man (1962). Also, Alex spoofs the "you maniacs" speech from Planet of the Apes (1968), a movie partly written by Serling.
When Private is attempting to commandeer the oil tanker, "WHATApiece OFworkIsPenGuin" can been seen on the computer screen behind him. This spoofs the William Shakespeare quote, "What a piece of work is man!" from "Hamlet".
The penguins originated from a film director Eric Darnell was developing, called "Rockumentary", about The Beatles-like rock quartet. When that project was canceled and Darnell was moved to this movie, he incorporated the penguins into the script, changing them from musicians to military commandos.
According to the patch the captain is wearing, the name of the boat is the "S.S. Act II."
In the sequels, Alex has a significant birthmark of Africa on his hand. In this movie, Alex does not have the mark on his hand.
The scene where Alex dreams about steaks slowly falling down on him spoofs an iconic scene from the Dreamworks movie American Beauty (1999), where Lester Burnham dreams of roses falling down on his daughters friend, Angela. The same song is played in both scenes.
David Schwimmer, who voices Melman the Giraffe, played Ross Gellar in Friends (1994). In the first season, Ross had a pet capuchin named Marcel, who later in the show was given to the San Diego Zoo. When the quartet first lands on Madagascar, Melman believes it to be the San Diego Zoo.
The shot of Times Square after Marty asks the police horse for directions prominently features a Hewlett-Packard logo. Hewlett-Packard is the official computer provider for Dreamworks Animation.
Director Tom McGrath based his voice of one of the penguins on the voice of friend and composer Shawn Patterson; known for his Charlton Heston impressions and frequent failed use of the "Jedi mind trick".
When Alex is alone on the island before he meets Melman, he slurs the names, "Matt, Katie, Al." This is a reference to three anchors of NBC's The Today Show: Matt Lauer, Katie Couric, and Al Roker.
Harry Gregson-Williams was originally attached as the film's composer, but was replaced by Hans Zimmer. A few weeks earlier, the opposite had occurred for another film: Gregson-Williams replaced Zimmer for the scoring duties of Kingdom of Heaven (2005).
At one point, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani were considered for the voice of Gloria the Hippo before Jada Pinkett Smith signed on.
The only time Rico did not have a voice; he was later voiced in spin-offs and sequels by John DiMaggio.
In the original movie trailer Mason the monkey was holding a martini glass while in the movie he was holding a teacup with a plate. The reason was tea and root beer were okay for the monkeys to use instead of drinking beer.
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WILHELM SCREAM: as the large crowd of people come charging up the stairs at Grand Central Station, thinking that Alex is chasing them.
Jada Pinkett Smith, the voice of Gloria, is the wife of Will Smith, who had been the voice of Oscar in the previous Dreamworks Animated Film, Shark Tale (2004).
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Jeffrey Katzenberg admitted that he was disappointed with the film's third act.
In the director's audio commentary Mort the mouse lemur who is young sweet and cute was originally going to have a joke where he was really 37 years old and the other lemurs called him on that age. But they cut it out for time issues.
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The German actor Gerald Schaale is the usual dubbing voice of David Schwimmer, but in the German version of Madagascar he didn't dub Schwimmer's character Melman, but the sweet lemur Mort instead.
Despite the mixed critical response, The film was a box office success.
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At the start of the film when Ben Stiller's lion character Alex is switching between alternate poses, he pulls the 'blue steel' face the film Zoolander.
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When the Penguins unwittingly tunnel into Marty's enclosure, and Skipper says to Marty 'can you keep a secret my monochromatic friend?' He is technically right, even though zebras have two-tone stripes. Monochromatic means one color. Black can always be represented as it is 0% of a color, regardless of which - as technically black is the absence of light/colour. However, to refer to white as monochromatic is somewhat strange as it uses all possible colours.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

When Alex the Lion is posing for some photos during the first minutes of the movie, the animators gave him a way of looking kind of similar to the one Ben Stiller does in Zoolander.
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When Marty rides in to the island on a wave, the theme from Hawaii Five-O plays. Then when Marty and Alex run to each other, the song playing is Chariots of Fire.
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At 48 minutes in when Alex's Statue of Liberty burns up and breaks, Alex kneels and starts shouting at the statue. This is a reference to the original 'Planet of the Apes'
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Marty's scream when Alex wakes him up at the very start of the film is later used when Alex first bites him.
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When Alex the lion is tranquilized, the song "The Candy Man" plays.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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