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Similar to Madagascar but not the same this is the story of a zoo lion
and his friends who race off to save the lion's son who has been
shipped back to the wild. The movie is the race to find the son before
he gets to the wild and what happens once they get there.
I have to start by saying the voice cast is top notch here. Everyone does an excellent job. However I must single out Jim Belushi and Eddie Izzard as turning in classic animated performances. Belushi plays a street smart squirrel who is in love with a giraffe and he is a ball of fun. Its clear why he is the best friend of Keifer Sutherland's lion. He is a joy to behold.
Even better is Eddie Izzard as Nigel, a koala who is totally crazed. Izzard is in constant motion and is constantly chattering about everyone and everything and he effectively turns a movie about a lion and his cub into a movie about a deluded koala with a tenuous grasp on reality. Izzard's Nigel will probably go down in history as one of the great cartoon characters of all time.
This is a movie with fantastic animation. It all looks great. The director and some of his crew are from the effects team that made Terminator 2 and other big budget special effects movie look so great.
The problem with this movie is that it was made by guys who until this film made their living making soulless special effects for soulless action films. The net effect is a soulless film. There is no pacing, there is little sense of danger. Worse the characters inhabit a world that isn't real. In this world, especially in the New York scenes, no one exists except the characters. They drive all through the city and encounter no one. There are no other cars on the street. To be frank there is no sign of life anywhere. Its terrible. It kills the film. Its sad but as alive the actors are their animated characters, while looking good, come across as dead constructs.
Still the movie is worth seeing. Eddie Izzard, with an assist by Jim Belushi make it worth seeing. Clearly abandoned by Disney in theaters, you should make a run by this on home video or cable, where its less than the sum of its parts construction will be less annoying.
At first, this appears to be a rip-off of "Madagascar," with New York
City zoo animals leaving the comforts of "home" for the wilds of
Africa. However, it is a totally different story and feel to it, more
serious and sentimental than "Madagascar." Personally, I like "serious
and sentimental" but not in animated movie, at least not to the degree
it was in here. I preferred the other "NYC zoo" film to this one
because "The Wild" lost almost all of its great humor in the last 20-30
The first 50 minutes of this film was spectacular. I was thinking, "Wow, another great animated film. How many is that in the past year or so?" The jokes were excellent, the characters mostly funny and the animation superb. The dark, rich colors in here are magnificent. This is a beautiful movie! The minor characters are the best in here: the snake, koala bear and squirrel. Eddie Izzard, Richard Kind and Jim Belushi, in particular, are great in their voices of these characters. The two crocodiles that the wandering zoo animals meet in the sewers are hilarious. They produced the biggest laughs, at least with me. The major characters: the lion (Keifer Sutherland), his cub (Greg Cipes) and the giraffe (Janeane Garafolo) were all a little too much on the serious side.
Speaking of serious: the last third of this film totally switched gears. I wonder how this went over with very young kids and their parents? It got too serious, frightening in spots (for little ones) and then the usual corny Disney ending. It's too bad: this could have been super if they had just continued doing what was working the first 50 minutes.
I was lucky enough to get tickets to a preview of this film last week.
I also initially wondered why they would copy Madagascar (which I
didn't find very good)...I came away with the realization that it's a
very different and way better movie with only the basic premise bearing
somewhat of a resemblance (not unlike many kid's films and the
"formula" that seems to be used).
I found the film hilarious and had a great time watching my kids get such a kick out of it as well. The animation is absolutely incredible and this was a great escape for me and my kids (10 and 7)...if I could only get my 7 year old to stop continually quoting Nigel the Koala then all would be well...
I read a few reviews which panned this flick. I wondered if they saw the same movie we did and/or why an adult who wants to bring a kid for a few laughs would listen to some of the negative crap that's been written?! I would suggest that there is many a jaded movie critic out there who may not appreciate this for what it really is (perhaps they're taking their own "grown-up" opinions too seriously?)...a kid's flick which just happens to appeal (thankfully) to the adults who are brought along in tow. Either some of these reviewers have a different political agenda or they're really out of touch with the audience demographics a film like this is geared toward. You watch...You decide...
This film was quite simply a blast! We hope you enjoy it as much as we did!
I went to the Premiere this weekend of THE WILD and I must say I was
pleasantly surprised. I was concerned about the same thing that
everyone else was.
Is it going to be like Madagascar mixed with the same theme as Finding Nemo?
To my surprise I did not even once think about either of those films while I was watching THE WILD. There were some great jokes and gags and it had the pacing of a good action film. This movie is nothing like either of those movies. I encourage everyone to see this movie for themselves and am curious what they think of it. There is a couple plot holes and weak story points. But other than those few moments it's a fun film to watch. The look is refreshing because it doesn't look like every other CG feature in the world. My final statement is this. Kids will absolutely love it. And the parents will be entertained and won't be bored.
The Wild was advertised as a movie for kids, and it lived up to it's billing. I saw it this past weekend with my 5 year-old. It had a good story line and enough action and music to keep him entertained. He has already asked can we buy it when it comes out on DVD. Since it is a clean movie I will happily get it for him. I didn't have to cringe or be on edge because of suggestive dialog or foul language like Ice Age 2 has. I don't enjoy exposing my son to entertainment that contains language he cannot repeat. If you want to treat your kids to a real kid's flick, take them to see this. It's not a contender for an Oscar, but you'll enjoy it, too.
Saw a preview screening last night, and it was really fun. First, the movie is visually gorgeous. The texture (hair especially!) work alone is enough to recommend the film to animation enthusiasts. To all the comparisons with Madagascar I will add that The Wild is much funnier. And judging by the 10-year-olds sitting with me, kids will love it. As the movie was made by C.O.R.E. in Toronto, was directed by a Canadian, and stars a lot of Canadians -- there are a few Canadian jokes (and sports) in the movie that international viewers might miss. It also has a fun self-referential attitude in the humor that's enjoyable without becoming gimmicky. To build on the previous poster, it is not Citizen Kane -- but has much funnier animals. It's a movie that does what it sets out to do -- entertain you. And it does that very well.
*** This review may contain spoilers ***
For the record, even though the plot of The Wild has all too many
similarities to that of Madagascar, I must note that The Wild - or
Madagascar 2.0, as I like to think of it - is on an order of several
-Of course, let it be noted that some say work on The Wild was begun before Madagascar, and Madagascar was simply released first, while others say the Madagascar was begun first. Let's just say they were created in parallel, and independently.- When originally viewing the commercials I wasn't impressed. Like others, Madagascar was too fresh in my mind, and the comedic clips extracted seemed artificial and flat when taken out of context. On viewing, I'm glad I gave it a second chance and allowed it to win me over. Furthermore, those who demonise this film because of its alleged similarities to The Lion King are really misunderstanding the whole point of the Lion King references - this is *comedic satire*, not plagiarism. Please learn to see a running gag when one presents itself. (The Snake character is also a stab at other snakes who have appeared in past Disney movies...) Sure, The Wild wasn't perfect; admittedly, I had a few of those cheesy cringe moments whenever the musical montages came on (I had far more during Madagascar - Chris Rock's character grated somethin' mightier than two lions at times)... as well as through most of the musical numbers. There is the one huuuuuge plot hole in The Wild: Tugboat... fuel?!. Although a hoot in her own right, Janeane Garofalo's giraffe 'Bridget' is all too similar to Ellen DeGeneris' 'Dory' from Finding Nemo, one among many similarities to this film's aquatic Disney cousin. The overall premise - even where it varies from Madagascar - is tired and predictable. However, while the penguins are really the only reason I would buy Madagascar, I would actually consider purchasing this DVD... Hey, you can't beat William Shatner - as the *villain* for once! I was unexpectedly impressed with Shatner's characterisation and performance, and the special details he put into his voicing. Jim Belushi's squirrel was also quite memorable.
The animation quality of the The Wild has miles on the first in terms of textures, realism, character design (I disliked the too-"stylised" look of the characters and animation in Madagascar), and motion. The script, dialogue, comedy, wit (all the tongue-in-cheek moments were keepers), plot, and characters too, are all vast improvements, with the possible exception of Madagascar's penguins. The secret agent chameleons of The Wildcertainly give the penguins an excellent run for their money, though. One more note about characters: it is the secondary characters that really shine in this movie. The chameleons are used in a very interesting way, given their abilities. The villains of the film turn our notions of good and evil on their tails... or hoofs. That is where The Wild shines the most.
Measured purely by LOL moments, I found I had many more for this film but then again, I'm an adult viewing this film. And... Oh... being Canadian, the rif at Canadians helping out Americans was one for the books. That, and *curling*! And as for crazy squirrels, if you liked Over the Hedge, you should quite enjoy this film.
I have heard mostly bad reviews for this movie so when I was told to
rent it for my preschool movie day I was wary. Boy, was I surprised!
This movie was awesome. The writing and characters were well done ( I
loved the Hindi Pigeons) and the song Really Nice Day was stuck in my
head for weeks. But what really got me was the graphics. The characters
actually looked like the animals they were supposed to represent
instead of bad caricatures. I do not know how anyone could not love
this movie. I watched it with roughly fifty children ranging in age
from 3 to 8 and they all loved it. They were laughing and singing along
it was a great experience.
I have learned a valuable lesson from this, Disney rocks. I used to know that but I had begun to doubt it because of such negative press they have been getting. The Wild reminded me of how creative Disney can be and the amazing skill they bring to the table In short, give this movie a chance and it will not disappoint you. And to all of those who didn't like it, I feel bad for you. You missed out on a great movie. To those of us who know a good movie when we see it We're havin' a REALLY NICE DAY, REALLY NICE DAY, REALLY NICE DAY!!!
If the case on the DVD didn't say Disney, I wouldn't have believed it. Disney has been synonymous with quality in everything...but not in this case. This was so bad, my little girl asked if she could go to bed before it was half over. Go to bed! She hates going to bed, but she'd rather go to bed than be subjected to this piece of...trash. And a 'G' rating? Really? The adult humor and innuendos? All that violence and scenes of fright? A 'G'? Please. Whoever was in charge was trying to rip off other Disney movies with every new scene. In case you haven't gotten it yet, it stinks. There, I said it. And Disney, please don't even think about sequel here, it couldn't get much worse. Rent Madagascar instead. The Wild makes Madagascar look like an Oscar contender.
There is some debate about "Madagascar" having plagiarized this movie.
I don't know if that is true or not, but it really doesn't matter. If
they did, sincerely, I hope they steal more material from other
studios, because "Madagascar" is an amazingly funny movie. My mother,
that doesn't like animated movies, loved that one! No one stays more
than a few seconds without laughing while watching "Madagascar", even
on the more serious parts! Oh, for sure, this IS a comment about "The
Wild", but it is very important to realize that the same basic idea,
runaway animals from a zoo park, can become a wonderful movie or a
complete disaster! Straight to the point, here is what you will (or
would) get in "The Wild":
1) The story is boring: some people claimed that in "Madagascar" there was no reason for the animals to run away. If that's true or not, is really up to each one to decide (as a wildlife veterinary, I know most non-domestic animals do have a "wild instinct" built-in and do resent confinement, even if born in a cage and never knowing what it is to be free). In "The Wild", there was an explicit reason... Do you know that saying about never making a movie with animals and children? Well, that fits perfectly for "The Wild", for it has a character that is both an animal AND a child! At some points, I really wished the baby lion dead (oh no, I never worried, I knew it was a Disney Co. story, he would never die). Later in movie, the animals get involved in another plot that has absolutely nothing to do either with their escape or with being in the "wild".
2) It's a musical: while in "Madagascar" there is a reason for the animals to be singing, there is absolutely no one in "The Wild". They sing because it's a Disney Co. movie, period. I don't care if the songs are original, what really matter is that they are boring! If a movie is a musical, the songs must be really good. They were worst than the score of "Anastasia" (you know, songs thrown in just to extend the length of the weak plot and to cover bad lines).
3) The characters have no charisma: in "Madagascar", the animals cared about one another, for they were friends. In "The Wild", they barely knew each other's names. Somehow, the writers thought the more animals they put in, the better. Well, all those animals are flat (they couldn't be flatter if they were made in 2D...)
4) The voice casting stinks: the voices simply don't match the characters' looks or personalities! For example, the little squirrel's voice is stronger than the lion's! Besides, the baby lion complaining got on my nerves, but that's personal, you may ignore this... Perhaps...
5) The animals stole a nuclear powered boat: that's the only explanation I could find for a tugboat to be able to go to Africa and then come back without refueling...
6) The direction is reckless and mindless: in the first, say, five or ten minutes, we get a thousand animals running aimlessly, screaming nonsenses, doing meaningless things and finally playing a game in a really stupid way. Well, the rest of the movie is just the same, running for nothing, screaming for nothing, doing dumb things for nothing. I blame the direction. Too many (useless) things happening at the same time, at the wrong moments and for the wrong reasons (like using a small snake to lift something that weights a hundred pounds in real life, as if they used to do that all the time).
7) It's NOT funny (plus, the sound effects stink): it has the pace of a drama, a boring and meaningless drama, but it is made like a comedy. You "know" that because they filled "The Wild" with stupid boing-zip-plock sounds of old low-budget TV cartoons. They play them at the most inconvenient moments, like saying "please, laugh, that was a funny joke!" Well, to begin with, there are no jokes, just a few puns. Second, using those old SFX only make them embarrassing. The movie is so pathetic that they tried to make fun with a dung-beetle (not a smart-line beetle like in "Ice Age 2", but a dumb one to "laugh about it, not with it").
There are many other mistakes in this movie, which completely obfuscate any good thing it may have. "The Wild" is a movie aiming for children (or so it seems), but it only manages to be "childish". If you plan on watching it, make sure to have something else to watch afterwards, to wash it from your memory quickly...
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