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Longing to roam free in the vast landscapes of Mother Africa, Marty, the bored and dejected zebra of the famous Central Park Zoo, escapes his prison on the night of his tenth birthday celebration. However, after a botched rescue attempt by Marty's companions--Alex, the content lion; Melman, the skittish giraffe, and Gloria, the resolute hippo--the friends will find themselves crated up and shipped off to a remote wildlife preserve, only to end up on the sandy shores of exotic Madagascar. At last, Marty's dream will come true; nevertheless, what does it really mean to be a truly wild animal?Written by
Chris Parnell were considered for the role of Marty the Zebra. See more »
The crates are stacked on the deck with Gloria's crate at the bottom. The crates all appear to be of the same depth, and when seen from outside they appear to be stacked neatly, but there's still light coming into Gloria's crate from the hole in the top even though the hole should be covered by one of the crates stacked on top of hers. However, this was so that we would be able to see Gloria in her crate and not be staring at darkness (the same would have applied otherwise to Melman's crate as it was upside down.) See more »
At the end of the closing credits, Gloria appears and taps the screen with a magic wand to end the movie. See more »
The UK version omits a partially uttered use of strong language to secure a U rating. International versions do not implement this cut, as filmmakers often put in single uses of strong language in otherwise-junior films to secure a higher rating in the US. When the film comes to be rated in the UK, the language has to be cut for a lower rating. See also 101 Dalmatians. See more »
Very funny at points but it lacks heart and the main characters pale beside the support
Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria all live in the New York zoo, where they are good draws and get regular meals. However Marty dreams of the wild and freedom and, when a crack group of penquins seem to offer him a way out, he takes it. His friends find he is missing and set out to convince him to return, catching him at Grand Central Station, only to get caught by the police. With the people convinced that the animals cannot return to the zoo, the four are shipped out to the wild but a shipping accident sees them washed up in a wilderness that their city live has not prepared them for.
Looking a lot more cartoony than similar film, I decided to give Madagascar a miss until I saw the short film from the penguins and decided to give it a try. The plot is a worthy try to repeat the fun and heart of films such as Toy Story but, although it delivers the former, the latter is lacking. It tries to have some sort of moral by the end but it doesn't really come off and it would have been better not to try at all. However this is a minor problem because mostly it is very funny, producing some big laughs as well as being consistently funny. The biggest laughs come from the side characters such as the penguins, the lemurs and the two monkeys which is great but it means that the main characters are almost begrudgingly returned to the screen at times while the actual plot is where the sags come in.
This is a bit of a problem and again robs the material of its heart but I didn't really care that much because I was laughing consistently across the whole film. The star cast work well. Stiller was actually pretty good while both Rock and Schwimmer were really well-suited to their characters and the humour. Smith was more "there" than she was doing anything, but she was alright if unimpressive. However all four of them are put in the shade by the support cast a fact not helped that the support have the best material to work with. Cohen naturally steals the show with an outrageously funny performance that had me in stitches and he was well supported by an unusually restrained Cedric the Entertainer. The penguins also combined to produce a wonderful subplot to the film and their planning and scheming was hilarious; likewise, although in a smaller role, the posh monkey was very funny.
Overall this is a consistently funny film that survives despite the fact that the narrative and the four main characters are actually not its strengths while those looking for the heart of Toy Story will be disappointed. However it has more than enough laughs to be worthwhile and the supporting cast and characters are really where the film is at.
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