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Madagascar (2005) Poster

(2005)

Trivia

Jump to: Spoilers (6)
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.
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Sacha Baron Cohen improvised the line "It's got a gecko on it", and all of the following dialogue 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.
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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.
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The airplane that the Lemurs hold court in is a Lockheed Electra, the same airplane as Amelia Earhart disappeared in on July 2, 1937.
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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.
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None of the main character animals (lion, zebra, giraffe or hippo) are actually housed at the Central Park Zoo. There are penguins, however.
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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.
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Early on, the plot was based on a group of activists who liberate the animals from their cages.
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The look of the jungles in Madagascar is based on the paintings of Henri Rousseau.
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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".
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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 from the film Zoolander (2001).
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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.
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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.
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In the original script Gloria was going to be pregnant due to being part of the zoo's breeding program and the baby was going to be born on the island and Melman, who is revealed to have a crush on Gloria would help raise the child like it was his own son. The idea was cut from the final version because the test audiences felt like the pregnancy plotline was too risky and mature for a family film especially young children who felt uncomfortable with the pairing of Melman and Gloria and may have gotten the film a PG-13 rating.
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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.
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By saying they're on a "slow boat to China", Skipper the penguin implies that the humans died when he took over the ship.
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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.
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According to the patch the captain is wearing, the name of the boat is the "S.S. Act II."
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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 or wine due to alcohol references and it was not appropriate for a children's movie and may have gotten the film a PG-13 rating.
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The chimpanzee Mason (voiced by DreamWorks Animation's Conrad Vernon) is only mentioned by name in the credits, same said for the sequels.
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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".
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Harry Gregson-Williams, John Powell and David Newman were originally attached as the film's composer, but were 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). A year later, the other opposite occurred for a later film: Powell replaced Zimmer for the scoring duties of Ice Age: The Meltdown (2006) and Newman replaced Zimmer for unknown reasons.
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According to the audio commentary the directors of the film originally didn't want the characters to say Madagascar in the movie but they caved in and decided to let Julien introduce it later in the movie.
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Jeffrey Katzenberg admitted that he was disappointed with the film's third act.
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At one point, Madonna, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani were considered for the voice of Gloria the Hippo before Jada Pinkett Smith signed on.
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The only time Rico did not have a voice; he was later voiced in spin-offs and sequels by John DiMaggio.
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Plotwise, this is not dissimilar to the Disney cartoon The Wild (2006) which came out the following year and did considerably less business than Madagascar (2005). Ironically, the DreamWorks film went into production after the Disney movie in a deliberate - and successful - attempt to undermine it.
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Despite the mixed critical response, The film was a box office success.
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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.
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Originally when Melman made the fire he was going to say the line I make fire from Cast Away (2000) but it was too much so they took it out.
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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.
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There is an episode from Friends (1994), where Ross (played by David Schwimmer) needs to find a home for his pet monkey. He ultimately chooses San Diego Zoo, the same Zoo that Melman (voiced by Schwimmer) assumes they ended up in.
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Director Tom McGrath wanted Robert Stack to voice Skipper, the lead penguin. Unfortunately Stack died two weeks before the film went into production so McGrath stepped in to provide a temp voice track that eventually ended up in the finished film, which also applied to the other Penguins along with Mason, who were also voiced by members of DreamWorks Animation.
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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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This is the only film in the Madagascar Franchise where the names of the Major Cast Members are listed outside the Credit Crawl at the start instead of the end.
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In the Korean dub, Alex is voiced by Kang-ho Song. Jeffrey Katzenberg approved of Song's casting when DreamWorks staff in South Korea sent over a voice demo of the actor's previous work.
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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.
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One joke in the film required the creation of a million CGI leaves.
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Don Cheadle were considered for the role of Marty the Zebra.
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Ving Rhames were considered for the role of Maurice.
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Donald Faison were considered for the role of Marty the Zebra.
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William H. Macy were considered for the role of Melman the Giraffe.
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Edward Norton were considered for the role of Alex the Lion.
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The eighth computer-animated film to be rated PG by the MPAA after Antz (1998), Dinosaur (2000), Shrek (2001), Ice Age (2002), Shark Tale (2004), The Incredibles (2004) and Robots (2005) and the last to be released on VHS.
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This is the only film in the Franchise to release on VHS, the others were only released on DVD.
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First experience working on an animated movie for all voices in of the four main characters except for Chris Rock, who had his first voice over role in a film with Osmosis Jones (2001) 4 years ago.
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Jada Pinkett Smith, the voice of Gloria, is the wife of Will Smith, who had been the voice of Oscar in the previous DreamWorks Animation Film, Shark Tale (2004).
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In the scene where the police raid the train station, the skipper penguin says "we've been ratted out boys". That's a reference to Batman (1989). Jack Nicholson said that exact line when him and his goons found the safe empty.
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Fred Armisen were considered for the role of Marty the Zebra.
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Chi McBride were considered for the role of Maurice.
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Cate Blanchett were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Thomas Haden Church were considered for the role of Melman the Giraffe.
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Giovanni Ribisi were considered for the role of King Julien.
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Matt Damon were considered for the role of Alex the Lion.
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Chris Parnell were considered for the role of Marty the Zebra.
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Camryn Manheim were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Timothy Spall were considered for the role of Melman the Giraffe.
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Jeremy Piven were considered for the role of King Julien.
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Originally Ted and Horst from All Hail King Julien (2014-2017) were going to have lines in the film and voiced by Stephen Root and Alan Tudyk in this film but the lines were cut from the film for unknown reasons however in the tv series they were voiced by Andy Richter (who also voiced Mort) and Jeff Bennett (who replaced Cody Cameron in the Tv series as Willie).
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Diedrich Bader were considered the role of Kowalski.
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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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Cedric the Entertainer's second animated film, The first being Ice Age (2002).
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According to the early development King Julien was originally supposed to be a megaladapis (an ancestor of ring tailed lemurs) and his assistant Maurice was going to be a ring tailed lemur but were changed to a ring tailed lemur and an aye aye similarly with Melman originally an okapi this may have been due to King Julien's original design being too similar to King Louie from The Jungle Book (1967) and because giant lemurs are extinct.
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Cheech Marin were considered the role of Marty the Zebra.
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Brad Garrett were considered the role of Maurice.
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Donal Logue were considered for the role of Marty the Zebra.
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Tatum O'Neal were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Bruce Campbell were considered for the role of Alex the Lion.
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Jessica Lange were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Heavy D were considered for the role of Marty the Zebra.
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Danny Masterson were considered for the role of King Julien.
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Uma Thurman were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Frankie Muniz were considered for the role of Alex the Lion.
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Tommy Chong were considered the role of Melman the Giraffe.
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Skipper refers to Marty as "my monochromatic friend" monochromic is one composed of one color (or values of one color). ... A monochromatic object or image reflects colors in shades of limited colors or hues. Images using only shades of grey (with or without black or white) are called grayscale or black-and-white instead of dictomatic.
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Whoopi Goldberg were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Annette Bening were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Courtney Love were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Amy Irving were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Christina Ricci were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Brittany Daniel were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Mia Farrow were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Rebeccah Bush were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Lee Arenberg were considered for the role of Melman the Giraffe.
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Jeremy Renner were considered for the role of Alex the Lion.
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Christopher Walken were considered for the role of King Julien.
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Patrick Stewart were considered for the role of King Julien.
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Bobcat Goldthwait were considered for the role of Marty the Zebra.
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Jennifer Esposito were considered for the role of Gloria the Hippo.
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Spoilers 

The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

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.
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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 (1968), though the profane words "damn" and "hell" are replaced with "darn" and "heck" respectively.
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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 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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When Alex the lion is tranquilized, the song "The Candy Man" plays.
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In one scene Alex uses palm tree branches to spell out the word "help" however a portion falls off spelling the word "hell".
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See also

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

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