Newest Review: ... and set off to the wild, after following the advice of some mischievous penguins, soon goes terribly wrong when he's followed by his best... more
'They're nothing but a bunch of pansies..!'
Member Name: NewYork2006
Advantages: Great family film, lots of laughs and brilliant cast
I love this film! & after bugging my boyfriend since about August to buy it for me, I finally unwrapped the DVD last Christmas morning!
The film begins in Central Park Zoo in Manhattan. It is Marty (the voice of Chris Rock) the Zebra's 10th birthday and his friends Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) have thrown him a party. Marty however longs to be in the wild to see what life is like outside the Zoo much to the shock and dismay of his friends who tell him it is a bad idea. Marty escapes however and finds himself in Grand Central Station. The others realise what has happened in the morning and go to look for him. They find him in Grand Central Station and it is here where everything starts to go wrong.
I don't want to go into too much detail and spoil it but basically the four animals find themselves shipwrecked on a desert island (which they later find out to be Madagascar) thanks to the help of the mischievous penguins and two monkeys.
They then befriend a jungle full of Lemurs and King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen) and his assistant Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer) hatch a plan to make Alex and his friends scare off the evil Fossa's (sort of wolf/dog things!) that roam on their territory killing them and generally causing havoc.
Although hard to comment on the 'acting' in animated movies, the cast were very cleverly chosen and I can actually picture them in the movements and actions of the animated characters, they do appear to have some of their own personalities etc. I think the blend of Ben Stiller, David Schwimmer, Chris Rock and Jada Pinkett Smith as the main characters really gel well together and make it much more convincing - you start to forget that it is an animated movie.
I think Cedric the Entertainer is a brilliantly funny comedian/actor anyway and have seen most of the films he has starred in and Maurice the Lemur does actually look like him and has his characteristics. The duo of Maurice and the rather 'gay' King Julien makes them very funny to watch.
The music throughout the film is very fitting with for example the theme tune to Born Free and fantastic music and dance sequences like the Lemurs' 'I Like to Move It' song which is brilliant.
'Mad Mishaps' - This is basically a bloopers' of where the animation went wrong. It Is quite funny and only a few minutes long..
'Meet the wild cast' - You get to meet the actors who played the voices and hear what they think about the characters they played and how well they were matched with them. It is very funny and a good insight to how the actors are an essential part of an animated movie.
'Behind the crates' - A look at behind the scenes. It gives you more interviews with the cast but also an insight into the animation itself and you see how the simple drawings can be made into an animated movie.
'The tech of Madagascar' - Shows you further how they use modern technology to create the characters and scenes in full. This was very interesting and has interviews with the director, and the people who actually brought the film to life.
'Commentary' - I must admit I have not watched this but the commentary is from the director and the cast.
'Enchanted Island' - Shows you the real island of Madagascar. This is a good special feature and it shows that they have done a lot of research to make the film look as convincing as it does.
'The galleries' - You have three choices: the ship, NewYork and Madagascar and when you select one it shows you some of the work that went in to create the scenes. This special feature is a bit long.
Directed by - Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath
Certificate - U (in the UK)
Running time - 86 mins
Price - As I got this for Christmas I don't know how much it cost, however, I have seen it in all DVD shops and I think you can pick up a copy quite cheap now as it has been out for a while. You can pick up a copy from Amazon from £4.49 and from Play.com for £4.99 including delivery.
Overall I think this is a fantastic family film which children and adults of all ages will find funny and heart warming at the same time. If you love other animated films such as Ice Age and Over the Hedge then I think you will enjoy this one too. A brilliant blend of convincing characters and back drops, fantastic music and humour throughout.
Thanks for reading!
Summary: Great family, animated film, excellent cast!