Genre: Animation, Adventure
Directed by: Eric
Darnell and Tim McGrath
Starring: The voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett
Smith, David Schwimmer, Andy Richter
Released by: DreamWorks Animation
Short: Terrific jokes and brilliant animation
make Madagascar just what families
are looking for in a night out at the movies—fun
for everyone of any age.
Rumble in the Jungle
An Adventure with the Animals
the latest animated feature from DreamWorks ("Shrek,"
"Shark Tale") four unlikely pals—a lion,
a zebra, a hippopotamus, and a giraffe—find their
comfy city life at the Central Park Zoo turned upside
down when they are shipped off to the wilds of Africa.
the surface, "Madagascar" looks like a movie
for kids. A tale of friendship and adventure, with nice
lessons for the tiny tot crowd, like "Shrek"
(and especially "Shrek 2,") it is packed with
very adult humor. There are jokes that will go right over
the heads of the kids in the crowd, but will keep the
grown-ups laughing all the way. And it certainly helps
that the main voices include comic talents like Ben Stiller
and Chris Rock, whose performances as the lion and the
zebra, best friends until one realizes that the other
is supposed to be dinner, really keep the story rollicking
amusing are the movie references and parodies that are
peppered throughout the story; once they start, half the
fun for adults watching the film is trying to pick up
on all of them. The other half is just enjoying the comical
situations that the city beasts encounter when they end
up back in the wild on the island of "Madagascar,"
and it's that half that kids find mesmerizing. There was
nary a peep nor a squirm out of the youngster-packed audience
we were in, high praise indeed from the toughest audience
thrilling for both young and old are the film's wonderful
visuals, as the animation combines the cartoony feel of
old-school, hand-drawn favorites like Looney Tunes or
Mickey Mouse with state-of-the-art 3-D computer techniques.
It's a winning combo that creates eye-popping effects.
That, along with all the funny bits and the film's heartfelt
story, makes it seem pretty certain that "Madagascar"
is destined to be the kind of hit that give everyone at
DreamWorks a very happy night's rest.