Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. Dishes up some very corny jokes, but the images have a brighter-than-life vivacity.
  2. The animals' personalities have been carefully calibrated: They have sufficient edge to amuse us as characters, yet they're cuddly enough to market as plush toys or action figures.
  3. It could be more involving, but it's funny enough that you won't care.
  4. It's bright and spry, giggly and bouncy, but also cuddly with occasional touches of cruelty--a movie in which best friends, when let loose in the wild, suddenly realize one's a little higher on the food chain.
  5. 80
    Despite Madagascar's formulaic tendencies, it's a formula that works, so parents are urged to sit back, relax and enjoy -- the kids surely will.
  6. Forget life lessons: I much prefer a lemur king doing the robot.
  7. This slight and amusing 'toon is mostly a trip designed for the kiddie crowd to take in.
  8. Madagascar isn't deep and would have no business being deep. But that it keeps one foot in reality is enough to keep us guessing.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    The thin story, which sometimes feels like a series of one-liners strung together, is wisely kept short. But the gags are funny and the characters endearing.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    75
    It's a brisk and lively getaway with genuine personality.
  11. Madagascar doesn't do much, except make you laugh. All hail such a minimalist approach.
  12. 70
    The tenor can be shrill, but there's no time to get bored. And on top of that, most of the gags actually work.
  13. Madagascar is a classical gas. It's a good-humored, pleasant confection that has all kinds of relaxed fun bringing computer-animated savvy to the old-fashioned world of Looney Tunes cartoons.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    Savvy family entertainment.
  15. 63
    Madagascar is funny, especially at the beginning, and good-looking in a retro cartoon way, but in a world where the stakes have been raised by "Finding Nemo," "Shrek" and "The Incredibles," it's a throwback to a more conventional kind of animated entertainment. It'll be fun for the smaller kids, but there's not much crossover appeal for their parents.
  16. 63
    Often feels like a cartoon that wishes it were live action.
  17. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Antic, cute, scattershot, it's a remarkable-looking but terribly uncertain bit of CGI fluff, with its richest humor off to the sides of the action and a whole lot of average in the middle.
  18. 63
    Eventually, it had to happen: a computer-animated dud.
  19. It's frustrating to see this wonderful-looking, laugh-out-loud funny survival tale fall short of its potential.
  20. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    60
    Slickly animated and cleverly written.
  21. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    60
    Spirited, amiable, featherweight summer fun.
  22. Madagascar's relaxed density is a relief given the DreamWorks tendency to overbear, overblast, and overcaricaturize.
  23. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    60
    Pleasant, if mediocre family fare.
  24. 50
    Less like "Shrek," meaning hilarious and heartfelt, and more like "Shark Tale," meaning manic and exhausting, Madagascar will keep kids distracted without transporting them to wonderland.
  25. The film never gets going. It's too slow and plodding for kids--even too obvious.
  26. Looks stunning, but it's an ill-conceived mess that plays like two movies awkwardly spliced together. In one movie, parents are asked to stand by while the kids are entertained with cute animal tricks and slapstick pratfalls. In the other, the kids will be hushed while the parents are treated to inside jokes.
  27. 50
    More than a few will agree with the penguins, who netted the film a PG rating with the utterance, "Well, this sucks."
  28. Credit Madagascar with negotiating a hopeful truce in the ongoing battle between the computer and the animation. Judged merely by appearances, its look is a lovely compromise. Too bad everything else has been compromised right out of existence.
  29. 50
    By and large it's formulaic and dull.
  30. The plot really is basic, so the bafflement of the movie lies in its combination of visual riches and dramatic -- as well as thematic -- impoverishment.
  31. 50
    Often quite beautiful. But Madagascar, which was directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath, is mismanaged pretty much from start to finish.
  32. The whole thing feels throwaway, but some of the gags are funny.
  33. Madagascar arouses no sense of wonder, except insofar as you wonder, as you watch it, how so much talent, technical skill and money could add up to so little.
  34. The underwhelming, only fitfully amusing movie left me hungry for more.
  35. The animation is deft but the screenplay is stilted, the voice-performances are unimaginative, and the whole project is surprisingly clumsy in its efforts to please young and old alike. A major disappointment.
User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 177 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 70
  2. Negative: 13 out of 70
  1. Oct 23, 2011
    5
    Now, in "Madagascar", Dream Works presents their homemade movie formula of "15% story and 85% fun". It may be amusing for the kids that have pure, honest hearts, but for the adults the film's baffling and confusing. Full Review »
  2. RamiW.
    Jun 3, 2006
    10
    the lemurs are so funny i cracked up laughing and dancing about that song so everybody stop giving this movie a low score and MOVE IT!
  3. Oct 13, 2014
    6
    It's modestly alright, a lot better than Shark Tale. The character animation reminds me of Looney Tunes movements. It has a better story line and more interesting characters, but can drag on a bit. Overall Madagascar is alright for the most part Full Review »