Mixed or average reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
Watch On
  1. 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.
  2. 63
    Eventually, it had to happen: a computer-animated dud.
  3. 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.
  4. 50
    More than a few will agree with the penguins, who netted the film a PG rating with the utterance, "Well, this sucks."
  5. Dishes up some very corny jokes, but the images have a brighter-than-life vivacity.
  6. 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.
  7. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    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.
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    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.
  12. This slight and amusing 'toon is mostly a trip designed for the kiddie crowd to take in.
  13. 63
    Often feels like a cartoon that wishes it were live action.
  14. The whole thing feels throwaway, but some of the gags are funny.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. 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.
  18. 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.
  19. 50
    By and large it's formulaic and dull.
  20. 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.
  21. The underwhelming, only fitfully amusing movie left me hungry for more.
  22. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Savvy family entertainment.
  23. It could be more involving, but it's funny enough that you won't care.
  24. Madagascar's relaxed density is a relief given the DreamWorks tendency to overbear, overblast, and overcaricaturize.
  25. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    Pleasant, if mediocre family fare.
  26. Forget life lessons: I much prefer a lemur king doing the robot.
  27. Madagascar doesn't do much, except make you laugh. All hail such a minimalist approach.
  28. 50
    Often quite beautiful. But Madagascar, which was directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath, is mismanaged pretty much from start to finish.
  29. It's frustrating to see this wonderful-looking, laugh-out-loud funny survival tale fall short of its potential.
  30. 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.
  31. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    It's a brisk and lively getaway with genuine personality.
  32. 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.
  33. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    Slickly animated and cleverly written.
  34. The film never gets going. It's too slow and plodding for kids--even too obvious.
  35. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Spirited, amiable, featherweight summer fun.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 197 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 46 out of 72
  2. Negative: 13 out of 72
  1. Oct 23, 2011
    Now, in "Madagascar", Dream Works presents their homemade movie formula of "15% story and 85% fun". It may be amusing for the kids that haveNow, 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
    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. Dec 29, 2013
    "Madagascar" is silly and funny at the beginning, and starts getting strangely annoying and dull as it draws nearer to the end. I would"Madagascar" is silly and funny at the beginning, and starts getting strangely annoying and dull as it draws nearer to the end. I would recommend this film for kids, but for adults, it would be alright but you'll probably forget it in a couple of days. Full Review »