Madagascar

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 230 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 28 out of 230

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User Reviews

  1. Dec 29, 2013
    6
    "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.
  2. 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.
  3. StevenE.
    Oct 23, 2005
    5
    As a member of New York's historic Congregation Emanu-El, I thought it was great that the animators included an exterior shot of that beautiful house of worship in the background of one of Alex's earlier scenes, so much so that I mentioned it in the Temple Bulletin and DreamWorks sent them a copy of a still from the movie. Other than that, it had very little going for it.
  4. PatC.
    Jun 2, 2005
    5
    OK for kids but rather awkward and simplistic.
  5. DavidF
    May 27, 2005
    4
    Disappointing - I've loved Shrek movies and this one just left me shifting in my seat waiting for it to end. 6 yr old with me wanted to know what we'd be seeing next.
  6. Tina
    Jun 2, 2005
    5
    Very disapointed in this movie. Story line begins well but then gets week. Main characters are wonderful but when they all wind up on the island, the characters that they meet there are boring and same-like. If the writers would have put in a more varierity of animals it would have been more capturing for the mind and audience. The idea of returning to the Zoo would have been more Very disapointed in this movie. Story line begins well but then gets week. Main characters are wonderful but when they all wind up on the island, the characters that they meet there are boring and same-like. If the writers would have put in a more varierity of animals it would have been more capturing for the mind and audience. The idea of returning to the Zoo would have been more touching and realistic in believing that they were leaving the island not because it was filled with one or two different kind of animals but hundereds. And that they were leaving because they were homesick, not just because they were bored as I was in watching this movie. Sorry. I think the movie took advantage of the kids getting out of school and being the only movie on the marque. Expand
  7. ChadS.
    May 27, 2005
    5
    The main problem with "Madagascar" is that the penguins are more fun than the four main animals. They talk a lot but they're not saying anything...funny. The best line belongs to the monkeys, and it's not even original; its roots can be traced to a SNL sketch with Darrell Hammonds as Sean Connery. As a matter of fact, not a lot of "Madagascar" is all that original. If you want The main problem with "Madagascar" is that the penguins are more fun than the four main animals. They talk a lot but they're not saying anything...funny. The best line belongs to the monkeys, and it's not even original; its roots can be traced to a SNL sketch with Darrell Hammonds as Sean Connery. As a matter of fact, not a lot of "Madagascar" is all that original. If you want to see animals in an urban setting, there's the underrated "Babe: Pig in the City", and the notion of animals returning to the wild was handled better in "Finding Nemo". The animals get to Madagascar and the writers can't think of anything better than have the animals imitate civilization like the Howells did on "Gilligan's Island". Give the giraffe a girlfriend, or better yet, have him save the hippo from being eaten and start an inter-species love affair. The animals are so one-note. If the writers had any ambition, they'd give the animals a character arc after making the transition to the wild. But no. What we get is a hungry lion, a stupid zebra, and a gay lemur. Expand
  8. AceW.
    May 31, 2005
    5
    Uninspired, would be the best way I could describe this simple little cartoon. Not very much happens, which is probably good; as to many cartoons want to rely on super villains, or epic showdowns that become cliché. There were a few good references to other films and pop culture, including American beauty, 10, planet of the apes, and a twilight zone shout out that sailed over the Uninspired, would be the best way I could describe this simple little cartoon. Not very much happens, which is probably good; as to many cartoons want to rely on super villains, or epic showdowns that become cliché. There were a few good references to other films and pop culture, including American beauty, 10, planet of the apes, and a twilight zone shout out that sailed over the heads of almost everyone in the theatre (My laughter was met by confused stares). But to many Poo jokes and groin blows (once is humorous but I counted at least 4) can give you an idea of the overall comedy and writing involved. The penguins steal the movie, and Ali G. was funny as well. That said nothing actually stands out as being memorable. If you have kids they will like it and that is exactly who the film is aimed at. Expand
  9. jeffn
    Jun 8, 2005
    4
    Just weak. i think we're spoiled by pixar and companies that do animation well with good plot, good characters, artistic deisgn, not just animation for the sake of animation.
  10. WarrenB.
    Jul 13, 2005
    6
    Loved the Pengins, more chimps required, just watch for the chimps phase being repeated everywhere, as with most reviewers what plot? fear a second film impossible - nowhere near shrek.
  11. Sam
    Nov 4, 2006
    6
    Yes, Madagascar can be funny at times, but it lacks the wit and charm of Shrek, its sequel, and Over the Hedge. But at least it's an improvement over the disatrous Shark Tale.
  12. SaraH.
    Feb 6, 2006
    6
    The penguins rocked. The rest sucked. My 5 year old sister liked it though and alot of my friends do too. I was bored with it.
  13. Sep 13, 2013
    6
    Do not get me wrong I do not hate Madagascar but this film could have been a lot funnier and/or a lot more heartwarming. Look at the first two Shrek movies, those movies were funny and had a lot of heart. In Madagascar you see a film that is trying to recreate what worked so well in that movie and in some cases succeed but in some cases fall flat on its face. You have a really entertainingDo not get me wrong I do not hate Madagascar but this film could have been a lot funnier and/or a lot more heartwarming. Look at the first two Shrek movies, those movies were funny and had a lot of heart. In Madagascar you see a film that is trying to recreate what worked so well in that movie and in some cases succeed but in some cases fall flat on its face. You have a really entertaining beginning with some good laughs and an equally entertaining finale. However, in the middle the good jokes are few and far between and it becomes hard to care for the main characters due to the excessive amount of time devoted to arguing rather than advancing the plot and/or coming up with jokes. Plus, the only really funny characters are barely in the movie. However, I doubt most people especially kids will mind. If you are a child you will probably enjoy this film like I did when I was a kid. Adults may/may not get thorugh this film ok but it is watchable. While I do not think it is as good as Shrek I do not think it is bad. Enough of the jokes work, there is some heart, and the side characters are pretty funny. If you are looking for a couple laughs this film will satisfy. However, if you are looking for that really funny and/or heartwarming film like Shrek you will not find it here. This film is not the next Shrek. Instead we have a decent film with a few good laughs and amusing side characters that is a rent. Second act of this film really brings it down but some good laughs in the first and third acts make it watchable. Expand
  14. Jan 29, 2012
    5
    It is not nearly as funny as people will hope or as it should be but it is sometimes funny and features great voice acting and memorable moments kids will talk about forever. I give this movie 56%.
  15. Dec 18, 2012
    5
    Solid voice acting, but its story is too simplistic. Simply fails at being entertaining throughout, even with its short length. Bland animated feature.
  16. Jul 23, 2015
    6
    Great animation! DreamWorks and Nickelodeon made one of the most famous animated features of our generation! I haven't seen the other two parts yet though
  17. Mar 24, 2013
    5
    I can honestly say, this is a mixed bag. With the story of Alex, Marty, Gloria and Melman escaping from the zoo, they escape with some pretty funny scenes and ending with bad fighting scenes. Nuff said.
  18. Jul 5, 2013
    5
    "Madagascar" uses most of its humor on animals doing things that humans do, and while its okay, its quite dragging. The film is overall fun and somehow enjoying, but its pop culture references are tiresome with... well, all Dreamwork Animation films. New characters have moments of shine especially the penguins, and while it plot lacks nearly any clever ideas, its humor can almost, but not"Madagascar" uses most of its humor on animals doing things that humans do, and while its okay, its quite dragging. The film is overall fun and somehow enjoying, but its pop culture references are tiresome with... well, all Dreamwork Animation films. New characters have moments of shine especially the penguins, and while it plot lacks nearly any clever ideas, its humor can almost, but not quite, help it pass on by. Expand
  19. Nov 13, 2013
    5
    Madagascar advances to a point.
    Again DreamWorks attempts the same plot of just trying to be fun without much substance. Madagascar becomes entertaining until it simply gets old with little to no backbone.
  20. 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
  21. Apr 20, 2015
    6
    Holed up in Central Park Zoo, pampered zebra Marty (Rock) gets itchy hooves and decides to explore the Big Apple. When his buddies — vain lion Alex (Stiller), straight-talking hippo Gloria (Pinkett Smith) and neurotic giraffe Melman (Schwimmer) — go after him, their rescue mission goes belly-up, seeing the four friends carted off to the untamed wilds of Africa.

    There is something
    Holed up in Central Park Zoo, pampered zebra Marty (Rock) gets itchy hooves and decides to explore the Big Apple. When his buddies — vain lion Alex (Stiller), straight-talking hippo Gloria (Pinkett Smith) and neurotic giraffe Melman (Schwimmer) — go after him, their rescue mission goes belly-up, seeing the four friends carted off to the untamed wilds of Africa.

    There is something deliciously neat about the premise of DreamWorks’ latest CG offering; taking institutionalised zoo animals and throwing them into their natural, wild habitat is an idea seemingly full of rich pickings. But Eric Darnell (Antz) and Tom McGrath’s (The Ren And Stimpy Show) film fails to fully mine the concept for comedic gold.

    It is visually splendid, has a smattering of good set-pieces and gags and a likeable atmosphere, but it does not have the coherence nor the consistency to give anyone at Pixar a sleepless night.

    et where Madagascar falls down is in simple storytelling know-how. In the initial zoo sequences, the motivations and set-ups are clearly defined, but when the characters get shipwrecked, the plotting runs aground with them, grinding to a halt as the foursome argue for an eternity on a sun-kissed beach. While the characters are likeable riffs on the actor’s recognisable personas — Schwimmer’s giraffe is Ross Geller with a long neck — none of them are loveable, so the film fails to deliver the requisite uplift it is so patently striving for.

    More enjoyable than Shark Tale but falling way short of Shrek, Madagascar doesn’t really live up to the promise that the idea and voice talent deserve. But it’s still spirited, amiable, featherweight summer fun.
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  22. Dec 19, 2015
    6
    Madagascar has been a slightly funny movie, the characters entretenieron us , we not only fun , even a little , but the plot , the animation and the son the good script.
  23. Apr 1, 2016
    5
    Madagascar the new computer-animated picture from DreamWorks, is, at least in part, a movie about what a bad idea it is to leave New York City. Its main characters are four residents of the Central Park Zoo - a zebra, a hippo, a lion and a giraffe - who abandon their lives of comfortable, pampered confinement and wind up in that strange and confusing place known as "the wild."

    Of the
    Madagascar the new computer-animated picture from DreamWorks, is, at least in part, a movie about what a bad idea it is to leave New York City. Its main characters are four residents of the Central Park Zoo - a zebra, a hippo, a lion and a giraffe - who abandon their lives of comfortable, pampered confinement and wind up in that strange and confusing place known as "the wild."

    Of the four, only Marty, the zebra (voiced by Chris Rock), has any desire to make the trip. On his 10th birthday, in spite of a lovely party thrown by his friends, Marty finds himself in a midlife crisis, and decides to visit the open spaces and grassy savannahs of Connecticut (in whose woods, unbeknownst to him, a leopard once prowled in an older, better movie).

    Tagging along with a claque of hard-boiled penguins, who have been re-enacting "The Great Escape," Marty lights out for Grand Central Terminal, and his worried pals go after him, arriving at the station by subway in one of the movie's better sequences.

    Then, their departure misinterpreted as a result of unhappiness with the zoo, the lot of them are shipped off to a wildlife preserve in Kenya. Instead, by accident, they land on the island that gives the film its title - a place where, in real life, creatures like them are no more likely to be found than at the Central Park Zoo - as well as an excuse to fill the screen with adorable, big-eyed lemurs.

    The annoying sidekick is a longstanding feature of child-oriented animated entertainment. The chief innovation of "Madagascar" is that it consists entirely of annoying sidekicks, whose tics and quirks are not quite sufficient to make them interesting characters.

    Marty's best pal is the lion, a vain, talkative cat named Alex, who speaks in the rapid-fire, passive-aggressive voice of Ben Stiller. The giraffe, a hypochondriac named Melman, is played by David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett Smith is the hippo, a no-nonsense, talk-to-the-hand, big sisterly type named Gloria. Julien, the king of the lemurs (Sacha Baron Cohen, of "Da Ali G Show"), is perhaps the most annoying character of them all, with his strange, quasi-Caribbean accent and his slinky dance moves, and even he gets a sidekick of his own (Cedric the Entertainer).

    Add to this a score by Hans Zimmer, and you may find yourself longing for the quiet and relaxation of a Midtown traffic jam. Like so many other animated features - "Robots" is another recent example - "Madagascar" spends all its imaginative resources on visual novelty while piecing its story together out of tired conventions and loud, obvious jokes. Some of the New York scenes are both witty and grand, fusing a romantic iconography of Manhattan with incongruous animal movements in a way that makes the city feel both wild and cozy, but once the animals leave town, the movie quickly runs out of ideas.

    One advantage to working with talking animals seems to be that they provide an excuse to indulge in scatological humor. Sometimes this is amusing, though the funniest example will surely sail over the heads of younger viewers: "Tom Wolfe is speaking tonight at Lincoln Center," says one sophisticated monkey to another. "Of course we're going to throw poo." On the other hand, I'm not sure why the sight of a giraffe eating a deodorant cake from a urinal is supposed to be funny, unless I'm missing the point, and it's actually supposed to be realistic.

    Probably not, since the reality of life in the wild is something that this movie, like others of its kind, treats with anxious timidity. One of the apparent aims of "Madagascar" is to promote interspecies harmony as a metaphor for multicultural tolerance, a sweet enough idea complicated by the fact that perfectly nice animals often kill and eat one another.

    Alex, the citified lion, has evolved beyond such unpleasantness; at the zoo, his prey is delivered to him in the form of steaks, the cute and furry origins of which are discreetly suppressed. Out in the wild, though, his predatory nature reasserts itself, especially since part of Madagascar is inhabited by hyenalike creatures called fusa, which menace both the native lemurs and the visiting New Yorkers.

    Alex's regression provides the only suggestion of dramatic tension in the movie, which is otherwise smilingly innocuous, with an occasional gesture toward mild naughtiness. It has neither the wit and pathos of "Chicken Run" nor the emotional sweep and adventurous spirit of "Finding Nemo," though it limpingly follows them for a plot point or two.

    Instead, it condescends to both its audience - who it figures will be satisfied with cuteness, flatulence, movie-star voices and bright colors - and to its characters, about whose lives and aspirations it could hardly care less. "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.
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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. 63
    Eventually, it had to happen: a computer-animated dud.
  2. It's frustrating to see this wonderful-looking, laugh-out-loud funny survival tale fall short of its potential.
  3. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    60
    Pleasant, if mediocre family fare.