I remember seeing this in the theatres when I was 6 years old with a friend of mine from elementary school and loved it. Thirteen years later, I still love it and has become one of my favorite animated movies. Dream Works always does an awesome job on their movies although Disney is my "go to" for animation. Speaking of Disney, they released a similar film called The Wild I think two years after but I still think Madagascar is the best.
Honestly, I'm not really sure why I actually watched this movie, though it probably has something to do with having access to it, being bored one night, and having been on the ride at Universal Studios in Singapore. To be blunt I found this film rather dull and pointless. Okay, the opening part of the film which was set in New York was fun but once they arrived at Madagascar the film suddenly went downhill. Also, I was expecting to see a lot more of the penguins than I actually did because as it turned out they were only playing bit parts, but were far and away the best characters in the movie (maybe because they were, as one of the animals described, psychotic).The film is about a Zebra who has turned 10 and lives in the New York Zoo, but spends his days staring at a mural of the wilderness. His best friends are a lion, a hippo, and a giraffe. For the lion life is pretty good because he gets fed steak everyday and is the centre of attention, however the Zebra is pining for better things. So, one day he escapes, and all hell breaks loose, and the authorities decide to send them home. Unfortunately, due to the ship being hijacked by penguins, the crates holding the animals are washed overboard and they land up on the shores of Madagascar.And that is about it. Basically there really is no plot. Okay, there is that Lord of the Flies concept where the animals are trying to fight off their savage nature, or at least the lion is trying to do so, however I'm not really sure if I could consider this to be the central plot. In another sense it is about how sometimes the grass isn't always greener on the otherside of the river, and that we should be content with where we are and what we have. Well, at this all well and good, but society seems to be suggesting something else, especially since the rich and the famous seem to flaunt their wealth (or at least some of them do). I could even suggest that friendship somehow transcends race, but I'm not really sure if I can say that either. In the end it is basically about a bunch of animals trapped on an island – I won't call it a desert island because Madagascar is pretty large for an island.Yet there is another interesting thing that comes up, and that is how animals in captivity generally can't be returned to the wild. Well, the Lion did, but being born and bred in a zoo sort of indicated that there were things he couldn't do and wasn't used to. In a way we find he constantly trying to fight that savage nature that regularly rises up inside of him – in the zoo he was given meat but out in the wild he had to go and find it himself. However a part of me doesn't really want to think about this movie all too deeply because, well, it didn't really thrill me all that much, though I had to admit that there are two more waiting to be watched, but whether I will watch them or not is another story.
I watched this film with my sister as a part of our Dreamworks Movie Marathon. This is a very middle-of-the road film. It wasn't very funny, it wasn't very engaging, and the characters weren't too interesting. Some laughs here and there, though they were few and far between. The Penguins were more interesting than the main characters. Two things I enjoyed were the art style and the main conflict of the film. The animation felt very angular, which isn't a complaint. The character designs, when paired with the choice of soundtrack (popular songs from the 80s and Louis Armstrong's Wonderful World) gave the movie a character. I also appreciated how the main conflict was between Alex and Marty, and how they maintained their friendship in the midst of change and savagery. Not having a "bad guy" in the movie was a great choice. That all being said, this movie is passable at best.