Here are two of our reviewers thoughts on the first Madagascar movie, which opened May 27th, 2005. Our reviews of Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will be available Monday.
May 27th, 2005
Rated PG for mild language, crude humor and some thematic elements.
Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath (dir.)
Ben Stiller as Alex (voice)
Chris Rock as Marty (voice)
David Schwimmer as Melman (voice)
Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria (voice)
Sacha Baron Cohen as Julien (voice)
Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice (voice)
Andy Richter as Mort (voice)
Tom McGrath as Skipper / Fossa / Panicky Man on Subway (voice)
Christopher Knights as Private (voice)
Chris Miller as Kowalski (voice)
Our reviews below:
Madagascar Review By John C.
*** (out of four)
Madagascar is the zany, off the wall story of a zebra named Marty (Chris Rock) who lives in a zoo, but wishes he could go to the wild. When he escapes for wide open spaces, his friends Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Alex the lion (Ben Stiller), chase after him, and in a twist of fate, all end up shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar. Alex, who misses his home life at the zoo, and the delicious steaks that they feed him, badly wants to go back, and starts to become crazy from his lack of food. Their you have it, the plot.
The story is not complex, but the ride is funny and a lot of fun. The story is rounded out by a clan of very funny singing lemurs, and the hands down best characters in the movie, a group of hilarious gangster-esque penguins (there is one scene involving the penguins that is so simple, yet priceless). While Madagascar is no where near the top as far as animated films go, it is still light hearted fun, and a definite good time. All the voice actors get in their share of jokes, especially Sacha Baron-Cohen as King Julien leader of the lemurs, who I am sure made up a lot of it as he went along. While it is not up there with anything from Pixar, it is still worth seeing for what it is, and I am sure the whole family will have a good time.
Madagascar Review By Erin V.
*** (out of four)
Madagascar is the story of Alex the Lion, (Ben Stiller), Marty the Zebra, (Chris Rock), Melman the Giraffe, (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo, (Jada Pinkett Smith). They all live in the Central Park Zoo. It starts out on Marty’s birthday, and he, turning 10, thinks that there has to be more to life. After talking to the penguins, (who Alex calls psychotic), they tell him that they don’t belong here, and they are breaking out to go to Antarctica. Hearing this, Marty wants to go and see the wild too. Alex tries to talk him out of it, since they have everything that they already need. After they escape from the zoo, they are caught, and shipped off to be sent to a wildlife reserve in Africa, but end up stranded in Madagascar.
Back in 2005, I saw Madagascar after I had won tickets to it. To be able to see the movie before it was reviewed, and review it myself was a lot more fun than judging whether or not to see it by what others had said. And for the movie Madagascar in particular, it was really great, because despite what was said in a lot of reviews of the first movie, I actually really liked it. The movie was fun, and I found the story to be entertaining enough to keep it going. I admit that this is not an amazing movie in terms of filmmaking, but in my opinion, I liked it - especially the penguins. This movie is worth seeing, especially now on DVD, if you are going to see the second one.
Consensus: This is a fun movie for the whole family. It is worth seeing, especially before the second one which opens this weekend, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. *** (out of four)