(Paramount/DreamWorks Animation Blu-ray)
B+ Sound: B+ Extras: C Film: C
Madagascar is from the same minds
that brought the world of Shrek and A Shark Tale to life; oddly enough the
quality of the film falling somewhere between the genius of Shrek and the debacle of Shark Tale.
centers on a few select animals at New York’s Central Park Zoo. When a zebra named Marty (Chris Rock) turns
ten years old, he realizes that he has outgrown and tired of his mundane,
pampered life at the zoo. Marty decides that he has to get back to his wild and
natural roots; but first he has to escape the zoo. After Marty breaks out his friends, an OCD
giraffe named Melman (David Schwimmer), a hippo named Gloria (Jada Pinkett
Smith), and a lion named Alex (Ben Stiller), set out to save their delusional
friend from his wildlife aspirations.
After causing a night of havoc at Grand Central Station the animals are
shipped off to Africa, to be assimilated back into the wild; whether they like
it or not. On the way back to Africa a
crew of sly and odd penguins take control of the ship, unwittingly knocking
their fellow animal friends’ crates overboard.
As the animals wash up on shore on the island of Madagascar they are
greeted by a slue of cute, cuddly, and CRAZY lemurs, headed by head lemur King
Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen). The lemurs
see the new animals’ arrival as a chance at having some protection from the
island’s wild cats that have been terrorizing them for years. True chaos arises when under the stress of
hunger Alex begins to revert back to his primal urges for meat and his friends
start to look like a mighty fine buffet.
taken a few viewings over the years for this reviewer to even slightly enjoy
this film. It seems to lack the heart
and soul that the Shrek films have
always embodied, but is far from the mismatches and poor choices that Shark Tale made. The characters are fun and nicely designed,
but the voice choices could have been better and feel bland much of the
time. The unique style of the film is
nice to see, even if it doesn’t hold up to many other CGI films that are being
technical features of Madagascar on
Blu-ray are pretty nice, but nothing to go full out wild over. The detailed picture is presented in a 1080p
High Definition that has wonderful colors, solid blacks, and great depth that
all lend to a rich image that shows every little detail to down to the hair on
the lions mane. The sound is not as
great as the image but in its Dolby TrueHD 5.1 soundtrack it is adequate enough
to boost Chris Rock’s annoying rants or the lemurs’ shouts of “I like to move
it, move it” with a solid clarity, but little use of ambience or light noise.
extras include The Penguins in a Christmas Caper [HD], Mad Mishaps [HD], “I
like to move it, move it” music video, Behind the Crates, Penguin Chat [HD],
Learn to Draw, and an exclusive Blu-ray Mad Trivia Pop-up feature. The features aren’t bad, especially if you
like the film; but to this reviewer the penguins highlight the best part of the
penguins steal the film from beginning to end and the audience in many ways
waits for them (or the lemurs) to return to the screen so the film can get
lively again. Madagascar is a fun enough film, but comparatively to other CGI
films of today it is nothing fantastic.
For a film that should have been a ROAR it is barely a meow…
- Michael P. Dougherty II