Featuring a whole zoo full of celebrity voice talents—Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, and more—Dreamworks' latest animated feature, Madagascar, refused to be crushed by the Dark Side of the Force. It scored an impressive opening weekend (approximately $61 million), not far behind Star Wars: Episode III—Revenge of the Sith ($70 million), which held on to the top spot for the second straight week.
In his first directorial effort since 1998's underrated Antz, Eric Darnell delivers a story about the misadventures of mismatched creature companions who have escaped the extravagant luxuries of New York's Central Park zoo in order to seek their natural habitats. Together, Alex the Lion (Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Rock), Melman the Giraffe (Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo (Pinkett Smith) cause enough trouble to earn them a one-way tickets to Kenya. But the voyage runs into trouble, and they wind up in … well, check the title.
Camerin Courtney (Christianity Today Movies) says, "As the movie progresses, the humor threshold gets lower and lower. And just as the movie runs out of steam, the final credits save the day."
She also writes, "Though it might seem nitpicky to note plot flaws in a cartoon, all I really want is a moral to the story—a pretty standard element in kid flicks, no? In Finding Nemo: Don't let fear rule your life. In Shrek: True beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. In Madagascar: well, I'm not really sure. Don't eat your friends? Be a vegetarian? Don't stray too far from home because your more animal instincts will take over? Deny your natural makeup for the good of your friends—and society at large?"
Peter T. Chattaway, a regular critic at Christianity ...1
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