Box art for Madagascar

Madagascar

action & adventure, anime & animation, comedy


This computer-animated comedy stars four pampered animals from New York's Central Park zoo.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    55%
  • Audience Score
    67%
  • buy from $8.99
  • rent from $3.99

  • special offer

    DreamWorks favorites

common sense

ON for kids age 7
Consumerism
3 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
0 out of 5
Educational value
1 out of 5
Language
1 out of 5
Positive messages
2 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sexy Stuff
0 out of 5
Violence & scariness
3 out of 5

Cute story contains some crude humor and innuendo.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that there's some crude humor and sexual innuendo that will probably go over the youngest kids' head. The animals confront assorted dangerous situations, including an encounter with police, containment in crates (dark, closed spaces), a stormy sea and shipwreck, and, most alarmingly, a startling personality change in Alex, the lion, when he wants to eat his friends. There's a shooting with tranquilizer darts in which a character hallucinates to the tune of Sammy Davis Jr.'s song "Candyman" (younger viewers won't know this is about drugs, but the allusion is there). Gloria the hippo briefly appears with seaweed on her body, simulating "pasties" on breasts and crotch area. The lemurs are hunted by scary hyena-like creatures. A secondary plot has a crew of penguins acting like spies, which has them tunneling out of the zoo, knocking out a ship's captain, and stealing an ocean liner.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the film's portrayals of friendships and how friends can deal with their companions' different personalities. Did you relate to any of the friendships portrayed here?
  • Families can also discuss the film's use of cliches and stereotypes as jokes (the "island" music that characterizes the lemur community, the whiny hypochondriac, the fey lemur king). Why do movies use so many stereotypes? At what point do stereotypes do harm?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    55%
    reviews counted: 26
    see all Madagascar reviews
  • Audience

    67%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Madagascar is great good fun, not only because the filmmakers have enlisted some wonderful voice talent but also because the visuals truly are marvelous.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, May 27, 2005

Fresh: Brilliantly written, animated and performed, it not only bridges the child-adult divide, but also makes its kid-friendly humor smart in its own way.

- Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Friday, May 27, 2005

Fresh:

- Carol Cling, Las Vegas Review-Journal, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Audience Reviews

3 stars

'Dreamworks' hit back with an animated tale about lovable zoo animals trying to escape to the wild. Always one step behind the mighty 'Pixar' this feature seemed to be an attempt to try and combat the ever increasing list of 'Pixar' classics that just kept on coming. A curious blend of ideas really, the whole film is made to look quite sensible in terms of how things should look in reality. But there is a kind of Tex Avery/Chuck Jones feel to the main characters that is quite nice but also someone childish compared to the backgrounds and vista's we see. You then have the set up that the animals can all talk to each but not to humans, yet they can perform human acts without question. The film slides from slightly emotional to sensible to most of the time outright off the wall. The plot is childishly simple naturally but it works OK, it actually gets a little twisted once 'Alex' the lion goes savage when his animal instinct kicks in. Problem is once the animals break out from New York the film becomes very average very quickly. Seeing how the animals live within their city dwelling was pretty good and made for some good clever laughs, nothing hilarious I might add but it worked. The animals using the subway and at one point getting kicked in the nuts by an old lady does push the boundaries of even this fantasy. Unfortunately even that can't top the dreadful Lemurs they encounter on Madagascar, their leader for some reason given an Indian accent which is hideously unfunny. The penguins were by far the best of the bunch for me as a small squad of military types led by 'Skipper' who sounds remarkably like 'Zap Brannigan' from 'futurama'. I can see why they got their own spin off. The rest of the animals are voiced well by a good team of big names but they aren't overly interesting really. Rock is plain annoying and that's the end of it, whilst Schwimmer is surprisingly well matched as the hypochondriac giraffe. Stiller does what he does in pretty much everything he's in, its fine. Overall a very bright start but it just fades into a bland generic mess that includes a god awful hip hop sequence. The animation is fair, some smart visual gags here and there and the penguins are a great success but apart from that its all very meh. The impression I got was no one was sure which way they wanted to go with this film, so many alternative ideas colliding, bit of a mess.

- phubbs1, Saturday, October 20, 2012

3 stars

Funny animation about zoo animals who escape and get shipwrecked on a desert island. I love the penguins.

- thmtsang, Sunday, November 6, 2011

5 stars

Brilliantly formed characters with a narrative that's family safe yet has a good few adult aimed jokes to keep the parents happy!

- StarCrossedVoyager, Saturday, October 22, 2011