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Nic’s Review (05/09/2014):

‘Mada-who-ha?’

‘No, not ‘who-ha’, ‘ascar’!

And so DreamWorks’ second franchise was born, the ugly stepchild of ‘Shrek’ and inferior sibling of later would-be franchises ‘Kung Fu Panda’ and ‘How to Train Your Dragon’. Yet despite its many faults and flaws, ‘Madagascar’ is somewhat of a guilty pleasure.

Like the earlier ‘Shrek’ many features of the original ‘Madagascar’ have become mainstays of popular culture, for example King Julien’s theme song, “I Like to Move it”, and the laugh-out-loud antics of the penguins.

In fact, ‘Madagascar’ is brimming with memorable quotes and genuinely funny jokes throughout, even if some require a breach of logic that is almost ‘Looney Tunes’-esque. The downside to this is that for every joke that makes you chuckle, there’s one that makes you wince, and almost all of the latter are bad because they are tainted with the slapstick and pop-culture references that plagued ‘Shark Tale’

‘Madagascar’ is no ‘Shark Tale’ though; it is absent of awkward genre parody, detestable characters, and questionable lessons. Alex the Lion and Marty the Zebra are at the heart of the film and the arc of their relationship may be ripped from a Pixar movie but it is nonetheless unique enough to be a breath of fresh air for a DreamWorks film. The film doesn’t really find its legs until the gang reach Madagascar but when they do, the last two acts are basically a party of fun.

‘Madagascar’ may still represent a decline in ambition for the studio, but it makes up for it with comedic gold.

Score: 7.3/10

 

Daniel’s Review (31/03/2016):

“Welcome to Madagascar”; “Mada-who-ah?”

‘Madagascar’ is DreamWorks Animation’s second franchise starter, and while ‘Shrek’ was a modern classic, ‘Madagascar’ clearly isn’t the ‘Shrek’ level of greatness, however, with that said, it does have some charm to it and some fun featured.

‘Madagascar’ sees Marty’s big “1-0” birthday in New York Central Zoo, and reveals his birthday wish to go to the wild, and while Alex, Gloria and Melman rescue Marty from going to the wild, they end up in Madagascar.

‘Madagascar’ is a bit too cartoony, and while at times, it does work, there are misses and the story isn’t strong, compared to previous DWA feature films. However, with that said, the characters are fun to watch and the film tries to have some heart too it, regarding towards Alex and Marty’s friendship and the struggles of living in the wild, compared to where they came from of living in luxury in New York. The penguins are always hilarious, and are scene stealers whenever they are needed or pop up throughout this film.

‘Madagascar’ is enjoyable, it’s fun, but without a strong story, it falters every now and then, as there isn’t a balance between the story and the film’s humour, with the film’s wit being in the fore-front, but nonetheless, ‘Madagascar’ is a fun enjoyable family film, that adults can find enjoyment, while the kids will be loving it and singing “I Like to Move It”.

Score: 6.4/10

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