Madagascar is a 2005 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation. It was released in movie theaters on May 27th 2005. The film tells the story of four Central Park Zoo animals who have spent their lives in blissful captivity and are unexpectedly shipped back to Africa, getting shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar. The voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, David Schwimmer, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer and Andy Richter. Despite its mixed critical reception, it was a success at the box office. A sequel, Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa, was released on November 7th 2008. A second sequel in the series, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, was released on June 8th 2012. A third sequel, titled Madagascar 4 is set to be released on May 18th 2018.
At the Central Park Zoo, Marty the zebra is celebrating his tenth birthday, but longs to see the rest of the world from outside his pampered life at the zoo, believing that he can find wide-open spaces to run around in, like Connecticut. Marty's best friend, Alex the lion attempts to cheer up his friend by singing Frank Sinatra's "New York, New York" with him. Still unsatisfied, Marty gets some tips from the zoo's penguins; Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private. The penguins are similarly trying to escape the zoo. They succeed and Marty follows them. Alex and Marty's other two friends - Melman the giraffe and Gloria the hippopotamus realize Marty's folly and try to follow him. The four, along with the penguins and the chimpanzees Mason and his silent friend Phil eventually find themselves at Grand Central Station, but are quickly sedated by tranquilizer darts when Alex's attempt to communicate with humans is mistaken for aggression. The zoo (under pressure from animal-rights activists) is forced to ship the animals, by sea, to a Kenyan wildlife preserve. During their travels, the penguins escape from their enclosure and take over the ship, intent on taking it to Antarctica. Their antics on the bridge cause the crates containing Alex, Marty, Melmen, and Gloria to fall off the boat and wash ashore on Madagascar. The animals are soon able to regroup, initially believing themselves to be in the zoo at San Diego, California. Upon exploring, however, they come across a pack of lemurs led by King Julien XIII, and quickly learn of their true location. Alex blames Marty for their predicament and attempts to signal for help to get back to civilization. Marty, on the other hand, finds the wild to be exactly what he was looking for, with Gloria and Melman soon joining him in enjoying the island. Alex eventually comes around, though hishunting instincts begin to show; he has been away from the pampered zoo life of prepacked steaks for too long. The group is accepted by the lemurs, though King Julien's adviser, Maurice, cautions them about Alex's predatory nature. King Julien ignores Maurice's concerns and persuades the group to help the lemurs fend off the fossa, who hunt the lemurs as prey. While initially Alex scares the fossa away and is worshiped by the lemurs, he later enters a feeding frenzy under his starvation and attacks Marty. Realizing that Alex is now a threat to them, King Julien banishes Alex to the far side of the island, where the fossa live. Marty begins to regret his decision to leave the zoo, seeing what Alex has turned into, and realizing how hard it is to survive with so many predators around the island. The penguins, having been to Antarctica and found that it "sucks", land the boat on Madagascar. Seeing this as a chance to return Alex to New York, Marty rushes after his friend, depsite the warnnings of Gloria. Marty attempts to convince the now grizzled, starving Alex to return, but Alex refuses in fear of attacking him again, despite Marty using the "New York, New York" song. The penguins, Gloria and Melman go to find Marty, but are trapped by the fossa. At the last minute, Alex finally overcomes his predatory nature and scares the fossa away from the lemur territory forever. The lemurs regain their respect for Alex and the penguins help him satisfy his hunger through sushi instead of steak. As the lemurs throw a bon voyage celebration for the foursome, the penguins decide not to break the news that the ship has run out of fuel, and that they are still stuck on the island.
- Ben Stiller as Alex, a lion
- Chris Rock as Marty, a zebra
- David Schwimmer as Melman, a giffare
- Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria, a hippo
- Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien, a lemur
- Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice, a lemur
- Andy Richter as Mort, a lemur
- Tom McGrath as Skipper, a penguin
- Chris Miller as Kowalski, a penguin
- Christopher Knights as Private, a penguin
- Conrad Vernon as Mason
- Fred Tatasciore and Tom McGrath as the Fossa
- Elisa Gabrielli as Nana
- Bob Saget as zoo animal (animal unclear)
- David Cowgill as Police Horse
- Stephen Apostolina as Police Officer
Madagascar was released in movie theaters on May 27th 2005.
Critical reception Edit
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 55% approval rating based on 178 reviews. On Metacritic, the film has 57% approval rating based on 36 reviews falling under the "Mixed or Average" category.
Box office Edit
Despite the mixed response from critics, the film was a commercial success. On its opening weekend, the film grossed $47,224,594 with a $11,431 average from 4,131 theaters making it the number 3 movie of that weekend behind Star Wars: Episode III – Revenge of the Sith and The Longest Yard. However, the film managed to claim the top position in the U.S. box office the following week with a gross of $28,110,235. In the United States, the film eventually grossed $193,595,521, and in foreign areas grossed $339,085,150 with a summative worldwide gross of $532,680,671. As of December 2013, the film is the ninth highest-grossing DreamWorks animated feature behind Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek, Shrek Forever After, How to Train Your Dragon, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, Kung Fu Panda, and Monsters vs. Aliens.
The film has won three awards and several nominations.
Home Media Edit
Madagascar was DVD and VHS on November 15th 2005. The DVD included a short animated film The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper, and a music video "I Like to Move It," featuring characters from the film dancing to the song.
The Blu-ray was released in 2010
Sequels and Spin offs Edit
Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa Edit
A sequel titled Madagascar 2: Escape 2 Africa was released in theaters on November 7th 2008, and picked up right where the first one left off, with the same voice cast.
Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted Edit
A second sequel, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted, was released in theaters on June 8th 2012.
Madagascar 4 Edit
a third sequel, Madagascar 4, is set for release on May 18th 2018.
Spin Offs Edit
The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper Edit
A short film called The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper was theatrically released with Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit and was released with the Madagascar DVD.
The Penguins of Madagascar Edit
A spin-off film starring the Penguins titled, The Penguins of Madagascar was released on November 26th 2014.
TV Specials Edit
Merry Madagascar Edit
Merry Madagascar, a holiday special featuring characters from the film series, premiered on November 17th 2009 on NBC.
Madly Madagascar Edit
Madly Madagascar, a Valentine's Day special featuring characters from the film series, was released on DVD on January 29th 2013.
Other Media Edit
A 2009 spinoff series, The Penguins of Madagascar, premiered in March 2009 on Nickelodeon. It is the first Nicktoon to be produced by both Nickelodeon and DreamWorks.