I saw this film over a week ago, and it has taken me until now to put pen to paper. I wondered after seeing it, what I would say about such a film – confronted with complete writer’s block, I decided to try an experiment… I’d wait a week or so, and then see if anything had bubbled up out of my movie-ridden subconscious.

MadagascarUnfortunately, I remain in much the same position as I was a week ago. Madagascar just doesn’t provoke any interest in me – doesn’t make me want to say anything. It is that sort of movie. Sure, the voice-acting is adequate, the animation is adequate, the music is adequate. That about sums this film up – adequate. There are no heights scaled, no lows or clear failures, just widespread adequacy.

Sacha Baron Cohen is the only standout, with his King Julian the Lemur providing the only real amusement. Having not loved Ali G, I was somewhat surprised to find his performance the one I enjoyed the most. Schwimmer, Rock, Pinkett Smith and Stiller seem like they’re on auto-pilot.

There are bright colours and loud music, that provide some fun moments for the under-10s only. The penguins are fun, and the lead is actually voiced by writer/director Tom McGrath – with a mix of Nathan Lane and maybe the late Phil Hartman, he is entertaining, which is more than can be said for his higher-paid voice ‘talent’.

Whilst never becoming more than mildly amusing, and not having anything in scripting, direction, animation or score to differentiate it from the glut of other children’s animated fare, Madagascar remains a passable way to spend eighty-six minutes. I guess I had something to say after all…

Rating: 2.0 stars
Review by Mark Lavercombe, 1st January 1970
Hoopla Factor: 2.0 stars

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