|Produced by||Mireille Soria|
|Edited by||H. Lee Peterson|
|Music by||Hans Zimmer|
|Distributed by||DreamWorks Pictures|
|Box office||$556.6 million|
Madagascar is a 2005 American computer-animated survival comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures. The film was directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath (in McGrath's feature directorial debut) and written by Mark Burton, Billy Frolick, Darnell, and McGrath. The film stars Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, and Andy Richter. The film centers around a group of animals from the Central Park Zoo who find themselves stranded on the island of Madagascar.
Released on May 27, 2005, Madagascar received mixed reviews from critics but was a success at the box office, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2005. It launched the Madagascar franchise which includes the sequels Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) and Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012); the spin-off film Penguins of Madagascar (2014); several short films, television series, and specials; and a number of video games, theme park attractions, and live stage shows.
A zebra named Marty lived his entire life at the Central Park Zoo with his best friends since childhood: a lion named Alex, who is Marty's best friend, a giraffe named Melman and a hippopotamus named Gloria. Alex enjoys showing off for the public and his celebrity status as "the king of New York". Marty, on the other hand, has grown bored with his daily routine and longs to experience the wild. On Marty's tenth birthday, Alex, Melman and Gloria attempt to cheer him up, but Marty, still unsatisfied, learns that the zoo's penguins—Skipper, Kowalski, Rico, and Private—are trying to escape, and follows them out. Alex, Melman and Gloria pursue Marty and attempt to convince him to return. The four, along with the penguins and two chimpanzees named Mason and Phil, converge at Grand Central Station where the authorities sedate them using tranquillizer guns. Under pressure from anti-captivity activists, the zoo is forced to ship the escaped animals by sea to a Kenyan wildlife preserve. During their travels, the penguins escape and take over the ship, intent on taking it to Antarctica. Their antics on the bridge cause the crates containing Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria to fall overboard and wash ashore on Madagascar.
The animals come across a pack of lemurs led by King Julien XIII. The predatory fossa attack the lemurs, but are scared off by Alex's fearsome appearance. Alex blames Marty for the group's predicament and attempts to signal for help to get back to civilization. Marty finds the wild to be exactly what he was looking for, and Gloria and Melman soon join him in enjoying the island. Alex eventually comes around, but without the raw steaks he was provided at the zoo, hunger sets in and his prey drive begins to show. King Julien has the lemurs befriend the zoo animals in the hope that Alex's presence will keep the fossa at bay, despite his adviser Maurice's warnings about Alex's predatory nature. When Alex loses control and attacks Marty, King Julien realizes that he is a threat and banishes him to the predator side of the island, where the fossa live. Seeing what Alex has become, and how dangerous the wild can be, Marty begins to regret his decision to leave the zoo.
The penguins, having found Antarctica to be inhospitable, land the ship at Madagascar. Seeing the chance to return Alex to New York, Marty crosses over to the predator side and attempts to convince the scared, starving Alex to return, but Alex refuses out of fear that he will attack Marty again. The fossa attack Marty, and though Gloria, Melman, and the penguins come to the rescue, they are outnumbered. Alex overcomes his predatory instincts, rescues his friends, and scares the fossa away from the lemur territory forever. The lemurs regain their respect for Alex, and the penguins satisfy his hunger by feeding him sushi. As the lemurs throw a farewell celebration for the foursome, the penguins decide not to break the news that the ship has run out of fuel, thus leaving them stranded on the island.
According to co-director Tom McGrath, the idea for Madagascar began as a one-sentence prompt, and it took two years of development for the idea to be refined to the point where the four main characters were finalized. In 1998, DreamWorks and PDI had started development on an animated film titled Rockumentary, which featured a Beatles-esque penguin rock band. The idea was scrapped, but after production on Madagascar started, director Eric Darnell decided to revive the penguins, but make them a commando unit instead of a rock band. In the original script Gloria was going to be pregnant due to being part of the zoo's breeding program and the baby was going to be born on the island and Melman, who is revealed to have a crush on Gloria would help raise the child like it was his own son. The idea was cut from the final version because the test audiences felt like the pregnancy plotline was too risky and mature for a family film especially young children who felt uncomfortable with the pairing of Melman and Gloria and may have gotten the film a PG-13 rating. However, the idea of Melman having a crush on Gloria was reused for the sequels. One of the lead characters was formerly to be an okapi. As a result, the character, Melman, was changed and played by a giraffe which is a more familiar animal. Originally, Julien was intended to be a minor character with only two lines. However, when Sacha Baron Cohen auditioned for the role, he improvised not only an Indian accent, but eight minutes of dialogue for his recording. The filmmakers found Cohen's performance so funny that they rewrote the script and made Julien a much more prominent character in the story as "King of the Lemurs".
Madagascar was released on DVD and VHS on November 15, 2005, by DreamWorks Home Entertainment. 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. A Blu-ray version of the film was released on September 23, 2008.
The Madagascar - Movie Storybook was written by Billy Frolick and illustrated by Michael Koelsch, and was published by Scholastic in 2005. Koelsch also illustrated the Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - Movie Storybook in 2008.
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 $362,964,045 with a summative worldwide gross of $556,559,566.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 54% approval rating based on 189 reviews, with an average rating of 6.1/10. The consensus reads: "Though its story is problematic in spots and its humor is hit-or-miss for the adult crowd, Madagascar boasts impressive visuals and enough spunky charm to keep children entertained." On Metacritic, the film has a 57% approval rating based on 36 reviews falling under the "Mixed or Average" category. Audiences polled by CinemaScore gave the film an average grade of "A–" on an A+ to F scale.
Paul Arendt of BBC gave the film 4/5 stars, writing: "It's also a pleasure to see a cartoon so determinedly devoid of sentiment, a stance confirmed by the hilarious demise of an angelic little duckling. Highly recommended for kids and adults." Jeff Strickler of the Star Tribune gave the film 3/4 stars, describing it as a "good-natured kid flick" and writing: "This computer-animated comedy makes enough kowtows to adult humor that parents won't be bored, but it is clearly aimed at the peewee set." Ann Hornaday of The Washington Post described the film as "wildly fun" and wrote: "along with such recent classics as Shrek, Finding Nemo and The Incredibles, Madagascar will surely go on to take a deserved place on millions of families' video shelves as a reliable Saturday night staple." Kenneth Turan of the Los Angeles Times described the film as "a good-humored, pleasant confection that has all kinds of relaxed fun bringing computer-animated savvy to the old-fashioned world of Looney Tunes cartoons." Paul Clinton of CNN wrote that the film was "a delight", and added: "Co-writers and -directors McGrath and Eric Darnell, along with their entire team, have done a terrific job with their sweet and whimsical story."
Roger Ebert gave the film 2.5/4 stars, writing that it "is funny, especially at the beginning, and good-looking in a retro cartoon way", but added: "in a world where the stakes have been raised by Finding Nemo, Shrek and The Incredibles, it's a throwback to a more conventional kind of animated entertainment." Philippa Hawker of The Sydney Morning Herald also gave the film 2.5/4 stars, writing: "Madagascar, despite some break-out moments of silliness, seems defined by a formula that can't fail to please, at a basic level, but never feels imaginatively inspired." Rick Groen of The Globe and Mail gave the film 2/4 stars, describing the film's script as "a wafer-thin yarn that might have done Sylvester and Tweety proud, but goes missing-in-action when stretched over 80-plus minutes." A. O. Scott of The New York Times wrote that the film "arouses no sense of wonder, except insofar as you wonder, as you watch it, how so much talent, technical skill and money could add up to so little."
The film has won three awards and several nominations.
|AFI's 10 Top 10||Animated Film||Madagascar||Nominated|
|Annie Award||Best Animated Feature||Mireille Soria||Nominated|
|Animated Effects||Matt Baer||Nominated|
|Character Design in an Animated Feature Production||Craig Kellman||Nominated|
|Music in an Animated Feature Production||Hans Zimmer||Nominated|
|Production Design in an Animated Feature Production||Yoriko Ito||Nominated|
|Storyboarding in an Animated Feature Production||Tom McGrath||Nominated|
|Catherine Yuh Rader||Nominated|
|Golden Eagle Award||Best Foreign Language Film||Madagascar||Nominated|
|Kids' Choice Awards||Favorite Animated Movie||Madagascar||Won|
In 2008, the American Film Institute nominated the film for its Top 10 Animation Films list.
|Madagascar: Motion Picture Soundtrack|
|Soundtrack album by|
|Released||May 24, 2005|
|Genre||Soundtrack, disco, new-age|
|Hans Zimmer chronology|
Madagascar is the soundtrack to the 2005 DreamWorks film of the same name. It was released by Geffen Records on May 24, 2005. Of particular critical note was the cover of "I Like to Move It" by Sacha Baron Cohen, which has since become a recurring theme song throughout the Madagascar franchise.
The score was composed by frequent DreamWorks collaborator Hans Zimmer, with additional music by James Dooley, Heitor Pereira, James S. Levine, and Ryeland Allison. Zimmer also adapted John Barry's instrumental from "Born Free" into the score track of the same name; The Mormon Tabernacle Choir's cover of the song was used in the opening title sequence. Originally, Harry Gregson-Williams, another frequent DreamWorks collaborator, was supposed to compose the film's score.
|1.||"Best Friends"||Hans Zimmer, Heitor Pereira, James S. Levine & Ryeland Allison||2:24|
|2.||"I Like to Move It"||Sacha Baron Cohen||3:51|
|3.||"Hawaii Five-O"||The Ventures||1:49|
|4.||"Boogie Wonderland"||Earth, Wind & Fire with the Emotions||4:49|
|5.||"Whacked Out Conspiracy"||James Dooley||2:16|
|6.||"Chariots of Fire"||Vangelis||3:29|
|7.||"Stayin' Alive"||Bee Gees||4:44|
|8.||"Zoosters Breakout"||Hans Zimmer||1:39|
|9.||"Born Free"||Hans Zimmer||1:24|
|10.||"The Foosa Attack"||Heitor Pereira||0:37|
|11.||"Beacon of Liberty"||Hans Zimmer & James S. Levine||2:09|
|12.||"What a Wonderful World"||Louis Armstrong||2:16|
Main article: Madagascar (franchise)
A sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, was released in 2008, followed by Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted in 2012 and the spin-off film Penguins of Madagascar in 2014. The series has also spawned a number of television series, short films, video games, and other media, as well as theme park attractions and live stage shows.
The animated television series entitled Madagascar: A Little Wild was aired, streaming on Peacock in 2020.
A spin-off series entitled The Penguins of Madagascar premiered on Nickelodeon in 2008.
Another spin-off series entitled All Hail King Julien premiered on Netflix in 2014.
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