|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 comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation SKG and PDI/DreamWorks, and distributed by DreamWorks Pictures. The film was directed by Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath (in McGrath's feature directorial debut) and written by Darnell, McGrath, Mark Burton, and Billy Frolick. The film stars the voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, and Andy Richter. It centers around a group of animals from the Central Park Zoo who find themselves stranded on the island of Madagascar.
DreamWorks and PDI began developing an animated film titled Rockumentary, featuring a Beatles-esque penguin rock band, and was set to be directed by Darnell, after he finished his work on Antz (1998). The idea was scrapped in 2001, but Darnell decided to revive the penguins, albeit with a commando unit rather than a rock band after production on Madagascar started. The film features several songs from various artists, with musical score being composed by Hans Zimmer. It also has the cover of "I Like to Move It" by Cohen, which has since become a recurring theme song throughout the franchise.
Released on May 27, 2005, Madagascar received mixed reviews from critics, who praised the visuals and charm but criticized the story and humor. Despite the mixed reviews, it was a success at the box office, grossing $556.6 million on a production budget of $75 million, becoming the sixth highest-grossing film of 2005. The success of Madagascar launched a multimedia franchise, which includes two sequels as well as 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, starting with Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008).
In New York City, Alex the lion lives in the Central Park Zoo as a star attraction known as the "King of New York", and spends time with his friends, consisting of Melman the giraffe, Gloria the hippopotamus and Marty the zebra, his best friend who has grown weary of his daily routine and desires to experience a day in the wild. On Marty's tenth birthday, Alex, Melman and Gloria attempt to cheer him up, but a still-unsatisfied Marty learns that the zoo's penguins — Skipper, Kowalski, Rico and Private — are trying to escape to Antarctica, and promptly follows them out. Alex, Melman and Gloria pursue Marty in an attempt to convince him to return, only to end up, along with the penguins and two chimpanzees named Mason and Phil, at Grand Central Station, where the NYC police officers, NYC firefighters, and NYC animal control officers sedate them using tranquillizer guns. Under pressure from anti-captivity activists, the zoo is forced to ship their escaped animals by sea to a wildlife preserve in Kenya. During their travels, the penguins escape their crate and commandeer the ship in the hopes of heading to Antarctica, causing the crates containing Alex, Marty, Melman and Gloria to fall overboard.
Upon being washed ashore on the island of Madagascar, the animals come across a pack of lemurs led by King Julien XIII. The predatory fossa attack the lemurs, only to be scared off by the fearsome appearance of Alex, who 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, his hunger sets in and prey drive begins to show. Julien leads the lemurs into befriending 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 by biting him, he goes wild again and begins to chase Marty until Maurice throws a coconut at Alex to stop him. Realizing what he has done and feeling sad and guilty for attacking his friends, Alex flees to the predator side of the island where the fossa live, and builds a cage resembling his own back at the zoo. Seeing what Alex has become and how dangerous the wild can be, Marty regrets his decision to leave the zoo.
Having found Antarctica to be inhospitable, the penguins 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 and 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. The lemurs regain their respect for Alex, and the penguins satisfy his hunger by feeding him sushi, which he finds better than steak. As the lemurs throw a farewell celebration for the foursome, the penguins decide not to tell them that the ship has run out of fuel, leaving them stranded on the island for the time being.
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, and was to be directed by Eric Darnell, after he finished his work on Antz. The idea was scrapped in 2001, but after production on Madagascar started, Darnell decided to revive the penguins as a commando unit rather than a rock band.
In the original script, Gloria was pregnant due to the zoo's breeding program and the baby was born on the island. Melman, who had a crush on Gloria, would help raise the child like it was his own. The idea was cut from the final version because test audiences thought the pregnancy plotline was too mature for a family film and felt uncomfortable with the pairing of Melman and Gloria. However, the idea of Melman having a crush on Gloria was reused for the sequels. Melman was originally planned to be an okapi but was changed to a giraffe because that was 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". Dana Carvey was originally offered a role but he turned it down as he was busy raising kids at the time.
Madagascar was released on VHS and DVD on November 15, 2005, by DreamWorks Pictures, DreamWorks Home Entertainment, and ARC 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 - May 6, 2012.
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 score of 57 out of 100, based on 36 reviews, indicating "mixed or average reviews". 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 and UMG Soundtracks 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, who previously worked with DreamWorks on Antz, Chicken Run, the first two Shrek films, and Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas, was supposed to compose the film's score. Louis Armstrong's song "What a Wonderful World" is used in the film.
|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"||John Barry & Don Black||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|
|13.||"Callin' Out (Madagascar Version)"||Lyrics Born||3:14|
Main article: Madagascar (franchise)
A sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, was released in 2008, followed by Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted in 2012.
A spin-off series entitled The Penguins of Madagascar premiered on Nickelodeon in 2008. The spin-off was made into the film Penguins of Madagascar in 2014.
Another spin-off series entitled All Hail King Julien premiered on Netflix in 2014.
The animated television series entitled Madagascar: A Little Wild was aired, streaming on Peacock in 2020.
Madagascar has also spawned a number of short films, video games, and other media, as well as theme park attractions and live stage shows.
((cite web)): CS1 maint: bot: original URL status unknown (link)