(The Dreamworks-uary logo is shown, before showing clips from Madagascar. The song "I Like to Move It" performed by Sacha Baron Cohen plays in the background throughout)
Doug (vo): I'll be very honest. One of the reasons I didn't see Madagascar in the theatres is because I thought the characters were lamely designed. Maybe I was just too used to the Disney stuff, but I just thought they looked kind of cheap. So I didn't see it, or any of the sequels, and I avoided it for a while. But when Dreamworks-uary...yeah, I'm still calling it that...came around, naturally, I had to watch it. And you know what? It wasn't that bad. I think the real strength of it comes from the animation, the humor, and the fact that I legitimately didn't know where it was going, and I love movies that can do that, especially considering where it started out.
Doug (vo): In a zoo, we see a lion, a zebra, a giraffe and a hippo. The zebra, played by Chris Rock, is anxious to get out of his environment and into the wild. And a group of penguins are planning to escape the zoo and head for the Antarctic, and advise him to follow his dream and break out as well. But his friend, the lion, played by Ben Stiller, a giraffe, played by David Schwimmer, and a hippo, played by Jada Pinkett Smith, don't keep a close enough eye on him and allow him to escape. This forces them to try and hunt him down, which results in them getting captured, thrown in boxes and accidentally ending up on a deserted island. Well, mostly deserted. There's a tribe of rodents, led by Sacha Baron Cohen, who see their new friends as an opportunity to keep them safe away from other predators. But that might be a little complicated when the lion, it turns out, may actually slowly be turning into a predator himself.
Doug (vo): So, I'm not gonna lie. When I saw the first few minutes of this, I said to myself, "Okay, I got this figured. This is just gonna be the "fish out of water" story. The friends are gonna be angry at each other, the tribe's gonna think they're one thing, then we're gonna do that stupid "liar revealed" story and it's gonna suck, blah-blah-blah. I hope there's some good jokes." But, actually, no. There's no "liar revealed" story at all. The focus actually comes down to whether or not the lion will give into his temptation and actually start eating his friends. You know what? I haven't seen that. I think that's much more interesting, much more fun and much more creative. And I think it's made even stronger by the fact that the four of them actually do seem to have a legitimate camaraderie, to a point where it actually sort of started to remind me of The Wild. Yeah...which one of these came out first?
[The poster of Madagascar and the poster of Disney's The Wild are shown]
Doug (vo): Is this another Bug's Life and Antz thing all over again? Well, anyway, the one thing this has over The Wild is the speed of the animation. I mean, there is just a lot of energy to it, and they're trying hard to make the comedy come from just the mere movement of them, and a good chunk of the time, it really works. The Penguins are also a lot of fun, and as expected, they pretty much steal the show. Everything they do is sort of like ninjas or secret agents. I've seen both spin-off shorts and a spin-off series based on these characters, and you can definitely see why. They're very enjoyable.
Doug (vo): While I don't think Madagascar is anything fantastic, I will admit, it did have me laughing a lot of the time. The story did sort of had me guessing, and it's definitely bright and colorful and has a lot of great stuff for kids. I think it's a pretty decent family flick. It's smart, it's funny, it's entertaining. I don't think it's a classic by any means, but I think it's a lot of fun. I'd say go see it, but judging by the number of sequels they've already made out of it, you've probably already had to. So you've already drawn your own conclusions. Me personally? I'm glad I saw it, and I'm, surprisingly, even looking forward to seeing the sequels...but only if there's more Penguins.
[The scene showing the lemurs dancing to "I Like to Move It" is shown as the song reaches its closure]
King Julien: They like to move it, move it! You like to move it, move it! Three, two, one.