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Madagascar is an animated film series produced by DreamWorks Animation. Voices of Ben Stiller, Jada Pinkett Smith, Chris Rock and David Schwimmer are featured in the films. The plot follows the adventures of story of four Central Park Zoo animals who have spent their lives in blissful captivity and are unexpectedly shipped back to Africa.

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Films

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Madagascar

At the Central Park Zoo, Marty the zebra (Chris Rock) is celebrating his tenth birthday, but longs to see the rest of the world from outside their pampered life at the zoo. Believing that he can find wide-open spaces to run in Connecticut, he joins with the zoo's penguins who are trying to escape the zoo. Marty's friends, Alex the lion (Stiller), Gloria the hippo (Smith), and Melman the giraffe (Schwimmer), realize Marty's folly and try to follow him. The four, along with the penguins (consisting of Skipper (McGrath), Rico (DiMaggio), Kowalski (Miller), and Private (Knights) and two chimpanzees, Mason (Vernon) and Phil, eventually find themselves at Grand Central Station, but are quickly sedated by tranquilizer darts. The zoo, under protest of animal-rights activists, is forced to ship the animals by sea to Kenya. During their travels, the penguins manage to escape and take over the ship, intent on taking it to Antarctica. Their antics on the bridge cause the crates containing Marty, Alex, Gloria, and Melman to fall off the boat and wash ashore on Madagascar.

The animals are soon able to regroup, initially believing themselves to be in San Diego, California. Upon exploring, however, they come across a pack of lemurs lead by King Julien XIII (Cohen), and quickly learn of their location. Alex blames Marty for their predicament and attempts to signal for help to get back to civilization, while Marty 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 to enjoy it, though his hunting instincts begin to return after being away from the pampered zoo life for so long. The group is accepted by the lemurs, though King Julien's adviser, Maurice (Entertainer), cautions them about Alex being a predator. King Julien ignores Maurice's concerns and persuades the group to help the lemurs fend off the fossa who hunt the lemurs as prey. When Alex begins to turn on his friends and the lemurs, unable to overcome his instincts, King Julien bans him to the far side of the island with the fossa. Marty begins to regret seeing what Alex has turned into.

The penguins, having been to Antarctica and finding it not to their liking, land the boat on Madagascar. Seeing this as a chance to return Alex to New York, Marty, with Gloria and Melman, goes to find Alex but become trapped by the foosa. Alex, after realizing his mistake, suddenly appears and approaches Marty as if he were prey, but then turns on the foosa to scare them away from the lemur territory forever, showing Marty he has overcome his predatory nature, and satisfy his meat craving through sushi instead of steak. As 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, setting the stage for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.

Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa

As a cub, Alex the lion was called Alakay and was the son of Zuba (Bernie Mac), the alpha lion. Though Zuba tries to teach Alakay to be a hunter, the cub is more interested in dancing. When another lion named Makunga (Alec Baldwin) challenges Zuba to a fight for the position of alpha lion, Alakay is captured by poachers. Though Zuba tries to rescue his son, Alakay is forced into a crate. The crate falls into the ocean where it drifts to New York. There, Alakay is renamed Alex and sent to the Central Park Zoo where he grew up, meeting Gloria, Marty, and Melman there.

In the present time, Alex (Ben Stiller), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith), Melman (David Schwimmer), Marty (Chris Rock), the chimpanzees, King Julien, Maurice, and the penguins have fixed a crashed plane in the hopes of using it to fly back to New York (Mort manages to tag along as well, by clinging to the airplane wing). Though the plane does fly, it ends up crash-landing in Africa because of lack of fuel.

In Africa, the animals are amazed to find more of their kind. Alex is reunited with Zuba and his mother Florrie (Sherri Shephard). Marty quickly fits into a herd of zebra who all look, sound, and talk exactly like him. Melman takes on the position of Witch Doctor amongst the animals after discovering that sick giraffes have no other option but to die otherwise. Gloria, interested in finding a boyfriend, attracts the attention of a hippo named Moto Moto (Will.i.am).

Meanwhile, the penguins set about repairing the plane. They carjack several jeeps from New Yorkers on vacation (under "Operation Tourist Trap"), leaving the tourists stranded and lost in the jungle. A tough old woman called "Nana" (who had previously attacked Alex in a subway station in Madagascar) takes charge, reminding them that they are New Yorkers and always survive.

Unfortunately, life in Africa is not as wonderful as it first seems. Makunga, still determined to take the position of alpha lion, reminds Zuba that Alex must complete a traditional lion coming-of-age challenge. Alex, thinking that the challenge is a dance contest (it is actually a fight) competes against the strongest lion, Teetsi, and loses quickly. To avoid being forced to banish Alex for failing, Zuba abdicates and Makunga immediately takes the position and banishes Alex and his family. Marty meanwhile begins to feel upset that all of the zebra are exactly the same as him, leaving him with nothing unique. Even Alex is unable to tell the difference between Marty and a different zebra, leaving Marty hurt. Melman is happy in his position as Witch Doctor until another giraffe tells him that he has a brown spot on his shoulder. Melman is initially not bothered (as he has brown spots all over his body), until he learns that the previous Witch Doctor apparently died two days after the "spot" appeared. Melman is also upset about Gloria dating Moto Moto, as Melman has secretly loved her for a long time. Gloria goes on a date with Moto Moto and quickly realizes that he only loves her for her body.

The next day, the animals are in a panic when they discover that the watering hole has dried up. Determined to make up for his earlier failure, Alex decides to risk being shot by hunters and leave the Reserve to discover what happened. Along the way, he makes amends with Marty by being able to pick his friend out of the herd of zebras. The pair discovers that the stranded New Yorkers, under the instruction of Nana, have dammed the river and built a primitive civilization. Alex is captured and Marty runs for help. Meanwhile, Zuba hears what Alex did and goes to rescue him.

King Julien suggests that the animals sacrifice one of themselves into the volcano to appease the water gods and regain their water supply. Believing that he will die soon, Melman volunteers to be the sacrifice. Gloria stops him just in time and Marty arrives to tell them of Alex's fate. The trio, the penguins, and a cartload of chimpanzees use the newly-fixed plane (which looks more like a cross between a helicopter, a bird, and a Nazi BI Bomber) to come to the rescue. Alex meanwhile manages to rescue both himself and his father by dancing for the New Yorkers, who quickly recognize him from the zoo. Zuba joins in as well. The other animals rescue the lions with the plane and destroy the dam, freeing the water. At the volcano, Mort arrives (he had fallen from the plane into the ocean). He was pursued the entire way from the beach by a shark, which falls into the lava just before the water returns, leaving Julian to think the sacrifice appeased the "water gods".

Alex manages to remove Makunga from power by tricking Nana into attacking him. Skipper the penguin marries a bobble-head hula doll from the plane and leaves on a honeymoon, leaving the other animals to remain in Africa.

Madagascar 3 (2012)

DreamWorks CEO Jeffrey Katzenberg confirmed that there will be an additional sequel to Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa. Katzenberg stated, "there is at least one more chapter. We ultimately want to see the characters make it back to New York."[1] At the Television Critics Association press tour, Katzenberg was asked if there will be a third and final film in the series. He replied, "Yes, we are making a Madagascar 3 now, and it will be out in the summer of 2012."

Television

The Penguins of Madagascar

The Penguins of Madagascar is a television series that is currently airing on Nickelodeon. In a situation completely separate and apart from the Madagascar films, the series follows the adventures of four penguins: Skipper (the leader of the group), Kowalski (the smartest), Private (the youngest) and Rico (the craziest), in New York City's Central Park Zoo. The penguins rule the roost at their Central Park habitat, carrying out secret missions in the heart of the city. At times, their missions beckon them to venture outside the zoo. Julien, the king of the lemurs, is also a resident of the zoo (though it is unknown how he, Maurice, and Mort got there) and the penguins must compete against him to obtain supreme leadership of the zoo, which results in lots of wacky adventures.

Short films

The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper

The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper is a computer-animated short produced by DreamWorks Animation. The 12-minute film showcases the adventures of four penguins, sometimes known as the Madagascar Penguins, who live in the Central Park Zoo and are trained as spies.

It premiered in theaters on October 7, 2005 with the stop-motion film, Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit. The short was later included on the later editions of the Madagascar DVD and the Shrek DVD, both of which were released on November 15, 2005. The short was directed by animation veteran Gary Trousdale, produced by Teresa Cheng, and written by Michael Lachance.

Merry Madagascar

Merry Madagascar was a Christmas special first broadcast on the NBC network in November 2009, which starred the characters from the Madagascar film series. The story appears to takes place sometime between the first and second film. It featured many of the same voice actors as the film, including Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, and Jada Pinkett-Smith. However, Danny Jacobs, who voiced King Julien in the video game adaptation of Madagascar: Escape to Africa and The Penguins of Madagascar, replaced Sacha Baron Cohen as the voice of the character again. Carl Reiner proved the voice of Santa Claus.

Recurring characters

List indicator(s)

  • A dark grey cell indicates the character was not in that medium.
Characters Madagascar Christmas Caper Escape 2 Africa Penguins of Madagascar Merry Madagascar
Alex Ben Stiller Alex has no lines Ben Stiller Ben Stiller
Marty Chris Rock Marty has no lines Chris Rock Chris Rock
Gloria Jada Pinkett Smith Gloria has no lines Jada Pinkett Smith Jada Pinkett Smith
Melman David Schwimmer Melman has no lines David Schwimmer David Schwimmer
King Julien Sacha Baron Cohen Sacha Baron Cohen Danny Jacobs
Maurice Cedric the Entertainer Cedric the Entertainer Kevin Michael Richardson Cedric the Entertainer
Mort Andy Richter Andy Richter
Skipper Tom McGrath
Rico John DiMaggio Rico has no lines
Private Christopher Knights James Patrick Stuart Christopher Knights
Kowalski Chris Miller Jeff Bennett Chris Miller
Mason Conrad Vernon Mason has no lines Conrad Vernon
Phil (no voice actor)
Nana Elisa Gabrielli
Ted Bill Fagerbakke Bill Fagerbakke
Zuba Bernie Mac
Makunga Alec Baldwin
Florrie Sherri Shepherd
Moto Moto will.i.am
Marlene Nicole Sullivan
Alice Mary Scheer

Reception

Box office

Film Release date Box office revenue Box office ranking Budget Reference
United States Foreign Worldwide All time domestic All time worldwide
Madagascar May 27, 2005 $193,595,521 $339,085,150 $532,680,671 #103 #60 $75,000,000 [2][3]
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa November 7, 2008 $180,010,950 $423,889,394 $603,900,344 #124 #46 $150,000,000 [4]
Total $373,606,471 $762,974,544 $1,136,581,015 $225,000,000

Despite the mixed response from critics, Madagascar was a commercial success. The film grossed $47,224,594 with $11,431 average from 4,131 theaters making it #1. In the United States, the film gained $193,595,521 domestically and a foreign gross of $339,085,150 adding to a worldwide gross of $532,680,671.[2] Madagascar is the sixth highest-grossing DreamWorks animated feature behind Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek and Kung Fu Panda.[5]

On its opening day, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa grossed $17,555,027 from 4,056 theaters with an $4,328 average. It went to be at #1 at the box office with $63,106,589 with $15,559 average per theater.[6] As of August 16, 2009, it achieved a domestic gross of $180,010,950 along with a foreign gross of $423,889,394 adding to a worldwide gross total of $603,900,344.[4]

Critical reaction

Film Rotten Tomatoes Metacritic Yahoo! Movies
Overall Cream of the Crop
Madagascar 55% (179 reviews)[7] 37% (35 reviews)[8] 57% (36 reviews)[9] B- (15 reviews)[10]
Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa 64% (144 reviews)[11] 62% (29 reviews)[12] 61% (25 reviews)[13] B- (12 reviews)[14]

Video games

The first Madagascar video game was an adaptation of Madagascar, released by Toys for Bob on the PlayStation 2, Xbox, Microsoft Windows, Nintendo DS, Game Boy Advance, and Nintendo GameCube consoles. In 2006 Madagascar: Operation Penguin was released for Game Boy Advance by Activision. Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa was an adaptation of the second film and was made for the Xbox 360, PlayStation 3, Wii, PlayStation 2, Microsoft Windows and Nintendo DS.[15], and released on November 4, 2008 in North America.[16]

References to popular culture

In the first film, when the lemurs are having a meeting in their airplane. At the mention of their enemies "the foosa" they leap into a panic in which one lemur holds up a book entitled "To Serve Lemur" and yells "It's a cookbook! It's a cookbook!" This is a reference to the episode "To Serve Man". The second in Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, is when Alex sees Mort on the wing of the plane tearing wires from it, and yells "Aaaaaah! Gremlin!" a reference to "Nightmare at 20,000 Feet".

In the first film, after Alex's Lady Liberty is scorched and collapses to the ground leaving only the top half standing, Alex drops to his knees, punches the sand, and says, "Darn you! They burned it up! Darn you all to heck!" This is a play on Charlton Heston's "Damn you all to hell!" scene. In the second film, Skipper tells Mason the chimpanzee "I'd like to kiss you, monkey man." Mason replies, "Alright, but you're so darned ugly." This is a play on the chimp-woman Zira's (Kim Hunter's) line.

When Alex tells Marty "Lions don't dance," it is possibly a reference to the title of the Warner Bros. animated film Cats Don't Dance.

During the Central Park Zoo opening sequence of Madagascar, snapshots of Alex are shown doing several poses, one of them is "Blue Steel," made famous by the male model comedy, which Ben Stiller directed and starred in.

In the first film, Alex shouts "Shut up, Spalding!" to a basketball with grass for hair and a hand print for a face. This is a reference to Tom Hanks' volleyball character Wilson.

See also

References

  1. ^ "Katzenberg Planning 3rd Madagascar, 2nd Kung Fu Panda". The Hollywood Reporter. http://www.comingsoon.net/news/movienews.php?id=47990. Retrieved 2008-08-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Madagascar (2005 film)". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=madagascar.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  3. ^ "Madagascar Production Budget". The-Numbers. http://www.the-numbers.com/movies/2005/MADGS.php. 
  4. ^ a b "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Box Office Mojo. http://boxofficemojo.com/movies/?id=madagascar2.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  5. ^ "DreamWorks Animation Movies". Box Office Mojo. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=dwanimation.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  6. ^ "Weekend Box Office Results from 11/7 - 11/9". Box Office Mojo. 2008-11-09. http://www.boxofficemojo.com/weekend/chart/?view=&yr=2008&wknd=45&p=.htm. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  7. ^ "Madagascar". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/madagascar/. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  8. ^ "Madagascar (Cream of the Crop)". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/madagascar/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  9. ^ "Madagascar: Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/madagascar?q=Madagascar. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  10. ^ "Madagascar: Yahoo Reviews". Yahoo! Movies. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1808405011/critic. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  11. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/madagascar_escape_2_africa/. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  12. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (Cream of the Crop)". Rotten Tomatoes. http://www.rottentomatoes.com/m/madagascar_escape_2_africa/?critic=creamcrop. Retrieved 2009-12-05. 
  13. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa : Reviews". Metacritic. http://www.metacritic.com/film/titles/madagascar2?q=Madagascar. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  14. ^ "Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa - Yahoo Reviews". Yahoo! Movies. http://movies.yahoo.com/movie/1809963548/critic. Retrieved 2009-01-16. 
  15. ^ Adams, David (2005-11-17). "Activision Extends DreamWorks Deal". IGN. http://cube.ign.com/articles/667/667699p1.html. Retrieved 2009-01-25. 
  16. ^ http://www.amazon.com/Madagascar-2-Crate-Escape-Playstation-3/dp/B001AWFIU4

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