Pampered zoo animals encounter deranged lemurs in THE WILD!
Written By: Michaela Clement-Hayes
Date: 11th January, 2015
Do you like a move it move it? If not, then this film may not be for you, although if it doesn’t get you bopping your head and giggling then your inner child is dead and there’s no helping you.
However, if spoiled New York zoo animals breaking out of Central Park and getting extradited to an African island full of crazy lemurs sounds right up your street then I urge you to watch this film.
Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) is Central Park Zoo’s biggest attraction, yet he’s actually pretty harmless and best friends with a zebra named Marty (Chris Rock), plus Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) and Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer).
The animals live a caged (literally and metaphorically) existence in luxury, unaware of the outside world. When Marty turns 10 and speaks to a group of psychotic penguins set on running back to Antarctica, he decides to take a trip to Connecticut…
Of course this has disastrous consequences as his friends try to bring him back causing mayhem in the process, so the zoo decides to send them to a wildlife reserve in Kenya. Cue a ship takeover by the penguins and the four friends end up stranded on the island of Madagascar, where all is not as it seems and there are no live humans… in other words, it’s THE WILD!
While Dreamworks have produced a colourful, funny film, there are (unsurprisingly) several morals to the story – along the line of friends are important and it is our choices that define us. As Alex says to Marty after his natural instincts kick in and he tries to eat him “thanks for not giving up on me” which is a little nauseating, but please don’t think that this is a cheesy fable – it’s not.
You get to see a penguin bitch slap a captain and hear Sacha Baron Cohen (King Julien) sing and he is one of the funniest characters in perhaps any film (trust me, you’ll quote him incessantly for weeks… if not forever). Helped out by his sidekick Maurice (Cedric the Entertainer) and after “much deep and profound brain things” he devises a “genius plan” to use the “giant pansies” to scare away “the dreaded fossa” ending with a beautiful robot dance and a lot of seawater cocktails (aka spitting).
The odd use of the word ‘heck’ throughout seems odd – is saying Hell really so bad? – particularly “Darn you down to heck” which is ridiculous, especially as Alex’s HELP sign breaks and turns into HELL.
The soundtrack is incredible, not only I Like To Move It but also the perfect timing of What A Wonderful World, Born Free and the theme of Chariots of Fire. The script is witty, although childish and the scenes with the penguins really make the film (hence the latest spin-off film: Penguins of Madagascar), most notably exclaiming “Well this sucks!” when they make it to Antarctica.
The film may not be the best film of its type (and the sequels are disappointing), but it’s a film that my dad and I often watch when I’m at home, for who can resist so many “naughty little monkeys?”