But back to Madagascar. It was really good. In fact the first two adjectives that spring to mind are funny and delightful. I thought the first one was O.K., and I have no memory at all of the second one, but for this one the filmmakers have created some new and funny characters and the whole production is energetic, bright, and colorful. The four main characters are back: Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra (Chris Rock), Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer), and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith). Directors Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, and Conrad Vernon have wisely increased the roles of the quirky penguins, who have had success with their own animated television series, and reduced the role of King Julien (Sacha Baron Cohen), who is funny, but only in small doses.
|The gang runs away and joins a circus|
|DuBois means business|
|The penguins are horrified by Monte Carlo's feather pillows|
There is lots of subtle humor, mostly for adults, such as an ocean liner named the "Mal de Mer." It's full of slapstick and some exciting chases that bring to mind Wile. E. Coyote and the Roadrunner. The character animation is still a bit "computery"-looking, especially for the four main characters (maybe for consistency's sake with the other entries in the series). The other characters, especially DuBois, seem more detailed, and the backgrounds evoke Monaco, Africa, Italy, and all the other places the animals pass through. It's not ground-breaking animation, but it's entertaining and fun and a great afternoon at the movies. I may have even liked it a bit more than the kid.