Madagascar | Chicago Reader

Madagascar

A Dreamworks computer-animated feature (2005) about a lion (the voice of Ben Stiller), a zebra (Chris Rock), a hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith), and a giraffe (David Schwimmer) in a Manhattan zoo that get shipped to Africa, then find themselves unequipped for the wilds. Philosophical confusion abounds about the identity of both characters and places (apart from New York): the multiethnic beasts (including some hilarious penguins) oscillate between being kids and grown-ups, being animals and humans, while Madagascar itself veers from Africa to Hawaii and from nature to civilization. The music blithely bounces from "New York, New York" to "Chariots of Fire" to Louis Armstrong's "What a Wonderful World" to the wind chimes from American Beauty. The whole thing feels throwaway, but some of the gags are funny. Eric Darnell and Tom McGrath directed.

Credits

Directors:

  • Eric Darnell
  • Tom McGrath

Cast:

  • Ben Stiller
  • Chris Rock
  • David Schwimmer
  • Jada Pinkett Smith
  • Sacha Baron Cohen
  • Cedric the Entertainer
  • Andy Richter

Writers:

  • Mark Burton
  • Billy Frolick

Producers:

  • Teresa Cheng
  • Mireille Soria

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