MPAA Rating: PG

Entertainment: +3 1/2

Content: +2

After 10 blissful years living at Central Park Zoo in New York City, Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock) begins to wonder about life beyond the cage in this animated comedy. Although his best friend, Alex the Lion (Ben Stiller), tells him that life in the zoo is a paradise compared to life on the outside, Marty is still unconvinced. When his curiosity finally gets the better of him, Marty finds his way out of the cage and into the city. Horrified at Martys escape, Alex, along with Gloria the Hippo (Jada Pinkett-Smith) and Melman the Giraffe (David Schwimmer), goes after him. When they are all finally recaptured, zoo officials decide to send them back into the wild. But the wild is nothing like Marty had imagined. If he and his friends want to survive, they must quickly come to terms with the harsh and predatory realities of life in Madagascar. Other voices are provided by Andy Richter, Sacha Baron Cohen and Cedric the Entertainer.

Though it starts slow, Madagascar is ultimately a fun and funny treat for both adults and children. While the movie challenges the ethics of keeping animals in the zoo, it also rejects the idealism that the wild is a serene and peaceful paradise for animals. At the zoo, for instance, Alex had steaks thrown to him daily. In the wild, however, Alexs predatory instincts kick in when he finds himself hungry, and his best friend looks very much like a thick, juicy steak. Because the film deals with the realities of wildlife and includes some adult humor, it includes sequences and dialogue that may be inappropriate for younger viewers. There are also some crude references to bodily functions and body waste. Yet even with its flaws, Madagascar is a good choice for an entertaining evening with the family.

Preview Reviewer: Shaun Daugherty

The following categories contain objective listings of film content which contribute to the subjective numeric Content ratings posted to the left and on the Home page.

Crude Language: Few (4) times mild (hell 1); moderate (b-tt 3)

Obscene Language: Few (4) times mild (pee 1, poo 2); moderate (s-ck 1)

Profanity: None

Violence: Many times mild (animated physical comedy with characters falling, getting hit by other characters, having their bodies stretched, crashing through walls, breaking things, etc.); moderate (animals are shown being attacked and eaten by other animals, a pack of predators attacks other animals, one character attacks several other characters, animals shot with tranquilizers)

Sex: None

Nudity: None

Sexual Dialogue/Gesture: Few times mild (during a rave dance scene, one character talks about liking the ladies to be physically fit)

Drugs: Few times mild (character has a psychedelic hallucination after being shot with tranquilizer, one character is shown taking his numerous prescription medications)

Other: Portrayal of the difference between zoos and natural habitats; portrayal of the harsh and predatory side of wildlife; characters resolve interpersonal conflicts; allusions to several adult movies and television programs; near quotation of the film, Planet of the Apes, with crude language changed to Darn you, darn you all to heck

Running Time: 80 minutes
Intended Audience: Kids and Adults

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