04 September 2005

Madagascar (Dreamworks, 2005)

When Marty, a zebra who lives in the Central Park Zoo turns 10, he decides to head for the wild by taking the train to Conneticut. When his three friends (a lion, a giraffe and a hippo) go after him they all end up in crates bound for Kenya but land on the island of Madagascar instead.

Madagascar is a typical animated kids' movie with a group of friends who get split up but rejoin to battle a common foe. Like most modern kids' movies, Madagascar is also jam-packed with pop culture references for the grown-ups in the audience, though the gags here are average at best. The exaggerated antics of four pampered, city-bred animals are certain to please the younger audience members.

The Madagascar soundtrack features some pretty typical songs meant to evoke other movies and keep the adults in the audience happy -- Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World (as used in Stand By Me), Vangelis' Chariots of Fire main theme, and the Bee Gee's iconic Stayin' Alive (from Saturday Night Fever). The best song on the soundtrack is also the best musical moment in the movie -- Sacha Baron Cohen's cover of I Like to Move it Move it which had all the kids around me wiggling in their seats. The producers also selected the track to run over the credits when I was once again surrounded by dancing toddlers.

Recommended for young children (10 and under).

Buy Madagascar on DVD (available November 2005).
Buy the Madagascar Soundtrack on CD.

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