Who’s It It: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith, Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric The Entertainer, Andy Richter, Bernie Mac, Alec Baldwin, Sherri Shepher, Will.i.am
The Basics: The neurotic animals from the last Madagascar movie are back and still doing the same old thing. They aren’t even switching locations. The giraffe loses his fear, the hippo learns what true love means, the zebra understands individuality and the lion really gets deep into his whole Joseph Campbell hero’s journey thing. Just like he did last time. I expect part three will be called Madagascar: In Triplicate.
What’s The Deal: I walked out of this movie during the closing credits and had a hard time remembering what I had just seen. It’s that generic and that much exactly like every single other computer-animated talking animal movie that’s been made in the past 10 years. Children are undemanding audiences and studios are cynical enough to not care if their newest product is intelligent or coherent or worth watching. As for parents? Too bad. You’re going. Take a little nap if you have to. Bring your Kindle. Whatever it takes 2 escape.
I Declare A Moratorium On: A central animal character who has to learn to believe in himself and become the great leader he was meant to be. Not that anyone’s listening to me. But I declare this. I may start throwing things at screens if I don’t get my way. Things that are on fire.
Who Climbs Out Of The Muck: Sacha Baron Cohen keeps it funny and Alec Baldwin as the evil manipulative lion that wants to take control of the tribe is like his character on 30 Rock turned into a cartoon. His character is even designed to sort of resemble him. Nice touch.
And Another Thing: Penguins? In short supply.