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Madagascar (2005)


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 185
Fresh: 102
Rotten: 83

Critics Consensus: Though its story is problematic in spots and its humor is hit-or-miss for the adult crowd, Madagascar boasts impressive visuals and enough spunky charm to keep children entertained.

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 17
Rotten: 26

Critics Consensus: Though its story is problematic in spots and its humor is hit-or-miss for the adult crowd, Madagascar boasts impressive visuals and enough spunky charm to keep children entertained.


Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 986,293


Movie Info

Four zoo animals are shipped back to their homeland by an animal rights group that feels they belong in the wild. When the ship capsizes, the animals find themselves stranded in Madagascar. Having had humans care for them their entire life, they know nothing about survival and must work together with the locals to help them fit in.

PG (for mild language, crude humor and some thematic elements)
Animation , Kids & Family , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Mark Burton , Billy Frolick , Eric Darnell , Tom McGrath
In Theaters:
Nov 15, 2005
Box Office:
Dreamworks - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Madagascar

All Critics (188) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (102) | Rotten (83) | DVD (31)

Lame scatalogical gags and worn pop-culture parodies abound, but the CGI animation romp is somewhat redeemed by the scene-stealing appearances of several supporting characters.

Full Review… | September 20, 2008
Time Out
Top Critic

Lame scatalogical gags and worn pop-culture parodies abound, but the CGI animation romp is somewhat redeemed by the scene-stealing appearances of several supporting characters.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

The tenor can be shrill, but there's no time to get bored. And on top of that, most of the gags actually work.

Full Review… | September 26, 2005
AV Club
Top Critic

Lacking any meat on its bones, ['Madagascar'] is a cartoon about nothing. Not that there's anything wrong with that.

Full Review… | June 1, 2005
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

It paints itself into a very bizarre corner because at first, they are all friends and then all of a sudden they revert to being more like real animals. How do you do that and make it funny? Well, you don't.

Full Review… | May 31, 2005
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

Madagascar is great good fun, not only because the filmmakers have enlisted some wonderful voice talent but also because the visuals truly are marvelous.

Full Review… | May 27, 2005
Washington Post
Top Critic

Very much in the tradition of Looney Tunes and Termite Terrace.

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

A foursome of digitally animated zoo animals escape the inner city confines of Manhattan's Central Park Zoo in search of freedom that's not be all it's cracked up to be in this well-defined children's comedy.

Full Review… | April 16, 2009

The character design is ugly; the main characters are often annoying; the humor is generally weak; and the computer-generated animation is often soulless.

Full Review… | November 12, 2008

A shallow attempt at filmmaking and humor.

Full Review… | November 8, 2008 engaging little diversion that maintains its charm with repeat viewing.

Full Review… | September 22, 2008
Movie Metropolis

Amiably entertaining.

Full Review… | August 11, 2008

A promising premise, a top voice cast and a studio with an impressive track record sets up expectations that Madagascar just can't fulfill.

Full Review… | May 10, 2008
Urban Cinefile

A likeable and loose-limbed addition to the ever-growing CGI family.

Full Review… | February 26, 2007
Film Journal International

Too kiddie-oriented to keep the parents coming back like they have for the likes of the vastly superior Shrek, Nemo and Incredibles films.

Full Review… | October 30, 2006
Dark Horizons

I wanted a moral to the story. In Finding Nemo: Don't let fear rule your life. Shrek: True beauty is on the inside. Madagascar: Don't eat your friends?

September 27, 2006
Christianity Today

If we're not suffering poo-flinging or butt-biting, we get the theme songs from Chariots of Fire and Hawaii Five-O.

Full Review… | May 26, 2006
Combustible Celluloid

Es un ejemplo claro de que la animación todavía tiene mucho que ofrecer, aunque sea de manera sencilla.

April 20, 2006

What a joy. Just a fun good-hearted film. I giggled nearly the whole time.

Full Review… | March 10, 2006
Hollywood Report Card

Not a bad movie by any stretch of the imagination, but nothing particularly amazing either.

Full Review… | January 13, 2006
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Doesn't really live up to the promise that the idea and voice talent deserve. But it's still spirited, amiable, featherweight summer fun.

Full Review… | January 7, 2006
Empire Magazine

It should mostly catch the attention of the younger set, but there are some gags left over for their parents (lots of slick cultural references and poo yuks).

Full Review… | November 24, 2005
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Outranks any other animated film in recent memory if only for its dedicated avoidance of any and all lessons imparted or learned.

Full Review… | September 23, 2005
IGN Movies

Audience Reviews for Madagascar

'Dreamworks' hit back with an animated tale about lovable zoo animals trying to escape to the wild. Always one step behind the mighty 'Pixar' this feature seemed to be an attempt to try and combat the ever increasing list of 'Pixar' classics that just kept on coming.

A curious blend of ideas really, the whole film is made to look quite sensible in terms of how things should look in reality. But there is a kind of Tex Avery/Chuck Jones feel to the main characters that is quite nice but also someone childish compared to the backgrounds and vista's we see. You then have the set up that the animals can all talk to each but not to humans, yet they can perform human acts without question.

The film slides from slightly emotional to sensible to most of the time outright off the wall. The plot is childishly simple naturally but it works OK, it actually gets a little twisted once 'Alex' the lion goes savage when his animal instinct kicks in. Problem is once the animals break out from New York the film becomes very average very quickly. Seeing how the animals live within their city dwelling was pretty good and made for some good clever laughs, nothing hilarious I might add but it worked.

The animals using the subway and at one point getting kicked in the nuts by an old lady does push the boundaries of even this fantasy. Unfortunately even that can't top the dreadful Lemurs they encounter on Madagascar, their leader for some reason given an Indian accent which is hideously unfunny.

The penguins were by far the best of the bunch for me as a small squad of military types led by 'Skipper' who sounds remarkably like 'Zap Brannigan' from 'futurama'. I can see why they got their own spin off. The rest of the animals are voiced well by a good team of big names but they aren't overly interesting really. Rock is plain annoying and that's the end of it, whilst Schwimmer is surprisingly well matched as the hypochondriac giraffe. Stiller does what he does in pretty much everything he's in, its fine.

Overall a very bright start but it just fades into a bland generic mess that includes a god awful hip hop sequence. The animation is fair, some smart visual gags here and there and the penguins are a great success but apart from that its all very meh. The impression I got was no one was sure which way they wanted to go with this film, so many alternative ideas colliding, bit of a mess.

Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer


I tell ya, those penguins sure are funny. This film is alright. Don't really understand the character arc with Alex, but they do the best with what they got. A silly film to say the least. Not the biggest fan of this franchise.

Market Man
Eric Shankle

Super Reviewer

Odd animation, good music, great voice cast, and a decent story make for a good modern animated classic. "Madagascar" may not be a "Shrek" or "Lion King" but it is great fluffy entertainment, that holds up nice. Alex the lion(Ben Stiller), Marty the zebra(Chris Rock"), Melman the giraffe(David Schwimmer), and Gloria the Hippo(Jada Pinkett Smith) are happy friends in Central Park Zoo. At least they all thought they were happy until Marty comes out and tells them he is tired of the zoo life and wants to go to the wild. Following in the footsteps of some psychotic penguins, he plans his escape. Things go wrong, as Marty's three friends try to stop him, but end up getting themselves deported to the wild. While on the boat they get into a fight and end up stranded on Madagascar, an island inhabited by crazy lemurs and other animals. Now, they gotta stick together and find a way off the island and back to New York. Pretty funny, and all voices are perfect. The best characters by far are the penguins. They have the best lines, the creepiest voices, and are just so darn entertaining! My nephews love these movies, and I gotta say, I love em too. If you enjoy smiling, you'll like it. If your a stiff prude who doesn't enjoy laughter or rainbows, then you'll probably hate it.

Everett Johnson
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer


Funny animation about zoo animals who escape and get shipwrecked on a desert island. I love the penguins.

Candy Rose

Super Reviewer

Madagascar Quotes

Marty the Zebra:
Oh sugar honey ice tea!
– Submitted by Gianni B (3 months ago)
Marty the Zebra:
When a zebra's in the zone, leave him alone!
– Submitted by Frances H (15 months ago)
Alex the Lion:
Marty the Zebra:
Alex the Lion:
Marty the Zebra:
Alex the Lion:
[angry] MARTY!
Marty the Zebra:
Oh suger honey ice tea!
– Submitted by Connor N (21 months ago)
Melman the Giraffe:
I just counted twenty six invade health violations.
Marty the Zebra:
I don't know, this place is crack a liking.
Melman the Giraffe:
Twenty seven!
– Submitted by Connor N (21 months ago)
King Julien:
[shows dead human] Don't you just love the people... Not a very lively bunch though.
– Submitted by Connor N (21 months ago)
King Julien:
Everyone [shush noise] that's right [shush noise] how's making that noise! Oh it's me again.
– Submitted by Connor N (21 months ago)

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