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Stephen Speicher

Madagascar (2005)

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9 posts in this topic

Before I offer a more comprehensive review, let me tantalize you with this bit: Madagascar is a funny 3d animated film, along the lines of Shrek. Its plot centers around a group of zoo animals in the middle of New York City, who dream of abandoning this unnatural existence they live, and escaping to "the Wild" where they can finally live in harmony.

To what I just said, I should only add that I liked the film's plot very much; in fact I found it rather shocking in this day and age, and it proceeds in the opposite way of how you'd expect it to proceed in today's society, and exactly as it ought to, if one of the people on this forum was the film's creator. I gave the film an enthusiastic 8. Has anyone else seen it?

I should also add, to all the parents on this forum, that I think Madagascar for children deserves a rating of 10, or even 11. This is precisely the kind of movie (philosophically) that a young child should be taken to (in fact, I was probably the only adult in the theater without a kid). So I really recommend this cartoon film for all of the young-un 3rd generation Objectivists out there :D Don't be put off by the premise, you'll be pleasantly surprised, and will have plenty to discuss with your son or daughter after the movie's over!

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Ray, I'm flattered that you will take my word just like that, but you know that different people view same movies differently. I am still personally confident that it's a good movie for children, but I don't want you to discover that you hated it, just as your children were watching it. Unless more people write up saying they liked it, I would be more comfortable if you saw it somehow yourself first and then took the kids, or waited until it came out on DVD. I mean, I am really sensitive/overprotective about what young children watch, and would hate myself to be the cause of something you consider unhealthy viewing for the kids. But, once again, thanks for the vote of confidence! :D

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FC,

Thanks for the insight and caution. I have seen the previews and trailers with my children and we did laugh together while viewing these.

Although, when I do watch a movie with my children that I do not agree with, I ask them if and why they liked or dis-liked it. This allows me to check their thoughts on a subject and then to re-direct them if I think they are making improper choices. I do not want this to be mis-understood, I am not trying to control them. I am trying to get them to a point where they are independent thinkers. I do not want them to say they liked a movie just because dad or their friend does. I want them to know why, even if they can not philosophically explain it. If they can tell me why, without saying everyone else, or Johnny down the street likes it, then I am generally happy.

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I know it has been a while since I said I was going to see this movie, but I missed it in the theatres.

I would like to second FC's comments, I laughed out-loud with my children while watching this movie.

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

One of the funniest and philosophical statements in the movie comes from the giraffe. As the animals are getting shipped out of New York City he starts to complain about leaving. He is complaining because he thinks no other zoo could afford his medications. "Objectivism is winning", when even a giraffe knows that wealth is caused by productiveness. :)

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I'm glad, Ray! :)

And yeah, those animals can make some pretty poignant statements sometimes, like the Penguins -- what do they want to get away from, and where do they end up?

"....well this sucks!" :)

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We just bought this DVD. My son & I love it! It's our new fave to watch together.

I have a few thoughts on this movie & others like it (i.e. animated & aimed at children to some degree). I've noticed that nowdays many entertaiment companies do an an excellent job with animation. I've also noticed that where they differ is how they handle the intellectual content (i.e. story, dialogue, theme, etc.).

Disney for example has traditionally done good stuff. But lately, I have not enjoyed their work as much on a consistent basis. For example, I thought the Lion King movies very substandard (both Disney & Elton John have done much better work before :) ). Pixar seems to understand the characteristics involved in creating a "timeless" classic; DreamWorks doesn't do this consistently.

For example, Shark Tales (which, to be fair, I have only seen part of because it was so annoying) seems to contain a good deal of "pop culture", "quasi-hip" references in scenarios & dialogue. I've noticed this aspect in other "children's" films & I find it disappointing (sometimes annoying). Madagascar is, in my estimation, one of DreamWorks better efforts at moving towards something "timeless". There are still too many "pop culture" & hip-hop references, but, I think it is a step in a better direction.

Warning: Possible spoilers follow..

It is very encouraging that the animals find out life is hard outside the zoo! When I saw animals were the main characters & focus I was hoping it wouldn't be some quasi-environmentalist crap.

It also has some superb lines in it! My son, wife, friends & I are all already using some of them:

"You bit the hand, Marty, you bit the hand."

"You, quadraped! Sprecken sie English?"

"Can you keep a secret, my monochromatic friend?"

"After much profound brain things inside my head..."

Good stuff!

The penguins are the absolute best! The DVD we bought has the "Christmas Caper" short feature starring the penguins & it is priceless!

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To what I just said, I should only add that I liked the film's plot very much; in fact I found it rather shocking in this day and age, and it proceeds in the opposite way of how you'd expect it to proceed in today's society, and exactly as it ought to, if one of the people on this forum was the film's creator. I gave the film an enthusiastic 8. Has anyone else seen it?

I am also very impressed with this movie. During the first part of the movie when the zebra was mentioning about his dream of "the wild", I became skeptical of the theme of the story. But to my surprise, the movie has a good theme. And I also do love the lines of the animals. They are hilarious!

Warning: There are spoilers about this movie in this post.

I liked the part when the song "What a Wonderful World" has been playing, the main animal characters has been discovering how horrible it is living in"the wild." And also when the penguins discovered how Antarctica sucks. :D

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