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Madagascar [2005]

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Director:Eric Darnell
Tom McGrath
Writer:Billy Frolick
Eric Darnell
Mark Burton
Tom McGrath
Composer:Hans Zimmer
Length:86 minutes
(1 hour 26 minutes)
MPAA Rating:PG
Sorting Category:Kids
IMDB Rating:6.9/10
Rotten Tomatoes Rating:54%
Amazon Rating:4.5/5 stars
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Classifications:
  • Comedy
  • CG
  • Kids
  • Family
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Synopsis: A group of animals who have spent all their life in a New York zoo end up in the jungles of Madagascar, and must adjust to living in the wild.


Reaction: It's not the deepest story, but they certainly had fun making it. There are tons of quotable moments and inventive imagery.


Personal Rating: 7/10

Eric Darnell => Director / Writer / Zoo Announcer / Subway Car Announcer (voice) / Fossa / Lemur #1
Tom McGrath => Director / Writer / Skipper / Panicky Man on Subway (voice) / Fossa
Billy Frolick => Writer
Mark Burton => Writer
Hans Zimmer => Composer
Andy Richter => Mort (voice)
Ben Stiller => Alex (voice)
Bob Saget => Zoo Animal (voice)
Cedric the Entertainer => Maurice (voice)
Chris Miller => Kowalski (voice)
Chris Rock => Marty (voice)
Christopher Knights => Private (voice)
Cody Cameron => Willie (voice)
Conrad Vernon => Mason (voice)
David P. Smith => Lemur #2 (voice) / Spider
David Schwimmer => Melman (voice)
Devika Parikh => News Reporter (voice)
Jada Pinkett Smith => Gloria (voice)
Jeffrey Katzenberg => Rico (voice) (uncredited)
John DiMaggio => Rico (voice)
Sacha Baron Cohen => Julien (voice)
Zlatan Zuhric-Zuhra => Moris (uncredited)

Random Trivia For This Title:

  • Sacha Baron Cohen improvised the line "It's got a gecko on it", and all of the following dialogue related to the gecko. The filmmakers found it so funny that they went to the extra work of creating a CG gecko for the shot.
  • According to the directors commentary the film was originally going to end with the boat taking Alex Marty Melman and Gloria off into the sunset. But the directors found it too typical and decided to let it end with the penguins not telling them the boat was out of gas and they were still stuck on the island. The directors thought the boat being out of gas was a great joke for the ending so they can set up the stage for the sequel Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008).
  • Originally, Julien was intended to be a minor character with only two lines. However, when Sacha Baron Cohen auditioned for the role, he improvised not only an Indian accent, but eight minutes of dialogue for his recording. The filmmakers found Cohen's performance so funny that they rewrote the script and made Julien a much more prominent character in the story as King of the Lemurs.
  • Melman the giraffe wears tissue boxes on his feet. This is a reference to [?] Howard Hughes who was also a hypochondriac and suffered OCD (obsessive compulsive disorder). In his later years, Hughes wore tissue boxes on his feet believing this would keep away germs.
  • None of the main character animals (lion, zebra, giraffe or hippo) are actually housed at the Central Park Zoo. There are penguins, however.
  • Series trademark: Twilight Zone. Most if not all entries in this series contain an homage to Rod Serling's original [The Twilight Zone (1959)]. In this one, a lemur spoofs the cook book scene from {The Twilight Zone: To Serve Man (1962)}. Also, Alex spoofs the "you maniacs" speech from Planet of the Apes (1968), a movie partly written by Serling.
  • At the start of the film when Ben Stiller's lion character Alex is switching between alternate poses, he pulls the 'blue steel' face from the film Zoolander (2001).
  • The lead quartet were originally to be a lion, a zebra, a hippo, and an okapi. Melman was changed to a giraffe to make him a more familiar animal.
  • The airplane that the Lemurs hold court in is a Lockheed Electra, the same airplane as [?] Amelia Earhart disappeared in on July 2, 1937.
  • Plotwise, this is not dissimilar to the Disney cartoon The Wild (2006) which came out the following year and did considerably less business than Madagascar (2005). Ironically, the DreamWorks film went into production after the Disney movie in a deliberate - and successful - attempt to undermine it.
  • When the camera pans backward from Alex's crate in the ocean, the sea foam around him creates the head of a lion. Foam makes the face, and the absence of foam around that makes the mane. Alex is in the left eye of the face.
  • In the original script Gloria was going to be pregnant due to being part of the zoo's breeding program and the baby was going to be born on the island and Melman, who is revealed to have a crush on Gloria would help raise the child like it was his own son. The idea was cut from the final version because the test audiences felt like the pregnancy plotline was too risky and mature for a family film especially young children who felt uncomfortable with the pairing of Melman and Gloria and may have gotten the film a PG-13 rating. However the idea of Melman having a crush on Gloria was reused for the sequels.
  • In the original movie trailer Mason the monkey was holding a martini glass while in the movie he was holding a teacup with a plate. The reason was tea and root beer were okay for the monkeys to use instead of drinking beer or wine due to alcohol references and it was not appropriate for a children's movie and may have gotten the film a PG-13 rating.
  • There is an episode from [Friends (1994)], where Ross (played by David Schwimmer) needs to find a home for his pet monkey. He ultimately chooses San Diego Zoo, the same Zoo that Melman (voiced by Schwimmer) assumes they ended up in.
  • Director Tom McGrath wanted Robert Stack to voice Skipper, the lead penguin. Unfortunately Stack died two weeks before the film went into production so McGrath stepped in to provide a temp voice track that eventually ended up in the finished film, which also applied to the other Penguins along with Mason, who were also voiced by members of DreamWorks Animation.
  • Jeffrey Katzenberg admitted that he was disappointed with the film's third act.
  • In the scene where the police raid the train station, the skipper penguin says "we've been ratted out boys". That's a reference to Batman (1989). Jack Nicholson said that exact line when him and his goons found the safe empty.
  • Originally Ted and Horst from All Hail King Julien (2014) were going to have lines in the film and voiced by Stephen Root and Alan Tudyk in this film but the lines were cut from the film for unknown reasons however in the TV series they were voiced by Andy Richter (who also voiced Mort) and Jeff Bennett (who replaced Cody Cameron in the Tv series as Willie).
  • Some of Marty's lines in the movie were things that Chris Rock came up with. The three lines were Dagnabbit, Sugar Honey Ice Tea and Crackalacking.
  • According to the early development King Julien was originally supposed to be a megaladapis (an ancestor of ring tailed lemurs) and his assistant Maurice was going to be a ring tailed lemur but were changed to a ring tailed lemur and an aye aye similarly with Melman originally an okapi this may have been due to King Julien's original design being too similar to King Louie from The Jungle Book (1967) and because giant lemurs are extinct.
  • Tommy Chong, William H. Macy, Thomas Haden Church, Timothy Spall, Lee Arenberg, Thomas F. Wilson, Sean Penn and [?] Victor Webster were meant to voice Melman the Giraffe.
  • The only time Rico did not have a voice; he was later voiced in spin-offs and sequels by John DiMaggio.
  • At one point, Madonna, [?] Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani were considered for the voice of Gloria the Hippo before Jada Pinkett Smith signed on.
  • Diedrich Bader was considered the role of Kowalski.
  • Cheech Marin, Don Cheadle, Tommy Davidson, Chris Tucker, Donald Faison, Donal Logue, Fred Armisen, Chris Parnell, [?] Heavy D, [?] Usher, Cole Hauser, Michael Biehn, [?] John Carroll Lynch and Shawn Ashmore were considered therein for the role of Marty the Zebra.
  • According to the director's commentary an early thing about having Alex become savage is his teeth were originally going to be sharp. But when the directors looked at it they figured it really looked like the sharp teeth from Alien (1979) so they decided to let Alex keep his normal teeth and not use those new sharp ones.
  • Dana Carvey revealed on [the Howard Stern Show] that he turned down a role in this film, given scheduling conflicts with corporate appearances he was making.
  • Brad Garrett was considered the role of Maurice.
  • At 48 minutes in when Alex's Statue of Liberty burns up and breaks, Alex kneels and starts shouting at the statue. This is a reference to the original Planet of the Apes (1968), though the profane words ""darn"" and "hell" are replaced with "darn" and "heck" respectively.
  • When the Penguins unwittingly tunnel into Marty's enclosure, and Skipper says to Marty 'can you keep a secret my monochromatic friend?' He is technically right, even though zebras have two-tone stripes. Monochromatic means one color. Black can always be represented as it is 0% of a color, regardless of which - as technically black is the absence of light/colour. However, to refer to white as monochromatic is somewhat strange as it uses all possible colors.