- “They weren’t born in the wild... they were shipped there.”
Madagascar is a 2005 computer animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation, and released in movie theaters on May 27, 2005. The film tells the story of four Central Park Zoo animals who have spent their lives in blissful captivity and are unexpectedly shipped back to Africa, getting shipwrecked on the island of Madagascar. The voices of Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and David Schwimmer are featured. Other voices include Sacha Baron Cohen, Cedric the Entertainer, and Andy Richter. It is DreamWorks's tenth animated feature film.
Despite receiving mixed reviews from critics, it was a success at the box office, grossing $542 million worldwide against a $75 million budget. It was the Highest-Grossing Animated Film of 2005 and the sixth Highest-Grossing film of 2005 overall.
A sequel, Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, was released on November 7, 2008. The third film, Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted was released on June 8, 2012. A spin-off sequel titled Penguins of Madagascar was released on November 26, 2014. A sequel, Madagascar 4, was announced for 2018, but it was later put on an indefinite hold due to the DreamWorks' 2015 restructuring.
Alex the lion, Marty the starry-eyed zebra, Melman the hypochondriac giraffe, and Gloria the “hip” hippo all have a pampered life at the Central Park Zoo, New York City. Here they show off to the crowds and generally enjoy themselves. But Marty who is celebrating his tenth birthday longs to see the rest of the world and dreams of life in the wild. When he learns that the zoo’s penguins are planning to escape, he decides to follow suit and return by morning. He has a vague notion that the wild can be found in Connecticut as Gloria told him that there were some wide open spaces resembling the wild. So one night, he sneaks out of the zoo and sets off on foot for Grand Central Terminal where he hopes to take the Metro-North Railroad to Connecticut.
When the others find him gone, they head for Grand Central Station via the Subway to try to get him back. Arriving at Grand Central, they scare away most of the passengers (except for one determined old lady who assaults Alex by bashing his head and his groin with her handbag), and catch Marty. Then they manage to wreck the information desk before being shot with tranquilizer darts, along with the penguins, Mason and Phil (two chimpanzees who also escaped). Anti-zoo campaigners use the incident as evidence that animals should not be locked up. Because of this, all the animals soon find themselves in wooden crates aboard a cargo ship to Kenya.
The penguins succeed in taking over the ship and changing its course, following their initial plan of making their way to Antarctica. During the penguins’ takeover, the crates containing Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria fall overboard and they become separated on the ocean. Alex is soon washed ashore on a tropical beach. All night he is alone, but in the morning, finds Melman stuck in his crate. Gloria and Marty soon wash ashore on the same beach. At first, Melman assumes they are in San Diego, California, and Alex is upset that he will be outshone by Shamu. But when they discover a large tribe of lemurs led by King Julien XIII (voiced by Sacha Baron Cohen), they realize they are not in the United States anymore. They are actually in the wild, on the island of Madagascar.
Alex blames Marty for deliberately ruining the group's lives at the zoo and divides the island between them, forcing Gloria and Melman to help him build a Statue of Liberty lookalike. His plan is to ignite the beacon, therefore, making it easy for a boat (which Alex believes is coming to rescue them) to see where they are. However, Melman inadvertently sets the whole statue on fire and destroys it (in a Planet of the Apes parody). Gloria and Melman then decide to join Marty (who is living comfortably on his side of the island), and Alex soon realizes that he has been unfair and selfish to his friend. Thus, deciding to join the others and begin life in Madagascar.
Meanwhile, the penguins have arrived on the snowbound, windswept Antarctica. After surveying it for a few moments, they decide that it is not as interesting as they thought it would be when Private yells, “Well, this sucks.” Julien hopes that the lemurs’ new friends, whom he calls the “New York Giants”, will scare away the foosa, enemies of the lemurs who prey on them. Despite the protests of his advisor Maurice (who thinks that Alex as a carnivore, might be dangerous), Julien convinces the lemurs to welcome Marty and the others to their own little corner of paradise.
Unfortunately, Alex, who has only ever eaten pre-cut steaks until now, is beginning to regain his natural predatory instincts. After losing control and attacking Marty, he is considered too dangerous to be a friend to his zoomates or to any of the lemurs. Julien admits that Maurice has some sense in fearing Alex and banishes the lion to the side of the island dominated by the foosa, just before everyone ends up running for their lives. Alex comes to his senses for a time after a knock on the head by a coconut thrown by Maurice and makes the decision to leave his friends behind rather than do something he’d later regret. Now completely aware of the predatory nature of life in the wild, Marty is distraught and devastated to realize what is happening to him.
The penguins, leaving Antarctica behind, soon arrive at Madagascar with the ship. Realizing this may be a way back into New York, Marty finds Alex (against Gloria’s advice). Unfortunately, he ends up deep in foosa territory, where he unsuccessfully tries to get Alex to stay with him, but he refuses and doesn’t want to hurt him because he is now a monster. But as Marty tells him he is not leaving without him and sings the song to cheer him up, the foosa eventually attack, and soon he, Melman, Gloria, and the penguins (who showed up to save the three) end up fighting for their lives.
Hopelessly outnumbered by the hungry creatures, Alex appears with a huge roar. At first, he seems to have completely returned to his hunting instincts and claims Marty as his own prey. But this turns out to be a ruse: Alex has managed to overcome his predatory instincts. Using the foosa’s natural fear of him, Alex drives the predators away from lemur territory forever. At a girly ending, following a celebratory feast, at which Alex’s hunger is finally sated by the discovery that he likes sushi even better than steak, the friends return to the ship and head back home. The penguins, who stayed behind, decide not to tell them that the ship is out of fuel, thus setting the stage for Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa.
- Ben Stiller as Alex
- Chris Rock as Marty
- David Schwimmer as Melman
- Jada Pinkett Smith as Gloria
- Sacha Baron Cohen as King Julien
- Cedric the Entertainer as Maurice
- Andy Richter as Mort
- Tom McGrath as Skipper
- Chris Miller as Kowalski
- Jeffrey Katzenberg as Rico
- Christopher Knights as Private
- Conrad Vernon as Mason (Phil is unvoiced)
- Fred Tatasciore and Tom McGrath as the Fossa
- Elisa Gabrielli as Nana
- Bob Saget as zoo animal (animal unclear)
- David Cowgill as Police Horse
- Stephen Apostolina as Police Officer
The film received mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the film received a 55% approval rating based on 178 reviews. On Rotten Tomatoes’ “Cream of the Crop,” 37% of critics gave positive reviews based on 35 reviews. On Metacritic, the film has a score of 57 out of 100 approval rating based on 36 reviews, indicating “mixed or average reviews”.
Despite the mixed response from critics, the film was a commercial success. The film grossed $47,224,594 with $11,431 average from 4,131 theaters making it #1. In the United States, the film gained $193,595,521 domestically and a foreign gross of $348,468,325 adding to a worldwide gross of $542,063,846. As of 2008, the film is the fifth highest-grossing DreamWorks animated feature behind Shrek 2, Shrek the Third, Shrek, and Kung Fu Panda.
- This is the second-to-last DreamWorks Animation film to be released by DreamWorks Pictures.
- This also marks the only Madagascar film to be released by DreamWorks Pictures.
- This is also the only Madagascar film to be released on VHS.
- This is the only film in the Madagascar franchise where the names of the major cast members are listed outside the credit crawl at the start instead of the end.
- This also the first time that better water wave animation was used.
- This is the final PDI/DreamWorks film to be released by DreamWorks Pictures.
- This is the first DreamWorks animation film to have Hanna Barbera, Cartoon Trax Volume 1, Warner Bros sound effects.
- This is the fourth DreamWorks Animation film to release in theaters during May, right after Shrek, Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron, & Shrek 2.
- Madagascar was the first Animated film to win a Kids' Choice Award for "Favorite Animated Movie" in 2006.
- This is the fourth DreamWorks Animation film to be Co-Produced with Pacific Data Images, the first three being Antz, Shrek 1 & 2.
- Madagascar is the second DreamWorks Animation film to become a full on franchise with Sequels, & Spin-Offs. First one being Shrek.
- The film was released on the same day as the 2005 remake of The Longest Yard, also featuring Chris Rock.
- The scene where Alex says "You maniac!! You burn it up! Darn you!! Darn you to the help!" like the liberty lady gets burned down is a reference where George Taylor (Charleton Heston) has a huge tantrum because of the broken liberty in the 1968 film Planet of the Apes.
- Alex the Lion (First appearance)
- Marty the Zebra (First appearance)
- Melman the Giraffe (First appearance)
- Gloria the Hippo (First appearance)
- Lemurs (First appearance)
- Skipper (First appearance)
- Kowalski (First appearance)
- Private (First appearance)
- Rico (First appearance)
- The Fossas (First appearance)
- Mason (First appearance)
- Phil (First appearance)
- Nana (First appearance) (unnamed)
- Ted (polar bear) (First appearance)
- Timo (First appearance) (Retcon)
- Zoo Announcer (First appearance)
- Central Park Zoo Guards (First appearance)
- Madagascar (First appearance)
- Kingdom of Madagascar (First appearance)
- Mozambico (First appearance) (map script only)
- Madagascar (First appearance)
- Antarctica (First appearance)
- China (First mention)
- Indian Ocean
- North America
- Alex plush toy (First appearance)
- Madagascar at Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
|Antz (1998) • The Prince of Egypt (1998) • The Road to El Dorado (2000) • Chicken Run (2000) • Shrek (2001) • Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron (2002) • Sinbad: Legend of the Seven Seas (2003) • Shrek 2 (2004) • Shark Tale (2004) • Madagascar (2005) • Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit (2005) • Over the Hedge (2006) • Flushed Away (2006) • Shrek the Third (2007) • Bee Movie (2007) • Kung Fu Panda (2008) • Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa (2008) • Monsters vs. Aliens (2009) • How to Train Your Dragon (2010) • Shrek Forever After (2010) • Megamind (2010) • Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) • Puss in Boots (2011) • Madagascar 3: Europe's Most Wanted (2012) • Rise of the Guardians (2012) • The Croods (2013) • Turbo (2013) • Mr. Peabody & Sherman (2014) • How to Train Your Dragon 2 (2014) • Penguins of Madagascar (2014) • Home (2015) • Kung Fu Panda 3 (2016) • Trolls (2016) • The Boss Baby (2017) • Captain Underpants: The First Epic Movie (2017) • How to Train Your Dragon: The Hidden World (2019) • Abominable (2019) • Trolls World Tour (2020) • The Croods: A New Age (2020) • Spirit Untamed (2021) • The Boss Baby: Family Business (2021)|
|The Bad Guys (2022) • Puss in Boots: The Last Wish (2022) • Dog Man (2022)|
|Feature Films in Development|
|Mice & Mystics • Shrek 5|
|Joseph: King of Dreams (2000)|
|Trollhunters: Rise of the Titans (2021)|
|B.O.O.: Bureau of Otherworldly Operations • Me & My Shadow •Monkeys of Mumbai • Larrikins • Zodiac • Spooky Jack|
|Shrek the Halls (2007) • Monsters vs. Aliens: Mutant Pumpkins from Outer Space (2009) • Merry Madagascar (2009) • Scared Shrekless (2010) • Kung Fu Panda Holiday (2010) • Gift of the Night Fury (2011) • Madly Madagascar (2013) • Trolls Holiday (2017) • How to Train Your Dragon: Homecoming (2019)|
|Shrek in the Swamp Karaoke Dance Party! (2001) • Shrek 4-D (2003) • Sinbad and the Cyclops Island (2003) • Far Far Away Idol (2004) • Club Oscar (2005) • The Madagascar Penguins in a Christmas Caper (2005) • First Flight (2006) • Hammy's Boomerang Adventure (2006) • Secrets of the Furious Five (2008) • B.O.B.'s Big Break (2009) • Legend of the Boneknapper Dragon (2010) • Donkey's Caroling Christmas-tacular (2010) • Megamind: The Button of Doom (2011) • Thriller Night (2011) • The Pig Who Cried Werewolf (2011) • Night of the Living Carrots (2011) Book of Dragons (2011) • Gift of the Night Fury (2011) • Secrets of the Masters (2011) • Puss in Boots: The Three Diablos (2012) • Almost Home (2014) • Rocky and Bullwinkle (2014) • Dawn of the Dragon Racers (2014) • Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Scroll (2016) • Bird Karma (2018) • Bilby (2018) • Marooned (2019) • To: Gerard (2020)|
|Toonsylvania (1998) • Invasion America (1998) • Alienators: Evolution Continues (2001–2002) • Father of the Pride (2004–2005) • The Penguins of Madagascar (2008–15) • Kung Fu Panda: Legends of Awesomeness (2011–2016) • DreamWorks Dragons (2012-2018) • Monsters vs. Aliens (2013-2014) • Turbo FAST (2013–2016) • VeggieTales in the House (2014-2016) • All Hail King Julien (2014-2017) • The Adventures of Puss in Boots (2015-2018) • Dinotrux (2015-2018) • The Mr. Peabody & Sherman Show (2015-2017) • Dawn of the Croods (2015-2017) • Noddy, Toyland Detective (2016-present) • Voltron: Legendary Defender (2016-2018) • Home: Adventures with Tip and Oh (2016-2018) • Trollhunters (2016-2018) • VeggieTales in the City (2017) • Spirit Riding Free (2017-present) • Trolls: The Beat Goes On! (2018-2019) • The Boss Baby: Back in Business (2018-2020) • The Adventures of Rocky and Bullwinkle (TV series) (2018-2019) • Harvey Street Kids (2018-2020) • The Epic Tales of Captain Underpants (2018-2020) • She-Ra and the Princesses of Power (2018-2020) • Kung Fu Panda: The Paws of Destiny (2018-2019) • 3 Below (2018-2019) • Where's Waldo? (2019-present) • Archibald's Next Big Thing (2019-present) • Dragons: Rescue Riders (2019-present) • Cleopatra in Space (2019-present) • Kipo and the Age of Wonderbeasts (2020) • Rhyme Time Town (2020-present) • Madagascar: A Little Wild (2020-present) • Wizards (2020) • Jurassic World: Camp Cretaceous (2020-present) • The Mighty Ones (2020-present) • Doug Unplugs (2020-present) • Trolls: Trollstopia (2020-present) • Gabby’s Dollhouse (2021) • Go, Dog. Go! (2021)|
|Upcoming TV series|
|Felix the Cat (2021) • Bearbrick (TBA) • The Epic Tales of Dog Man (TBA)|