Certificate: U

Voices of: Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, David Schwimmer, Jada Pinkett Smith

Release date: 2005

3 out of 5


Another animated adventure from DreamWorks, the studio behind Shrek, this is the fun story of a group of spoiled animals – egotistical Alex the Lion (Stiller), Marty the Zebra (Rock), Melman the nervous giraffe (Schwimmer) and Gloria the hippo (Smith) – from Central Park Zoo in Manhattan who accidentally end up in the wild, stranded on the island of Madagascar without their home comforts.

The real comic stars of the movies are actually a group of penguins who are planning their own escape from the zoo and ‘mission’ to the frozen arctic wastes via a container ship (they now have their own TV series, The Penguins Of Madagascar), and there’s also some humorous vocal support from Sacha Baron Cohen (aka Ali G) as Julien, one of the exotic creatures the animals meet in Madagascar. While it all slows a bit towards the middle (very young viewers may get a little bored), this is an enjoyable, if not particularly fresh, animated adventure.

Trivia fans should note that, while there are penguins at the real Central Park Zoo in New York, the zoo doesn’t have any hippos, lions, giraffes or zebras in residence.

Is Madagascar suitable for kids? Here are our parents’ notes...

None, although very young children may be scared by the hyenas.

If you like this, why not try: Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa, The Wild, The Jungle Book, Ice Age, Home On The Range,