Madagascar 2005

Critics score:
55 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Madagascar makes you long for a time when story was more important than cleverness; before having celebrities voicing the characters was a marketing requisite; before you needed to be thoroughly immersed in pop culture to get the gags. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: The latest DreamWorks Animation picture that leaves you jonesing for a little Pixar. Read more

Allison Benedikt, Chicago Tribune: The film never gets going. It's too slow and plodding for kids. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: The film ends with an obvious bid for a sequel, and why not? Madagascar and its charming critters deserve an encore. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: 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. Read more

Melinda Ennis, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: Like Looney Tunes, there's cartoon craziness for the kids and knowing, 'wink-wink' humor to keep the grown-ups giggling and guessing at the film allusions that fill the clever script. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: The tenor can be shrill, but there's no time to get bored. And on top of that, most of the gags actually work. Read more

Arizona Republic: The movie is like a doughnut, with frosting on the edges and a big hole in the middle. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Antic, cute, scattershot, it's a remarkable-looking but terribly uncertain bit of CGI fluff, with its richest humor off to the sides of the action and a whole lot of average in the middle. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: It's a good-humored, pleasant confection that has all kinds of relaxed fun bringing computer-animated savvy to the old-fashioned world of Looney Tunes cartoons. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: Brilliantly written, animated and performed, it not only bridges the child-adult divide, but also makes its kid-friendly humor smart in its own way. Read more

Paul Clinton (, A delight. Co-writers and -directors McGrath and Eric Darnell, along with their entire team, have done a terrific job with their sweet and whimsical story. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Appropriate for the wee ones, this flick promises to please parents who will inevitably be in for repeat viewings. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Untamed fun. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Madagascar will have you roaring, but in the right way. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: Another triumph of animation technique over anything that could reasonably be called a story. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: As with most recent animated features not affiliated with Pixar Studios, Madagascar oversells itself with superstar voices and set pieces bloated with noise and undernourished in wit. Read more

Lisa Rose, Newark Star-Ledger: This doesn't signify progress for the computer-animated medium. If anything, it's regression. Read more

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News: [It] looks stunning, but it's an ill-conceived mess that plays like two movies awkwardly spliced together. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Like many computer-animated features, this one, about four animals exiled from the Central Park Zoo, expends most of its imaginative resources on clever visuals. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Take the kids. Find a globe. Do some teaching. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Eventually, it had to happen: a computer-animated dud. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: It'll be fun for the smaller kids, but there's not much crossover appeal for their parents. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: What makes it good is that the story is a kind of parable that suggests some seriousness beneath the surface, even sadness. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A good-natured kid flick. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Lacking any meat on its bones, ['Madagascar'] is a cartoon about nothing. Not that there's anything wrong with that. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: A wafer-thin yarn that might have done Sylvester and Tweety proud, but goes missing-in-action when stretched over 80-plus minutes. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: The fact is, apart from certain superficial visual distinctions, virtually all of the recent studio-produced, star-voiced computer-animated movies feel like they could have been produced on different assembly lines in the same factory. Read more

Time Out: 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. Read more

Erin Clements, Time Out: 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. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The animation is visually stunning, and the animals' stylized rendering and friendly look is in keeping with the energetic mood of the movie. Read more

Dennis Harvey, Variety: Pleasant, if mediocre family fare. Read more

Michael Atkinson, Village Voice: An antic little charmer, wasting no more or less time on repetitive pratfalls and unpoetic mushiness than any Disney film since 1948. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: The movie fails to satisfy on such a fundamental level that it either must be setting itself up for a Madagascar 2 or must hope that the audience isn't paying too much attention. I vote for the latter. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Madagascar is great good fun, not only because the filmmakers have enlisted some wonderful voice talent but also because the visuals truly are marvelous. Read more