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Look out for more coverage of
Madagascar in our magazines

THE MOVIE: Madagascar

THE STARS:
(voices of)
Ben Stiller • Chris Rock • Jada Pinkett Smith
DIRECTOR: Eric Darnell & Tom McGrath

In the spotlight THE CONCEPT:
Comedy about a group of animals living in New York’s Central Park Zoo, who leave the sanctuary of their home, and are kidnapped and put on a ship to Africa. When their vessel is sabotaged, they are washed ashore on the exotic island of Madagascar, where they discover the true meaning of the phrase, ‘It’s a jungle out there.’

U.S. RELEASE: May 27 2005, Nationwide • Rated: PG

THE COMMENTS:

JEFFREY KATZENBERG (Producer):
“I think this is the hardest acting job in the world, and it is why we are lucky on a movie like this to have the best actors in the world to do it. It’s why we go after the best, because it’s challenging, because so much of it has to come from within themselves as actors. There aren’t props, there aren’t other actors, there aren’t situations where they can get into character.”

BEN STILLER (Alex the Lion):
“[Doing the movie] was a weird process because it goes on for a long time. In the beginning it felt like trial and error, and you feel sad because you’re alone in the studio with a microphone, and nothing exists other than some pictures that you see. Six months into the process you start to see scenes coming back, which really helps, because you start to see what the character is. One of the things that I liked about the movie is that the characters are really unique and they are not just based on voices.”

JADA PINKETT SMITH (Gloria the Hippo):
“I agree with Ben, it’s a pretty challenging process just because there is no one there, and you don’t have any sets or props or anything, so you are trying some different lines, some different interpretations, and then they put it together really fantastically.”

CHRIS ROCK (Marty the Zebra):
“I let my kids see anything, they can see my movies, but they can’t see them until they are 30. The attraction to this movie is that they can see it right now.”

KATZENBERG:
“When we started DreamWorks 10 years ago, one of the toughest goals for us was to find our own way, to find something that would be ours. Walt Disney said, ‘I make movies for children, and the child that exists in all of us.’ And in starting DreamWorks animation, it was really important to me that we find something that could be our own, out of respect, out of admiration, out of competitiveness, so it’s been a long journey for us, a lot of experimenting; a serious movie like Prince of Egypt, a very sophisticated New York comedy in Antz, then Shrek kind of happened. It really defined what a DreamWorks animated movie should be in our mind. And with a wink and a nod to Walt Disney, we made adult movies for the adult in every child. We try and come at it from the opposite direction, but if we achieve our goal, we get the exact same [result].”

Written by Judy Sloane. Back to top

Visit the official Madagascar site
Images above © DreamWorks
Feature © 2005 Visual Imagination.
Not for reproduction.

Film Review, #658, Summer 2005 cover

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