Australian Council on Children and the Media

Madagascar

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What age is this for?

Age
0-5
5-6
7-8
8-13
13+

Classification

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What’s it about?

Marty the zebra, Alex the lion, Gloria the hippopotamus and Melman the giraffe are all good friends at New York Central Park Zoo, Marty longs to get back to the wild but Alex loves the attention he gets at the zoo. Gloria and Melman often have to mediate between the two. One day Marty decides to be adventurous and goes out onto the streets of New York. His friends soon realise he’s missing and set out to find him. The New York police are also trying to catch the escaped animals and although they manage to shoot Alex with a tranquiliser dart, the four manage to escape on board a ship heading for Kenya.

They don’t make it to Kenya though as their crates are washed overboard much to their horror. They end up in Madagascar where they have to learn to live on their own.

What to look out for

Lots of slapstick violence where the friends repeatedly hit, kick, bump and bash into the ground or trees trying to help each other. Other scenes also such as:

  • An old lady beats Alex with her handbag, hitting, flipping, punching and kicking him. She attacks Melman the same way, sending him crashing into a clock tower.
  • The penguins knock out a guard, drag him around a corner and karate chop the captain on the neck.
  • Alex tries to be ‘wild’ and attack his friends, especially Marty, who he tries to eat. This makes Marty scream in pain.
  • Alex and friends attack the foosas, (wildcats)  beating, hitting, kicking, punching, throwing etc. until every last one is driven away.

There's also some scary scenes which might frighten younger kids such as:

  • Alex is terrified when he realises his container is going into the ocean. He tries to hide in the corner and cries out to his friends for help.
  • A cute baby duck which the friends try to save is eaten by a crocodile.

Moral of the Story

You have to learn to work with others and sometimes go without the things you want in order to get what’s best for all.

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