Before the film's start, I realized beside me sat an adult that wasn't responding to a child's call for Mommy. She, like me, was there kid-less so I assumed she was a fellow reviewer. "Hi! What media outlet do you work for?" I asked. "Oh, I'm not with the media." Failing to hide my nosiness, I inquired as to why a grown woman would patiently stand in line alone amongst overly rambunctious kids and tireless parents to see a movie that wasn't designed for her demographic? Her answer: "I love the messages in these movies!" And she's not alone.
Though the overall cartoon-approach in movies like Madagascar 2 appeals to the cubs and foals, more and more of us "young at heart" primates are shamelessly rushing to the box office to enjoy animated "kiddie" films for the pure enjoyment of watching them. And why not? They're family friendly, easy to watch, and great escapisms. For an hour and a half you're totally lost in a friendlier world, and when you do return to reality you do so with a smile.
You can't help but smile at Alex. He's a cute, cuddly cub turned handsome lion and entertainer that would rather pirouette than fight. You can't help but smile too at hearing the familiar of voice of Bernie Mac, as Zuba, Alex's dad. Though Bernie died just a few months ago, for a short moment in time, he was still with us.
Other familiar voices you'll recognize: Sherri Shepherd as Alex's mom, Cedric The Entertainer as Maurice; Alec Baldwin as the manipulative lion, Makunga; and my personal fave, Will.I.am as the Barry White voiced Moto Moto. He's the handsome hippo after Gloria's affections. But what she doesn't realize is that a certain giraffe is head over hooves in love with her already.
What! A hippo and a giraffe! That's inter-chordata dating! Chordata being their animal classification. Think the state of California would allow them to marry? Well in the animation world, anything is possible!
Madagascar is in theaters TODAY. So join the herd and stampede the box office this weekend. Even if you don't have kids, join the fun! Click the widget for more info on the cast and interactive games at www.madagascar-themovie.com.