Thursday, October 31, 2013

TV Special Review: Merry Madagascar

Stars: 5 out of 5
Pros: Great laughs for kids and parents wrapped up in a Christmas story
Cons: David Schwimmer’s voice reminds me too much of Ross.
The Bottom Line:
Wonderful special
If ready to be merry
Filled with many laughs

Is Alex Permanently on the Naughty List?

When I watched Madagascar a few years back, I was less than impressed.  As a result, I never have bothered to watch the sequels.  I may have to reconsider that after having seen the delightful Merry Madagascar.

The made for TV Christmas special finds the gang of zoo animals trying to escape Madagascar and get back to their zoo home before Christmas.  They all have dreams of what they will enjoy most.  However, their escape balloon is shot down by King Julius (Danny Jacobs) and his followers.

What they learn is that every year on December 24th, someone flies through the sky shooting rocks at Julius.  When Alex (Ben Stiller) the lion steps up and shoots down this villain, they make a shocking discovery – it’s Santa.  Worse yet, he has amnesia.  Suddenly, it is up to Alex and the gang to save Christmas.  Can they do it?

This show was pretty funny from start to finish.  There are plenty of jokes for kids and adults to enjoy, and I was laughing the entire way through.  Yes, there are some lessons to be learned, but they felt like a real part of the story.

One problem with the original holds true here.  I just can’t quite buy David Schwimmer.  Every time that Melvin the Giraffe speaks, I just hear Ross from Friends, and it takes me out of the film.  Even though the rest of the cast is well known, I don’t have that issue with them.  We’ve got the likes of Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith, and Cedric the Entertainer in this special, and they all do a great job.  And it’s not that David is bad, but I can’t picture Ross as an animated giraffe.

The animation is good here.  It might not have any blow you away moments, but there are still some nice shots over the course of the special, and it never gets in the way of the story.

So whether you like the original or not, sit your family down and enjoy Merry Madagascar.  You’ll be very merry if you do.

This special is also part of the Dreamworks Holiday Collection, which I received free in exchange for an honest review.

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