The concept probably looked promising on paper: create a computer-generated 3D environment and insert a rabble of characters inspired by the two-dimensional cartoons of yesteryear – a sort of retro, low-fi CGI, if you like. So what went wrong? Well, for starters, you’d need to scour the bowels of the Cartoon Network to find a less appealing bunch than these four unlikely New York zoo companions – a lion, a zebra, a giraffe and a hippo – who agree that the grass looks greener on the other side and promptly abscond, only to wash up, shipwrecked, on a Madagascan beach, where their survival instincts are put to the test. Alex the lion, meanwhile, starts having dangerous hallucinations about juicy steaks while staring at Marty the zebra’s rump.Where’s it headed? Nowhere, since the whole enterprise runs aground thanks to an unfunny, schtick-laden script, clichéd film references, an ensemble of mostly irritating voiceovers (by Ben Stiller, Chris Rock et al) and an unsatisfactory denouement that suggests DreamWorks’ animation team lost all sense of direction and, possibly, the will to see it through. Boring and bedraggled.
Friday July 15 2005
Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath
Eric Darnell, Tom McGrath, Mark Burton, Billy Frolick