Zebra rope-swinging under the opening credits tells me all I need to know about how this movie will treat physics and science and logic.
Okay, penguins and zebras in the same spot? That's some chicanery right there. And also, unlike peacocks--who everyone knows can fly--penguins are actually flightless birds, so this is someone's fantasy.
Here's some math for you: cartoon physics squared equals dream cartoon physics.
The lion can catch up to the zebra running only on his back feet.
(Alex yells "SURPRISE") "It was all a dream" cliché.
Also, I guess a treadmill is a creative way for him to get some exercise, but the Central Park zookeeper is probably experiencing daily fits of anxiety over the possibility of a random visit from the representative of the Zoological Association of America because all of these enclosures don't even come remotely close to meeting their standards.
(As Alex and Marty converse) This zoo was apparently designed on a decommissioned mini-golf course where they just installed a few 3 foot fences and decided that was enough.
Hoofmill? Is there a whole line of athletic equipment for animals in this universe?
(Marty finds a snow globe in Alex's mouth, then questions what it's doing in there) It IS a giant glass ball, that is a very good question. Why not hide something, say, in your mane?
(Alex says the snowglobe isn't even on the shelf yet) Then where the f*ck did he get it? Even in this universe he is still just a lion--it's not like the Central Park Zoo merchandising department is running product by him for his approval.
I guess security is so lax at this zoo that all the animals can easily escape their enclosures and basically roam free, allowing Alex to waltz into the gift shop and take whatever he wants.
Also, based on this picture, Alex has pretty decent handwriting for a lion who has paw/hand hybrids. They're still better than regular paws, but one would assume he would still have a disadvantage.
Also, there is a putter, which further supports my "the zoo used to be a mini-golf course" theory.
None of the people in all these apartments back here notice the lion and zebra casually acting like friends.
(Alex wakes some of the other animals) This zoo has a terribly unsafe and insecure lion enclosure.
(Melman exits a structure as a flushing sound is heard) Did...did that giraffe just use the toilet?
Um, I've been to the Central Park Zoo... and it looks nothing like this. But whatever... cartoon I guess. Pffft.
This monkey fishes out coffee, a newspaper, and a bagel without even LOOKING down at the trash can! This speaks to either the hyper-intelligence of this monkey, or the extreme predictable-ness of the general American zoo-visiting public.
Also, the zoo JUST opened, so the janitor didn't empty the trash last night. Nice job, dude.
(Marty proclaims 'Ziploc-fresh!') This is such a random brand shout-out, I wonder if Ziploc helped underwrite this movie.
So this lion display is the lion standing on two feet on a pedestal, posing, surrounded by fireworks? That's actually incredible.
(As Alex poses for a photo) I can't tell, is that Blue Steel? Given the context, it's probably Le Tigre.
Man, I wish the animals at my local zoo did cool stuff like this. They mostly hide, which is why a standard zoo visit for me is basically "I Spy."
Sexy hippo ripoff from Fantasia.
And plus one more sin for making me write the words "sexy hippo."
(photo of Melman in an MRI) After this picture was taken, I bet that MRI tech said to the photographer, "Excuse me, but there should be no electronic equipment near the MRI," and the photographer replied, "But it's outside sitting in the grass, that can't be good for it either." Then the technician laughs slightly, snaps his neck, and drags him off.
(Kowalski tells Skipper their last "shovel" has been broken) They've tunneled through concrete with a common plastic spoon? Sh*t...just GIVE 'em their freedom! They f*cking earned it, no?!
(Marty makes armpit farts) Movie devotes TOO many seconds to fart noises.
There is no visible reason Marty is able to hold anything. He's definitely past Mr. Ed on the anthropomorphism of equines scale, but he's clearly not at the Bojack Horseman level of being able to hold stuff.
(The penguins dig into Marty's enclosure and ask what continent they're on; he responds with "Manhattan") Even zebra New Yorkers think that they are so important that their island qualifies as a continent.
(Someone in the crowd throws underwear at Alex) I hope the person who threw that underwear is from another country, and his only exposure to American culture was a Tom Jones concert he once went to, and he is under the impression that Americans just throw underwear at anyone who is receiving praise.
So each animal gets their own personalized meal, served by their own separate chefs, and displayed on a literal silver platter in their image? How much is admission to this f*cking zoo?
(Melman's platter turns out to contain medication canisters) Did he not get an actual dinner like the rest of them? This zoo may be actively trying to kill this giraffe. Are we sure this isn't the Copenhagen Zoo?
(The other animals sing the "you look like a monkey" variant of the Happy Birthday song to Marty; cut to the visibly offended monkeys) A monkey, like their colleagues at the zoo? It's not just the penguins; all the animals here are racist.
(Alex comments about a "highly refined...type of...food...thing") Alex temporarily forgets what steak was called.
Is that a giant steak, as big as a lion's head, or is this a weirdly small lion?
(Melman asks what's metaphorically eating Marty) All the stuff Marty spelled out literally seconds ago is what's eating him, but later it will be Alex.
(Alex points out a star in the night sky; Marty says it's actually a helicopter) This helicopter appears out of nowhere and it's stationary until Marty says what it is. Maybe this is one of San Andreas's magical helicopters that can do impossible things.
The f*ck? Do they all have their own light switches?
Marty turned off the ambience with a reverse Fonzie.
Why is Zebra the only zoo inhabitant with tons of light on him during this pull-back shot?!
(Melman asks Alex if he sucks his thumb) Better question: "you have thumbs?"
(Melman mentions his bladder infection) You know how I have a giant bruise on my head from you beating me with the fact that Melman is debilitatingly ill?
I've been trying to avoid commenting on the way these characters look 'cause they are clearly stylized, and I don't find anything wrong with that, really, I don't. But Melman's neck is too far from actual giraffe anatomy. I feel like I'm looking at a giraffe who has broken his neck. Maybe that's why he's so sick all the time.
She's not just a hippo, she's the sassy black hippo friend.
(Marty trots down a New York street as an unidentifiable song plays in the background) Saturday Night Fever existed. That's the whole joke.
(Gloria barges through a brick wall) It wouldn't surprise me if Gloria was in the next Avengers movie. Maybe she can take over for Hawkeye. F*ck Hawkeye.
(Alex mentions constipation on the subway) Let's just go ahead and add seven sins for every other terrible poop and pee joke in the movie.
(The monkeys are surrounded by cops; one mentions throwing poop to the other)
(Melman claims a bizarre smell is one of the animals' gas)
(Alex asks an unknown wilderness critter if they wipe themselves with a leaf)
(Alex says...something isn't a latrine)
(Marty tells a hallucinating Alex he's biting his butt)
(The animals hear a distant foghorn sound; Gloria tells Melman it wasn't her)
Zebra fins the only time Rockefeller Center's skating rink is empty but still lit up like it's open... if this wasn't a cartoon, I'd make this two sins!
Finally some people see these f*cking animals. Sadly, it's too late to prevent the plot from happening.
(A police officer informs HQ that there's a zebra in front of him, then asks if he can shoot it) America.
("Can I shoot it?") Well, that depends if it's a white zebra with black stripes or a black zebra with white stripes.
(Marty enters Grand Central Station; he says "It's grand and it's central") And it's a station.
How invested in the physics of this cartoon should I be? I thought only the animals were stereotypical cartoons in their abilities, but here we have an old lady with super strength.
(Melman tells the others they're running out of time) You know what would make this funnier? If he had a giant cloc--oh, he does, great.
Several large and potentially deadly animals have escaped from the zoo, and they send in the entire NYPD, the Fire Department, and just the most frightened guy from animal control.
(Alex does the pose he did at the zoo) So are they, in reality, on all fours just roaring, and they just think that they are standing upright? Or do the humans notice that they are standi--you know what!? Animated movie with ambiguously defined rules!
In Madagascar 4, we learn that Alex is addicted to tranquilizers and has forever been chasing his first high.
The boxes become convieniently lit when each animal starts talking.
(Melman says he has an appointment with Dr. Goldberg at five) The stock paranoid nebbish character, provided by David Schwimmer. Presumably they didn't want Woody Allen anywhere near a children's movie.
This movie expects me to believe that they ship animals in "ark of the covenant" crates.
Some more math! Penguins times four equals Liam Neeson.
"Person can't hear anything because they're wearing headphones" cliché.
Why are they going all the way around Africa? Wouldn't it be faster to just use the Suez Canal and come from the north? I'm actually curious! Any sailors in the house?
Okay, they fell off the ship RIGHT at Madagascar... okay, fine... but ONLY their four crates fell off the ship right here?! Seriously?! That's implausible as hell!
Somehow, after being tossed around by all these waves, Alex's box still has no water in it. I mean... he should be dead at the ocean floor at this point, no?
Dreamworks has an unhealthy obsession with putting large quantities of things in its characters' mouths.
Alex doesn't think to pull [Melman] out by his feet, thus manufacturing some more slapstick-y situations.
None of the other animals were exposed to water in their crates, but Gloria had access to these sea creatures.
(Gloria tells the aforementioned sea creatures "fun's over"; they promptly leave) The f*ck? Do I even want to know what the fun was?
This zebra either already knows how to surf AND commune with dolphins... or learned that sh*t on the fly. Either way, sin.
(The dolphins leave and presumably say goodbye in dolphin speak) Do sea creatures live by different rules than land animals? Why can't the dolphins talk?
(Alex runs toward Marty as the Chariots of Fire theme plays) This is seriously out of control. It has been all of 22 seconds since the last pop culture reference.
(Alex asks what could be worse than San Diego) Um, almost any American city, at least if the weather is a factor.
(Cut to the animals running through the jungle; Gloria says "where there's music, there's people") Or hyper-intelligent lemurs with a stereo. One of the two.
(Alex runs into a tree, causing it to fall over) Alex turns into Dick Van Dyke for a second.
One of the pilots who crash-landed on Madagascar only had one CD on his plane, Reel 2 Real, dooming these lemurs to be obsessed with Reggae-fusion house music from 1993.
(The Foosas discuss eating Mort) The Foosas have a caveman-like level of speech, while the lemurs are able to speak as well as the main characters.
The Foosas may be dumb, but they really know how to prepare a salad.
(Alex asks if there's any "live" people, King Julian says no) Madagascar is a very large island that is home to over 22 million people.
(Maurice says "if we had a lot of live people here, it wouldn't be called 'the wild'") How would Maurice have any context for "the wild" if there are no people? Or how does he know what people are in the first place? Maybe this is San Diego after all.
You would think being a zebra would be a disadvantage when it comes to building a shelter, but clearly it is not.
("Shut up, Spalding!") Not hilarious Castaway Wilson joke is not hilarious.
Alex convieniently found all the neccesary parts and pieces to make a Statue of Liberty, while also being a lion.
The other hoofed animals we have seen have been able to hold onto things. Melman is not. Why you ask? Because f*ck you, that's why.
Just so we all understand each other, these boards spontaneously combusted.
(A reference to the original Planet of the Apes goes by) At one point does a parent watching this with their kid decide to just put on an old movie instead? A good quarter of this film is just references to other films.
King Julian is able to use the skeleton hand as an extension of his own hand.
This movie was written by four people, and I'm pretty sure the script was just a bullet point list of fart sounds and half-remembered pop culture references from their childhood.
This poor Chris Rock zebra spends the whole movie talking about how he wants to live in the wild, and the first thing he does is domesticate the place.
(Alex finds everything Marty's built very impressive)It IS impressive! He built a tiki bar in a couple of hours without the use of opposable thumbs. Or fingers of any kind.
(Marty says that whatever he made "hits the spot") It would have taken days for that freight ship to get from NYC to the East coast of Africa... when was the last time any of these animals ate, for real? It must be like a week.
1 hour 25-minute movie probably only makes its runtime with bullsh*t like this American Beauty rose-petal/steak spoof, which makes less sense for a kids' movie than a Boogie Nights anal-in-the-driveway parody.
Also, associating Alex the lion with Kevin Spacey's American Beauty character tells me ahead of time that the Zebra is gay, and Hippo is having an affair with a real estate agent. And Giraffe is... Wes Bentley, I guess... weed-slash-steak supplier.
For the record... Again, this is an homage to a scene in American Beauty where a middle-aged man is having a daydream about f*cking his daughter's teenage friend. A children's movie is a really weird place for this.
(King Julian proclaims "Welcome to Madagascar!") Roll credits!
Another vine attached to nothing.
Regular river dancing is bad, but neck river dancing is worse.
Did they practice this dance beforehand?
(An exhausted Alex denies wanting to do...something then agrees to do so) "Acting like you don't want to do something then suddenly saying you want to do it because you really wanted to do it the whole time" cliché.
(Alex starts hallucinating the lemurs as steaks) This heretofore totally tamed lion suddenly has feral instincts just because he's hungry and the plot needs a jumpstart.
(Marty tells Alex he's biting his butt) That's exactly what my college girlfriend said to me shortly before dumping me!
(King Julian asks "what is a simple bite on the buttocks among friends?") Movie backs me up on something I've been saying for years!
(Maurice says Alex belongs with his own kind) That's racist.
Gotta admit, I'm only half paying attention at this point, but... are these two things here walking steaks with legs and mouths?! Oh, hell, it's possible I ingested heroin without realizing it. Or Lion did.
Lion is tricked into hunting his Central Park Zoo zebra buddy because... honestly... I wasn't paying attention. A Chopped re-run caught my eye for a moment and when I came back to the movie this sh*t was going on and I felt compelled to sin it despite my personal ignorance.
(Alex tumbles down a hill containing all sorts of dangerous crap) Of course the lion survives this. He's voiced by Ben Stiller! You didn't think such a character was capable of death, did you?!
These animals learn some hard lessons about the food chain, and while it's humorous, it's still largely filler for an animated movie with almost zero plot.
(The chick the animals saved gets eaten whole by a crocodile within seconds) Well, that kind of makes saving him in the last scene completely pointless.
Also... this movie wants to imply life-or-death consequences, but only has the balls to do so via an unimportant non-beloved character.
(Melman somehow holds Gloria on his head) Melman's dreams are coming true.
Since it's clear the penguins can make things appear out of nowhere, why didn't he summon a more useful writing utensil, like a pen or pencil?
Also, he can't read, but he can write? Clearly not.
Alex the lion is still seeing steaks everywhere--did we ever get a reason on that bullsh*t?
Also, why are these steaks so happy about being eaten in the near future?
(Marty whispers "All-a-great-big part of it") Alex doesn't immediately eat Marty.
What's going on again? I was only out of the room for however long it takes to pee. Is the most forgettable successful animated movie ever?! I think it might be!
The Foosas may be savages, but they are really into their garnishes.
(Alex appears seemingly out of nowhere to save Marty) I'd call this an Alex-the-lion Ex Machina moment if the entire freaking movie hadn't been obviously building to this point all along.
Is the fish not anthropomorphic? The spider was!
(Marty says Alex's "heart is bigger than his stomach") And that's the story of how Alex the lion decided to slowly starve to death rather than hurt his friends. The end.
(Alex says they could make a few side stops along the way back to New York) He said "side stops", but what he meant to say was "sequels".