DreamWorks Animation has been on a roll the last few years releasing some excellent animated films. ‘Madagascar’ was originally released in 2005 and I remember how heavily the film was being promoted almost a year before its release. DreamWorks was relying heavily on the promotion of voice talent for the film.

As a side note, a year later Disney would release ‘The Wild’ which is very similar to ‘Madagascar’, little would you know that ‘Madagascar’ still outshines ‘The Wild’. It goes to show that DreamWorks Animation, with the right elements can produce some excellent animated features that even rivals the King of Animation, Pixar.

‘Madagascar’ begins with the setting at New York’s Central Park Zoo. We have Alex the lion (Ben Stiller) and his best friend Marty the Zebra (Chris Rock) that have been at the zoo for a very long time. There is Melman the giraffe (David Schwimmer) and Gloria the hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) that encompasses our main characters in ‘Madagascar’. It is fun watching the animals at the zoo show their different personalities and how their life is being stuck in a cage at the zoo. Some of the animals are starting to feel trapped. That is what happens with Marty as he is tired of being this showpiece for children. There is a set of penguins that are also on the side of Marty as they plan to break out of the zoo. Is this animated Prison Break? I had to get that silly joke in there.

Marty plans to also take his friends along with him, but they won’t have any of that. It is then up to Marty and the Penguins to escape, and once they do leave the rest of the gang can’t find Marty. They decide to go on an adventure to find Marty. Marty and his friends get shipped off into the wild jungles of Kenya once the zoo officials capture them for escaping. The zoo officials had no choice but to get rid of the animals from the zoo due to the possibility of them possibly escaping again. Something happens along the way by the little gangsters as I call them, The Penguins where they end up in Madagascar.

We found ‘Madagascar’ to be rather hilarious, even after multiple viewings based off of the DVD, and now that we have watched the Blu-ray. The jokes keep coming throughout the animated film, so there isn’t a moment where you feel like the fun has stopped. I am so glad that the ‘Shrek’ humor wasn’t used, even though we do enjoy that series from DreamWorks, it did get over the top.

The print is presented in 1080/p MPEG-4/AVC codec with a 1.85:1 aspect ratio. This has to be one of the most vivid and colorful animations on Blu-ray. Due to the colors popping off of the screen, it brings out the details in the animation. Just look at the monkeys or any animals with an abundance of fur it looks so realistic that it is scary. The audio is presented in a Dolby TrueHD 5.1 mix and is mainly a film with dialogue pushing the center channel which is crisp and clear. The surrounds do get their work too when we get songs off of the soundtrack.

Special Features:
• Commentary with Directors Tom McGrath and Eric Darnell
• Mad Trivia Pop-Up
• Penguins In A Christmas Caper
• Learn To Draw
• Mad Mishaps
• Meet The Wild Cast
• Behind The Crates
• ‘I Like To Move It’ Music Video
• The Tech Of Madagascar
• Penguin Chat
• Enchanted Island
• DreamWorks Animation Video Jukebox

If you are a fan of animation and DreamWorks Animation studios, you will enjoy ‘Madagascar’. I have watched ‘Madagascar’ countless of times with my kids as it is an adventure we have enjoyed. The film looks beautiful on Blu-ray and the CGI that was used here really shows what can be done by a studio that isn’t Disney. With ‘Madagascar 2’ on the way, this is your perfect opportunity to catch one of DreamWorks finest animations.

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