Madly Madagascar

  • Review Date: January 28, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 22 minutes

Common Sense Media says

Love is in the air in this silly but cute Valentine's story.
  • Review Date: January 28, 2013
  • Rated: NR
  • Genre: Family and Kids
  • Release Year: 2013
  • Running Time: 22 minutes

Age(i)

2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
16
17

Quality(i)

 

What parents need to know

Educational value

This is a feature for seasonal, Valentine's Day-themed entertainment, not for educational purposes.

Positive messages

Younger kids might take away messages like you shouldn't need a "potion" to find love, and that Valentine's Day can be about the love of good friends. Alex the Lion puts it best when he says it's not how many Valentine's Day cards you receive that counts, but that you're loved.

Positive role models

Alex is trying to get everyone excited about Valentine's Day, while Melman is trying to show Gloria how much she means to him. In the end, the friendship between the central four characters is what matters.

Violence & scariness

The penguins and the resort manager end up in a car chase that ends in an explosion. King Julien's final "love potion" explodes and burns off most of his fur, leaving him looking naked.

Sexy stuff

Lots of love connections in the movie: Skipper and his girlfriend Hula Girl briefly break up, but have a big reunion kiss (as fireworks appear in the background). Melman attempts to show Gloria how much she means to him with a grand Valentine's Day gesture. Marty woos a beautiful new okapi but ends up attracting the entire female population of the reserve.

Language

Insults like "pretty boy," "you reek," "stink," "freak," "you're making me sick," and "you sick, sick giraffe." 

Consumerism

This is part of the Madagascar film franchise that includes plenty of merchandise and marketing materials.

Drinking, drugs, & smoking
Not applicable

Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Madly Madagascar is a short Valentine's Day special that takes place while the gang is still in Africa. Considering the holiday, love is in the air and there are several allusions to attraction and romance, like when Marty and the other zebras spot a beautiful female okapi. These seasonal offerings are another way to involve young audiences in popular franchises with lots of merchandise, but this special does have a short and sweet message about loving your friends.

Parents say

Kids say

What's the story?

Set somewhere in between the action of Madagascar 2 and Madagascar 3, Madly Madagascar chronicles how Alex (Ben Stiller), Marty (Chris Rock), Melman (David Schwimmer), Gloria (Jada Pinkett Smith), and the gang spend their first Valentine's Day in Africa. As Alex explains the joys of the holiday to his friends, King Julien (Danny Jacobs filling in for Sacha Baron Cohen) receives an unexpected but auspicious plunk on the head -- a bottle of perfume that fell from a cargo plane flying overhead. Julien believes this is a sign from the gods that he is the King of Love and starts selling the "love potion" to the eager animals. When Marty meets a beautiful okapi (Taraji P. Henson), he begs the penguins to make him another batch of the "love potion," which leads to him inadvertently attracting a huge herd of females.

Is it any good?

QUALITY
 

As Valentine's Day specials go, this is just the right mix of silly and sweet. One of the cutest subplots is Melman secretly planning to make his first Valentine's Day with girlfriend Gloria special (at one point he enlists a group of monkeys to practice Van Morrison's classic "Gloria" until they get agitated), whereas she thinks he's ignoring her. Then there's Marty, who turns into a zebra lothario after spraying himself with the perfume. The elephant makes a questionable tattoo decision, while the pretty okapi plays him "Freebird" on the harp. 

With most of the stars on board to voice their characters, it's hard to go wrong, but the brevity of the special will leave some young fans feeling particularly unloved. At least the writers filled each of the 22 minutes with enough sight gags and jokes to keep kids and parents entertained and in the mood to say "I love you" to the people they heart most, not just those attracted to them because of something as superficial as Love Potion No. 9. 

Families can talk about...

  • What do you think the message of the movie is regarding Valentine's Day? In the end, what do the friends decide is the best way to celebrate the holiday?

  • Could you tell that the voice of King Julien was not Sacha Baron Cohen? Did it make a difference?

  • Taking into consideration what Alex says about Valentine's Day cards, which family and friends do you really want to give Valentine's Day cards to this year? How can you let those people know how special they are?

Movie details

DVD release date:January 29, 2013
Cast:Ben Stiller, Chris Rock, Jada Pinkett Smith
Director:David Soren
Studio:DreamWorks Animation
Genre:Family and Kids
Topics:Friendship, Holidays
Run time:22 minutes
MPAA rating:NR

This review of Madly Madagascar was written by

About our rating system

  • ON: Content is age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • PAUSE: Know your child; some content may not be right for some kids.
  • OFF: Not age-appropriate for kids this age.
  • NOT FOR KIDS: Not appropriate for kids of any age.

Find out more

Quality

Our star rating assesses the media's overall quality.

Find out more

Learning ratings

  • Best: Really engaging; great learning approach.
  • Very Good: Engaging; good learning approach.
  • Good: Pretty engaging; good learning approach.
  • Fair: Somewhat engaging; OK learning approach.
  • Not for Learning: Not recommended for learning.
  • Not for Kids: Not age-appropriate for kids; not recommended for learning.

Find out more

About our buy links

When you use our links to make a purchase, Common Sense Media earns a small affiliate fee from Amazon or iTunes. As a nonprofit organization, these funds help us continue providing independent, ad-free services for educators, families, and kids while the price you pay remains the same. Thank you for your support.
Read more

See more about how we rate and review.

What parents and kids say

See all user reviews

Share your thoughts with other parents and kids Write a user review

A safe community is important to us. Please observe our guidelines

Kid, 12 years old February 18, 2013
AGE
18
QUALITY
 

SCARY SCARY SCARY

As this was a Valentine's Day-themed film, my parents decided to rent it for our annual family party to celebrate the occasion. My mum put it on for the younger ones, but it was clear that scary animals tainted the small moral. Very scary animals.
Teen, 13 years old Written byninja rsd June 22, 2014
AGE
5
QUALITY
 

why

the clip was just horrible, the reason i put five is because they won't understand it so its not as bad for them
What other families should know
Too much sex
Adult Written byglowingnova June 9, 2014
AGE
11
QUALITY
 

Obvious Sexual References

I was very disappointed to see the sexual overtones of this movie which is obviously targeted for young children. In one dancing scene a small animal jumps up and down in front of the crotch of a larger animal, which looks like the larger animal is having an ejaculation. There is no reason for this scene - it was clearly just an attempt to integrate sexual innuendo. In another scene, a wooden doll bobble head falls on top of a penguin (which is her "boyfriend"), and the resulting animation looks very much like copulation. The whole theme of this short movie revolves around a love potion that causes animals to be mysteriously attracted to one another. Sometimes it is cute, sometimes it is animated a little too sensually for my taste. I just don't see why adults want to introduce little children to sexual themes at such an early age. Will they even get the references? It probably depends what they've been exposed to. The movie has a little bit of a good theme about friends sticking together and forgiveness. But that is a minor theme tucked in at the very end.
What other families should know
Too much sex

Poll

Did our review help you make an informed decision about this product?

Common Sense Kids Action