A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
This is a feature for seasonal, Valentine's Day-themed entertainment, not for educational purposes.
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.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
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.
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Insults like "pretty boy," "you reek," "stink," "freak," "you're making me sick," and "you sick, sick giraffe."
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Products & Purchases
This is part of the Madagascar film franchise that includes plenty of merchandise and marketing materials.
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. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
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.
Did we miss something on diversity?
Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.