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A Lot or a Little?
What you will—and won't—find in this movie.
The special is intended to entertain rather than to educate.
Strong messages about the joy of giving. Each new challenge tests the animals’ bonds of friendship, but they stick together to get the job done.
Positive Role Models
The main characters make the difficult and unselfish decision to postpone their homecoming in order to make the holidays merry for all the kids on Santa’s Christmas list. Usually selfish King Julien learns why it's more fun to give than to receive.
Violence & Scariness
Santa’s sleigh crashes onto a beach, giving him a nasty bump on the head and a case of amnesia. A later crash brings back his memory. Other falls, crashes, and mishaps are played for humor and don’t result in lasting injury.
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Sex, Romance & Nudity
Some mild flirting between a penguin and a reindeer that culminates in a dream scene showing the two married.
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Some mild name-calling like “freak,” and at least one reference to a character’s “booty.”
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Products & Purchases
Nothing overt in the special itself, but there's plenty of tie-in merchandise available.
Drinking, Drugs & Smoking
In one scene, a lemur acts tipsy (swaggers around, giggles a lot, and talks nonsense), causing another to comment that he must have had too much seawater.
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Parents Need to Know
Parents need to know that this holiday special sequel to the popular Madagascar films has strong positive messages about generosity and goodwill. Expect some very mild flirting between a penguin and a reindeer and a reference to a character’s “booty,” but that’s about as eyebrow-raising as the content gets (there's also one instance of implied drinking, but it's brief and silly). The cartoonish violence is very mild -- so much so that even little kids won’t be upset by a scene of Santa’s sleigh crashing into the ground and the big man suffering a visible bump to the head. If your kids haven’t seen the full-length movies yet, they may want to after watching this. To stay in the loop on more movies like this, you can sign up for weekly Family Movie Night emails.
Is It Any Good?
Fans of Madagascar and Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa will find this holiday-themed follow-up a worthy addition to the popular series. The special is packed with the same character-based comedy that fans love, complete with a fresh target for the maniacal South Pole penguins: a “polar” rivalry with Santa’s North Pole reindeer. Kids and adults will both enjoy the special's cheerful chuckles punctuated by the quirky animals at the heart of the cast.
Happily, though, there’s a real attempt here to mix feel-good messages about generosity, caring, and compassion with the silly stuff. Viewers will empathize as Alex and his friends face a relatable dilemma in choosing between finally going home and saving Christmas, and parents can draw comparisons between the animals’ predicament and real-life scenarios their kids might be facing, reminding kids that there's real joy to be found in putting others’ needs ahead of our own.
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.