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What parents need to know
Parents need to know that Madagascar: A Little Wild is a spin-off of the Madagascar movie series. It centers on the now-famous residents of New York’s Central Park Zoo when they were young. It's appropriate for younger viewers thanks to its kid-like characters (think Muppet Babies) and positive, easy-to-understand messages about self-confidence, pursuing goals, and friendship. Expect mild disagreements, a few animal scuffles, and crashes, none of which lead to injury.
What's the story?
MADAGASCAR: A LITTLE WILD, an offshoot of the popular Madagascar franchise, is an animated series about the now-famous residents of New York’s Central Park Zoo when they were young. Alex (Tucker Chandler) is a lion cub who likes hanging out with his best mammal Marty (Amir O’Neil) in the zoo’s rescue habitat. Also joining them is Melman (Luke Lowe) a giraffe who loves cleanliness, and Gloria (Shalylin Becton) a hippo who loves to dance. When their not under the watchful eyes of Kate (Jasmine Gatewood), their keeper, they like venturing out into the city with the help of Dave and Pickle (Candace Kozak), two monkeys who use American Sign Language to communicate. Also helping them during their adventures is the talkative pigeon Ant’eny (Eric Peterson) and Sergeant Hoof (D’avine Joy Randolph), a ranger horse.
Is it any good?
This colorful and lively series features younger and more innocent characters made popular by Dreamworks' Madagascar. Despite their youth, the original crew of animals feel familiar, even if they aren’t voiced by the same actors. But the introduction of the cheeky signing monkeys, who control the exit points to the habitat, makes for a fun and interesting twist. And of course, much of the excitement comes from the gang’s attempt move inconspicuously throughout the city, despite the fact that they're zoo animals on the loose in Manhattan.
Like its parent movies, Madagascar: A Little Wild focuses on friendship as well as adventure. There’s also some quick banter and dry humor. But they replace the crude humor and innuendo present in the movies with consistent, positive messages about being yourself, not giving up, and being willing to pursue your dreams. The upbeat musical numbers are fun, too.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about some of the positive messages Madagascar: A Little Wild contains. Why is it important to be ourselves? What about having a special dream or goal? What if people think that your dreams are silly or unachievable?
How do the younger versions of Alex, Marty, Melman, and Gloria compare to their older selves? Do they behave the way you imagined them to behave?
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