Stars: ** 1/2
Rating: PG for mildly off-color situations and bathroom humor
Run Time: 1 hour, 26 minutes
Cute and cuddly creatures populate this erratically humorous action adventure from the fine folks who brought you Shrek and Shark Tale.
headlines (in manic Rock fashion) as Marty the Zebra, an angst-ridden genus
washes over his captive brethren – Melman the hypochondriac Giraffe (David
Schwimmer), Alex king-of-the-urban-jungle Lion (Ben Stiller), Gloria the
glorious Hippo (Jada Pinkett Smith) – and a restless unease sets in. A passel of perky penguins planning to tunnel
our beastly adventurers smack into the middle of Grand Central Station and
face-to-face with NYPD’s finest. That
unfortunate encounter leads to a capture and crate and a slow boat to
But not so fast. The plotting penguins sabotage the ship and our fearless foursome find themselves washed ashore on an exotic island (the San Diego Zoo perhaps?) populated by nature’s party animals, those wacky and wooly lemurs. Talk about the call of the wild.
animation is solid but hardly groundbreaking – lush and sophisticated when need
be and stock quality when not. Zoo-ers
are the primary focus but the second bananas – lemurs on acid and partisan
penguins -- steal the show with their fetching antics. (Antarctic diving birds appear to be summer’s
The cuddly factor ultimately wears thin and the narrative falls short of satisfying mature cinematic appetites. Not on par with the classics but a substantial enough effort destined to please the kiddies.